Are You a Terrible Parent?

This is a photo of Will crying because another child was playing on the part of the jungle gym he was playing in before we left the jungle gym to have a snack. Obviously.

This is a photo of Will crying because another child was playing on the part of the jungle gym he was playing in before we left the jungle gym to have a snack. Obviously.

Last week, I was informed by a perfect stranger in a public place that I was a terrible parent. When a woman you have never met and knows nothing about you gives you such an astute observation, you take it seriously. Even after thinking about our constructive conversation for three days, I was still unsure. Am I terrible parent? Or did she catch me on a good day?

In my quest for truth, I have developed this helpful quiz which will assess your answers and evaluate whether you are also a terrible parent. I highly recommend it so when you are lambasted by a strange woman you can calm the situation by providing her with scientific evidence that she is right.

Select the answer that mostly accurately reflects your response to the question.

1. Are you currently a parent?

  • A) Yes
  • B) No
  • C) Not yet, but this quiz will play a significant role in my decision to be one.
  • D) None of the above

2. Your three year old is having a tantrum in a shop because you referred to him by his real name as opposed to his preferred name, “Spider-Man”. Do you…

  • A) Quickly assemble a Calm Down Corner in the check-out line so he can use sensory-calming activities to self-regulate before labelling his emotions?
  • B) Start looking around frantically and say, “Does anyone know where this poor child’s mother is?”
  • C) Ask the judgy-looking woman staring at you what she would do?
  • D) None of the above

3. After your 15 month old opens the cupboard and brings you a box of cereal, you deduce that he is hungry and its time for a snack. Do you…

  • A) Pop out to the vegetable garden to pull some home-grown carrots and quickly bake an organic carrot-quinoa-raisin bar for him?
  • B) Take him to McDonald’s because you remember that every meal should have the five food groups? (Nuggets=protein, chips=carbs, apple juice=fruit, tomato sauce=vegetable. Wait. That’s four.)
  • C) Hide pieces of bread around the house and encourage him to forage for food so you can foster independence and self-sufficiency?
  • D) None of the above

4. YAY! It’s potty training time. In order to get your toddler out of nappies and using the toilet, you decide to…

  • A) What nappies? He’s been using elimination communication since he was eight months old.
  • B) Buy the “Toilet Time is Fun Time” app for your child’s iPad, and purchase the Infant iPad Holder so it doesn’t fall in the loo while he uses it.
  • C) Ask all your friends who don’t have kids what you should do.
  • D) None of the above

5. Another mom accuses you of being a terrible parent after your three year old shouted at her one year old in the playground. Your first response is to:

  • A) Follow her to her car apologising profusely and suggest that you attend a conflict-resolution workshop along with your feuding toddlers.
  • B) Re-enact the situation for her with the puppets you keep in your handbag so you can obtain an objective view of the situation.
  • C) Offer to start a Facebook fundraising campaign for the future therapy sessions she and her child will need.
  • D) None of the above

If you selected mostly A’s:

You are indeed a terrible parent. You have good intentions, but most of the strategies you are using are certainly going to cause your child long-term damage. We suggest you read some more Huffington Post articles about parenting and set aside a child-free weekend to strategise a new approach to your children’s upbringing. Don’t forget – if you make a single mistake, you will probably ruin your children for life. Good luck!

If you selected mostly B’s:

You are indeed a terrible parent. You have good intentions, but most of the strategies you are using are certainly going to cause your child long-term damage. We suggest you read some more Huffington Post articles about parenting and set aside a child-free weekend to strategise a new approach to your children’s upbringing. Don’t forget – if you make a single mistake, you will probably ruin your children for life. Good luck!

If you selected mostly C’s:

You are indeed a terrible parent. You have good intentions, but most of the strategies you are using are certainly going to cause your child long-term damage. We suggest you read some more Huffington Post articles about parenting and set aside a child-free weekend to strategise a new approach to your children’s upbringing. Don’t forget – if you make a single mistake, you will probably ruin your children for life. Good luck!

If you selected mostly D’s:

You are indeed a terrible parent. You have good intentions, but most of the strategies you are using are certainly going to cause your child long-term damage. We suggest you read some more Huffington Post articles about parenting and set aside a child-free weekend to strategise a new approach to your children’s upbringing. Don’t forget – if you make a single mistake, you will probably ruin your children for life. Good luck!

I really hope this has been both encouraging and helpful to you. Please feel free to send me as MANY articles, blogs, tweets and/or unreferenced quotes about what I should be doing better with my life. I LOVE THEM ALL!

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9 thoughts on “Are You a Terrible Parent?

  1. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    This is amazing. I once had a childless dog trainer offer stern guidance how I should be handling my (calm but inquisitive) then 2yo. She was shocked when I didn’t praise her astonishing insight. I later saw just how common this is. Wish I’d had this post to share!

  2. Mark's blog says:

    Of course being your father this is something that would really have helped in raising you and your two sisters. Oh, well….

  3. Stacey says:

    Loved this! It came just a couple of days after I told my 3 year old he wasn’t allowed to climb the metal open fire escape steps at the back of our block of flats (2 stories up). His resulting tantrum & my threat that we would not have Friday-Movie&Pizza night if he continued to disobey me roused the woman who’s door we were outside which she opened just long enough to tell me she feels sorry for my children! What, to have me as their mother? What a terrible mother I am to withhold pizza. Call social services! PS Sometimes I drink a glass of wine on my bathroom floor while they’re in the bath-is that bad?

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