Sleep when the baby sleeps…and at all other times
As a new parent, it's important that you stay rested. It's kind of like when you're on an airplane and the pressure in the cabin drops; you must put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others.
The same is true when you have a newborn, but instead of air, what you need most is sleep. So, sleep when the baby sleeps. But don't stop there. Sleep when the baby is awake, too. When the baby is crying? Sleep. When the baby needs a diaper change? Sleep. When the baby needs food? Sleep.
In fact, never stop sleeping. Become a bear. Move to the forest. Find a suitable cave or dig a large hole at the base of a tree. Create a cozy den by furnishing your cave or hole with fancy bear accouterments. Curl up in your cozy den and hibernate until your baby turns eighteen and goes off to college.
When telling your children to do something, never end with a question…and also never speak
Every parent falls into bad habits from time to time and one of the most common is adding a question to the end of commands. For example, you might say to your child, "It's time to get dressed, OK?"
When telling your child to do something, never wuss out and add "OK?" at the end. You're in charge. Never forget it. And don't let them forget it either.
Ending a command with a question suggests you're open for negotiation or you're seeking their approval. It is not, and you are not. Say what you mean!
Better yet, don't make commands at all. In fact, never speak. Instead, become a mime. Enroll in mime college. Don't worry, there are online classes that fit around your schedule. Online mime classes are kind of difficult to describe, but you have to use Skype a lot. After four years of hard work, graduate from mime college. Stock up on white face paint, gloves, black and white striped shirts, and some fun suspenders.
Now you're in control! Your child will have no other option but to learn your language. Are you in a box? I hope not. Parents should never let their children put them in boxes. To be clear, parents should never put children in boxes either. Unless the child requests it. Kids love playing in cardboard boxes!
Maintain strict screen-time limits…then go back in time to before screens were invented
Screens are the bane of every next-level parent's existence. Sure, they're convenient, but they rot your children's brains. That's why it's important to maintain strict screen-time limits.
But, limits aren't good enough. No, the only answer is to travel back in time. You'll have to invent a time machine, but that shouldn't be a problem. Just google it (ironic, I know).
Once you've built your time machine, you might be tempted to set the travel date to the 1950s. Don't! There are TVs there. Sure, they the quality is terrible and there are hardly any channels, but they are still screens. Dig deeper! Set the date for approximately 1100 A.D.
A little extreme? Perhaps, but this way you're not only avoiding all types of screens, but most books as well. Books are the original screens.
Sure, your children will be extremely susceptible to every preventable disease and hoards of nomadic marauders, but at least they won't be rotting their brains staring at screens all day!
Let your kids fail…over and over and over again
You're protective of your kids. I get it. But over-protectiveness can have damaging long-term effects.
It's important to let your kids fail. For example, say your daughter keeps forgetting to take her homework to school. As hard as it may be, don't take time out of your busy day to take her homework to her. Don't bail her out!
She needs to learn responsibility. She needs to learn to sink or swim on her own.
And don't stop with homework. How about food? If your daughter is five years old, why are you still buying groceries for her?
It's time for your five-year-old to learn what the real world is like. Next time you run out of milk or juice boxes, send her to the store by herself. Don't give her any money, of course. She'll have to figure out how to earn money on her own and also learn what money is. Perhaps she can start a lemonade stand.
Don't give her any cups or lemonade! No coddling!
Once her pathetic attempt at a lemonade stand fails (she couldn't even spell lemonade right!), don't dry her tears. Tissues cost money and she has none. Instead, tell her to dust herself off and try again.
Failure is the parent of success and your child is failing so much you have achieved next-level parent status. Oh, and tell your five-year-old to hurry up with the milk. These biscuits aren't going to make themselves. She is. And they are going to be disgusting.