Recently we held a competition, where we asked teenagers state-wide to send in a piece of writing for our upcoming publication, Whelp. Judged by our Storytelling Team and other students, this piece by Natalie Bojko was the winner. Congratualtions Natalie, and keep an eye out for more excerpts from Whelp soon! Dear Parents,
No. No wait. That isn’t right. Let me start again.
Dear anyone who thinks they can parent (which is all “parents”), I have one thing to say. No. Just no. Don’t even try to explain yourselves. I know what you’re thinking. ‘Parenting can’t be so hard. A small, innocent baby, becoming a slightly troublesome but incredibly cute toddler, forming into a sweet tweenie, later a slightly rebellious but adorable teenager, and 18, or 20 years after they’re born, a young adult. It would be nice.’
Funny. Really, that’s hilarious. But you don’t know how wrong you are, in every aspect of everything you think about relating to the word ‘parent’. Don’t even kid yourselves. You have no idea what you’re doing, and no matter how many children you have, you never will. And I know, you meet those inspirational parents, who have had pretty much a million children and need a bus to fit them all in, and you look at them, and they are so happy, and their children are so sweet, and you’re thinking ‘oh, it would be so nice’. But no. Don’t fall for that. Those parents have no idea what they’re doing, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they were paying their children 5 bucks an hour to keep them quiet. That’s the trick to parenting – money.
While we’re on the topic of money, I may as well tell you, if you don’t own a money tree in your back garden don’t try to convince yourselves you can make your children anywhere near anything close to happy. Yes, there are all those preachers, ‘You don’t need money or materialistic things to be happy’. But I’m quite confident none of those people have ever had anything to do with children, and if they have they are one of those people kids look at and whisper ‘I think she’s dead’, ‘I heard he eats children’ or ‘I thought he was dating a 13 year old!’ And they laugh at them, and curse them, hate on them and are one of the main topics of conversation. Unless you want to be like them, don’t listen to a word they say. Listen to me, trust me, I know what I’m talking about.
And speaking of trust, trust your children! In every meaning of the word. Trust them. If they say they won’t do something, then trust them. Given, they will probably go out and do exactly what they said they wouldn’t, but you’re just going to have to deal with that because it’s what they want to do, and they don’t care about your opinion. So get over it. If you want to hear the long-winded version, Google “we don’t give a shit” and whatever answer you’re looking for will be right there.
Not to mention, whenever kids have friends over, or meet friends while on their travels, or talk to friends and they haven’t planned things out properly and you end up meeting them, don’t open your mouth. For the love of your child, don’t open your mouth because you will sound like an idiot and your child will hate you even more than they already do, (yes, that is possible).
Look, I know you’re so enthralled in this and hanging on every sentence with anticipation and intrigue, but my words of wisdom end when the page does. So here’s the crash-course. Give your children whatever they want. They want a shirt when their wardrobe is bursting? Give it to them. They want a brand new phone even though they just got one the other month? Give it to them. A new pair of shoes, a ps4, a new coat of paint in their room? Give it to them. If you see your child in anywhere but your house, don’t open your mouth. Don’t approach them, don’t wave, don’t toot the horn. Don’t speak unless you are spoken to. And please don’t move anything that could vaguely resemble something to do with your child. In fact, don’t move it, don’t touch it, don’t even breathe on it because if it goes missing and you have been within a 100 meter radius of it, they will point the finger at you. Ugh, I’m exhausted already. Look, you’ll screw it up, deal with it. Your kids hate you, they always have and they always will. You may be good intentioned. They couldn’t care less. The overall message? Don’t be a parent, and if you are, just give in. Don’t fight it. There’s no point.
They’ll win. They always do.
Mother of three.
Written by Natalie Bojko