The Seven Habits of Highly Defective Parents

In honor of the late Stephen Covey…

Sarcasm aside, Stephen Covey should have written a book with the abovementioned title. Not that he failed spectacularly as a father, but because people tend to more readily grasp what doesn’t work, as opposed to what does. Like tightrope walking, for instance—without a net. In a practical sense, Seven Habits would’ve been an invaluable guide for parents, highlighting the antithesis of good advice as it relates to the uncertain nature of raising children. Countless individuals, myself included, could’ve then avoided seven of the biggest pitfalls of child rearing—all of which I’ve shamelessly embraced since the advent of motherhood. So in the true spirit of generosity and irreverence, I’ve compiled a list of that which you would do well to eschew.

1)   STOCKPILE EXACTLY NOTHING IN YOUR DISCIPLINARY ARSENAL, rendering you categorically ineffective (read: utterly deplorable) when it comes to dealing with ill-mannered children and/or defiant teens. A sign that you’re on the right track in this regard can be clearly demonstrated if you lack any discernable ability to assign logical consequences to a wayward grocery cart, let alone an unruly child. Moreover, if you think “positive reinforcement” is just a bunch of psychobabble and you have absolutely no idea what will happen if and when you actually reach the count of three (i.e. at the climax of your hackneyed threat: “One…two…two-and-a-half…two-and-three-quarters…two-and-seven-eighths…”), you’re well on your way to becoming a highly defective parent. However, you’ve truly arrived in said capacity when you scream at your brood, “Stop screaming!” and it actually works.

2)   DO EVERYTHING FOR YOUR CHILD/CHILDREN, lest they become discouraged, frustrated or palpably incensed as a result of their futile attempts to do for themselves. Heaven forbid you let them fail. At anything. Nor should your dear progenies be held accountable in this life. For anything. Never mind their longings for independence and ownership as they grow. Continue on the path to martyrdom by picking up their shoes, making their beds and triple-checking their homework day after day, right through college and into grad school. Fight their battles for them, too, paving the way on every imaginable front. In this manner, you can insure their dependency (and your sense of purpose as a slack-picker-upper) for a lifetime.

3)   SAY “YES” TO YOUR CHILD/CHILDREN FAR TOO OFTEN, even if it spells emotional/financial ruin for you, or reckless endangerment for them. A happy upbringing is all about instant gratification and leniency, after all—not to mention, keeping the peace. Indulge them daily—hourly if need be, so that you might satisfy their every whim. Translation: Let your charges pitch a monstrosity-of-a-tent in the living room for weeks on end, perilously slide down staircases in sleeping bags and adopt more pets than the Animal Control Board thinks you can readily accommodate. Note: If your house doesn’t smell like hamsters or wet dog, you’re not trying hard enough.

4)   COMPARE YOUR CHILD/CHILDREN TO OTHERS at every opportunity (especially those involving hyper-successful peers, siblings and well-mannered house plants)—a practice that serves to solidify feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing. Kids simply adore being held to an unattainable ideal, relishing the notion of not-measuring-up in all avenues of life.

5)   MODEL IMPROPRIETY AT EVERY TURN. Launch tirades, throw shoes and by all means, refuse to share your sand shovel. Additionally, hold grudges, damn politicians and say incredibly vile things about the Everyday Math you’ve been expected to embrace since your oldest entered kindergarten. Better still, demonstrate the beauty of white lies, offer your brood an abundance of inappropriate ways to deal with bullies and hang up on a telemarketer at least as often as Rush Limbaugh says something stupid.

6)   ALWAYS SPEAK BEFORE YOU THINK. Enough said.

7)   INTRODUCE THE CONCEPT OF PANIC TO YOUR CHILD/CHILDREN BY ROUTINELY INVITING FEAR AND WORRY INTO YOUR COLLECTIVE CORNER OF THE WORLD. The more irrational the fear/worry the better. Histrionics are good, too, especially as they relate to obscure maladies involving parasites native to Tasmania, the horror of being struck by a sofa-sized chunk of space debris and, of course, the Mayan apocalypse.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live (in all my defective glory). Visit me there at www.facebook.com/NotesfromPlanetMom. The content of this article, as it appears here, was previously published in the Khaleej Times.

Copyright 2012 Melinda L. Wentzel

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127 Comments

Filed under I Pretty Much Suck at Parenting, The Natives are Decidedly Restless, We Put the Fun in Dysfunction

127 responses to “The Seven Habits of Highly Defective Parents

  1. Pingback: I love this!!!!! So funny and so true…. | Jacquelyn Daly

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  4. Peter P.

    Looking forward to your next 7 ( or more!)

  5. Peter P.

    Looking forward to reading your next seven!

  6. My mom was really good at number 4 and number 7. Thanks for the great post!

  7. ajoeblk

    a much more simple language could be used. i was in a hurry and i couldnt understand some of the points

  8. Absolutely love this! Got me thinking about what I am doing wrong and right with my toddler 🙂

  9. Absolutely hilarious. I don’t have children, just lots of little cousins and nephews, as an aunty I get to indulge in a few of them especially the saying yes to everything 🙂

  10. This was great. I’m not a parent, I’m not ever married but I see these problems with parents around me. haha

  11. I am admittedly still a child myself (but aren’t we all in some regard?), but I felt this post was right up my alley. I have played a part in raising 21 younger siblings and cousins, all of whom I love very much. As a first-generation born-and-raised American, these “common sense” statements were not necessarily as “common sense” in my family’s home. By reading material like this, I was able to learn how to be a better “older-sister-moonlighting-as-mom” as the young ones in my (very large) family were growing up. There’s still a lot of learning to do, and I appreciate when really sound, educational content is presented in a humorous, palatable way. Thanks again!

  12. KL

    Ahhhh… it’s funny…because it’s true 😉

  13. Laughed all the way through your 7 habits list. You should write the book for us! 🙂

  14. Do parents really do those things? I’m far from parenthood, but reading this list makes me think I won’t be the worst mom of all…

  15. Number 3 is a winner. Having worked at various summer camps, as a teacher, and now as a staff member at a university, I’ve seen many examples of this.
    Perhaps children are becoming the collectible Barbies of the modern era, where they are set on a shelf and never pulled out of their packaging. Or, at least several layers of bubble-wrap will do.

  16. Hahaha, some of these definitely resonate with me! Thanks for the great post! Looking forward to the next!

  17. Consistency is important enough to be worth considering another habit. I’ve seen some unruely kids with parents who only show the appropriate authority every other day. It’s a mess.

  18. Rick Majercik

    Bravo…well done!

  19. This was hilarious!! Thanks for sharing!

  20. I have not read the entirety of the replies here, but It seems there is not even ONE comment that disagrees with the sentiment of the article. This sure makes me wonder for I am hard pressed to find one set of parent who does not practice most, if not all, of these acts. Is it then a matter of all secretly wanting to do otherwise, but being afraid of repercussions????? why is this such an epidemic?

  21. Love this post! 🙂 I’m not a parent, but have worked with kids for long enough to know the outcome of “effective” parenting…I agree with everything you’ve outlined and hope others will appreciate your wisdom and witt. 😉

  22. jayshree singh

    it does happen in Indian society

  23. I have to admit that I have not read anything by this author…and don’t often read an entire book if I’m not reading to my kids anyway. However, I do appreciate your humor in this post. I think we all have some sort of defectiveness as parents and it’s hard to kick the habit. In the meantime, reading about said defectiveness helps one to start making changes to their habit. Thanks for your post.

  24. Pingback: https://melindawentzel.com/2012/07/16/the-seven-habits-of-highly-defective-parents-2/ « Ellaintaracopiiilor's Blog

  25. Reblogged this on Chic Mum Chita and commented:
    Absolutely hilarious piece on disciplining children! I have to admit I am guilty of #1, and I can’t stop grinning as I think of all the culprits of #2 that I know of!

  26. thanks – loved it! As a teacher, would like to hand out on parent night 🙂 but one who lives in a glass house should not cast stones!

  27. Reblogged this on voice of the silenced and commented:
    She’s got it all right! And I wish there are mechanical cure to defective parents.

  28. ControlYourCandyBandits

    Stellar piece. After working with juvenile deliquents for several years I can tell you that this is indeed a recipe for disaster. Aside from having the most pathetic “role models” known to man, many of the teenagers caught up in the system were never disciplined. Ever. Any public school teachers here?? If so, how many times have you heard, “F*%$# you, you ain’t my mama!” Or-again- teachers, how many parents have complained or even threatened to harm or sue you because their spoiled brat got an F or got suspended/punished for bad behavior?? Anyone hear about that psychotic 6 year old girl in Ga. who threw a violent tantrum and injured the principal, damaging school property in the process??

    And here’s another example of abject parental failure: My uncle showered his son in leniency and luxury. Kid had a brand new sports car before he had his driver’s license, recklessly trashed it within the first year of ownership and was subsequently rewarded with another. He continued to wreck a series of vehicles over the years, only to have daddy replace them. Although my uncle could easily afford to fund his son’s education, he never insisted that the boy go to college, acquire useful skills and/or take up meaningful pursuits. Kid morphed into a professional party animal, got in trouble with the law numerous times and his dad always bailed him out. Now 31 years old, the son is a recovering heroin addict with minimal skill sets and no direction in life.

    Coddle no more, America.

    • I just joined wordpress and was intrigued by your header image – quite funny. I agree 110% with beginning early to discipline your child (control your candybandits). I have seen too many parents try to be “friends” to their children, this does not work. While it is fun for the kids, who don’t know any better, it is the child who ends up suffering in the end because they believe they are entitled to anything and everything. I have a 2 year old and my husband and I both agree on early and consistent discipline – our son knows that he is loved, but it is our responsibility as parents to “release” a decent human being into the world. No one can raise my child better than I can. Thanks for the great post!

  29. Cindy N

    My dad is guilty of number 7 especially when I am nervous about something.

  30. I am so happy to be a grandparent and to no longer have to do the heavy-lifting of parenting. Not an easy job if you are doing it right, but the most rewarding job of all. Good post.

  31. Thanks very much – some of your selection of ”criteria for failure” I have witnessed myself, so it really hit home – and so very useful.

  32. marialla

    Yes, I do. Very well done!!! It just goes to show you how important it is for all of us to communicate. So often , we think that we are the only ones with all these terrible problems and suddenly, there is someone writing it all down, presenting it.,trying to see the funny (sort of , funny) side to the whole mess and poof, the problem doesn’t seem so great. The face is asmile and life goes on. Maybe this one of the great gifts of the internet. Thank you for your great wittisism!!!

  33. Dan

    Very funny- and provocative- take on parenting. Numbers one and two have always bothered me especially; two maybe most of all. The scariest thought of all is- what if I were to actually undermine even the desire to be independent itself? Glad you got Pressed; your perspective deserves that.

  34. Reblogged this on danscape and commented:
    I see this far too often. Kids need small doses of pain and discipline and failure to give them a yin to their yang, to teach them how to get up and dust themselves off.

    A great point of view.

  35. This made me giggle. I totally don’t know what I’ll ever do if I ever count to three, but my 5yo finds the number two terrifying so I havent had to worry about what the punishment will be yet! lol xx

  36. Hey – but those tent forts are awesome!!! As a kid I would’ve given ANYTHING to keep ours up for more than a day at a time 😦

  37. Number 7. Guilty. Written while throwing salt over my shoulder, rubbing my lucky rabbit’s foot and crossing all fingers and toes.

  38. LOL. The sad part is, 4 -7 remind me of my childhood. smh.

  39. Great! I’ll share with my sister….the mother of a 21 month old!

  40. boy this is spot on, i have had trouble being the “yesman”, you really nailed it down!

  41. Good stuff right there. Wish I could say I was free and clear of them all….. 🙂

  42. Well, talk about something for everyone. Most will find themselves somewhere in here. Unfortunately, many will find themselves everywhere in here making this funny and not so funny at the same time.

  43. Loved this!!! Although, I have once again realized that I do far too much for my spawn. She got a taste of it this weekend when I told her over the phone (she’s at her grandparents) that I cleaned the entire house…except her room She gets to do that when she gets home. MWAHAHAHAHA

  44. ” 7) INTRODUCE THE CONCEPT OF PANIC TO YOUR CHILD/CHILDREN BY ROUTINELY INVITING FEAR AND WORRY INTO YOUR COLLECTIVE CORNER OF THE WORLD. The more irrational the fear/worry the better. Histrionics are good, too, especially as they relate to obscure maladies involving parasites native to Tasmania, the horror of being struck by a sofa-sized chunk of space debris and, of course, the Mayan apocalypse.”

    I am guilty! Last night during our Ice-cream drive we stopped at the hospital parking garage and told our 4 yr old we were there to get him a “naughty boy shot!” I blogged it.

  45. I Loved this. I read number one and saw myself immediately. When my father used to count my brothers and I would jump, but with my own son it seems like I only ever gave him a chance to practice his obstinance.

  46. I have two words for you madam. Loved it.

  47. Reblogged this on jest a word on life and commented:
    A perfect piece to go along with my “media and your kids” post

  48. So true… ha I had to reread the title to make sure this was BAD PARENTING. Definite reblog to go perfectly with my “Should you care what the media shows your kids piece”. This is an excellent article with a good sense of humor.

  49. i am a failure as a father. we came to this world unprepared, we’re not perfect. the best i can do now is to learn

  50. Reblogged this on Bethany Beach Designs and commented:
    In honor of parents day! I love this! This also gives me a heads up on what NOT to do around my nieces and nephews. Or try to anyway.

  51. Wonderful title. A humorous take & a demonstration of the value of negative statements (as illustrating what else we might wish to accomplish). Cheers

  52. So glad I stumbled upon your blog. It’s great! Loved this post.

  53. joe

    Exactly. The good people need to start speaking up about the bad ones. We have kept quiet for too long =)

  54. Brilliant. Well articulated and bang on the button!

  55. Enjoyed it. Our mom used to compare us to the neighbors kids to make her point;but, i disliked that terribly. Looking back i guess my mom’s not the only one 🙂 …

  56. Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” ― Anne Frank
    This is dear the new generation.
    No matter what u said, no matter what u did, they will choose what they want.

  57. Very sound advice there! In an attempt to destroy my daughter’s life from the word go, I’ll take as much of it up as I can 😉

  58. Very wise words! Enjoyed you post very much, I related to so much of it! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  59. UtahMan&Wife

    We laughed!
    Steven R. Covey would have laughed, too!
    He had such a great laugh (we loved that man). Did you know Steve was known to frequently allow his children to spread peanut butter & jam on his bald head? True story. 🙂
    Congrats on being Fresh Pressed. Good luck with your parenting adventure! We are frequently amazed our children have actually survived us, and are functioning adults now. Miracles happen. – UM&W

  60. Paying them to shut up or stop arguing sometimes works. And if they start up again before the time limit is up, you simply dock them half of the promised payment. Really. They take this seriously.

  61. indiraadams

    What’s interesting is that being in high school, I often see many parents demonstrate their parenting skills, or lack thereof, and the consequences of their choices. Children that were in my class in the 5th grade with parents doing some (or all) of the above are completely wild by the time they are seniors. You explained that in a witty way, which I really enjoyed. Great job!

    indiraadams.wordpress.com

  62. Hello! Congratulations on being ‘Freshly Pressed’!

    Love your post! Sadly, number 2,4 & 7 (and probably a bit of 5& 6) had been present in my childhood. And I’m not talking about ‘only’ my parents. Lets just say sometimes your extended family living too close by isn’t a good thing for your young, impressionable brood.

  63. This is brilliant. I wish I could give you a trophy, but I’m too busy screaming at my kids.

  64. How invaluable that advice would have been a few decades ago, I brought my first born home from hospital and all I knew was that no parenting fairy was going to visit me and endow me with the knowledge and skills necessary to do a good job of it.
    I’m a grandma now. I’ve been hauled back into active duty. So if you’re kidding youself that when they leave, they leave. They don’t. You don’t get to resign from parenting. Lovely article, made me smile (made me nostalgic).

  65. Oh dear, I fear I am a failure, as I made my 14 year old son pack his own bags for camp this evening! (It was painful for both of us!)

    Here’s something funny pertaining to the disciplinary arsenal–I have always counted backwards from five, and it has always worked, which is a good thing, since I really have no idea what I would do if I got to one and the kids hadn’t done what they were told!

    And, I was giggling to start with, but when I got to the line about Everyday Math, I just about spat tea on the monitor! Just one more year of it for us in this house!

  66. Nice item here, Melinda, and your years of joyful experience are obvious.
    But why stop at 7, surely you could get another 4 or 5?
    Our kids have all left home now. You can still see where they’ve been, but we’ve got rid of most of their junk (and odors).

  67. Been there, done that. Defects and all (mine) I’m a grandma now.Where was your advice when I needed it, I want to know. I brought my first child home from hospital. They showed me how to bathe him then left me to it. That’s when I discovered that there no parenting fairy was about to visit me and give me the low down on the dos and don’ts.
    ps, don’t kid yourself, just when you think you’ve got your kids off your handsz and Saturday nights free, you find yourself hauled back int action. (I love it).

  68. Very appropriate! Enough said!

  69. winnwords

    Loved this post (and your writing style in general)! While my own offspring are a little further along in the process, they still require a similar arsenal of parenting strategies. (One of my recent blog topics relates to what to say when your kid wants flying lessons! More grown-up issues…same principles, though! Winnwords1.wordpress.com, if you want to see how this one turns out! :))

  70. vspain

    I LOVED walker of the damn dog in your bio. I’m divorced the youngest is now 23 and child support has stopped but joint custody of the damn dog continues… 🙂

  71. I loved your post. My favorite thing is working with a defective parent and her child in our very busy workplace. When the child (34 years old) can not (WILL NOT) do her work she sighs really heavy like that lady in the old rice krispie treats commercial. The mom pushes her aside and does her work. then she gets frustrated and sighs and expects me to do it. LOVE THAT!!! Not. But it is entertaining to look at the expression of bewilderment when they see that I am not gonna do it for them while they go have a smoke break.
    Now…. I’m gonna have to go back and get that book and add it to my stack. I knew his work when I was younger and somehow over time have forgotten it. I do not want to be a defective anything. :)))

  72. Funny stuff! I invite you to visit http://thejunglepackworkbook.wordpress.com for my posts on what goes on in relationships between people. Some of them are geared towards building awareness. Not as funny but maybe you will like them. Good stuff here!

  73. My house smells vaguely of children. But we keep the kids as pets, so maybe that counts, too.

    Congrats on FP!

  74. reiddiane

    Loved your post. Having worked with children for 35 years and having seen child development gurus come and go, I think you have some really sound advice in here and pretty easy to follow! I do, however, keep one thing in my disciplinary arsenal -duck tape. It’s awesome and it comes in so many colors now and seriously, you can stick a kid to the wall with it when all else fails!

  75. Reblogged this on creativetidalwave and commented:
    Love this! Decided it needed to be passed on again.

  76. Wait, I know parents like this.

  77. Sarah D.

    The post is funny, but the underlying message is not. I get to deal with the little darlings as they grow up, and it is no fun at all to have kids in my programs who completely ignore every reasonable request simply because they’re used to having no consequences. THANK YOU for writing this and congrats on being FP.

  78. Love this.
    I once told a two year old I was babysitting that if he was naughty I would leave him in the garden to live with the frogs. He totally believed me, and went to bed without another peep. I totally recommend this as a tactic.

  79. The dentist! The dentist! Threaten them with the dentist!
    The other idea is to plant in them an irrational fear of food colouring and preservatives. That way they can be paranoid for life 😉

  80. brilliantly written. 😉 hilarious and true! 🙂 great post.

  81. Spent many years as full time at home dad. Found that all the task oriented, goal oriented stuff that Covey and others preached to be useless if not detrimental to parenting. I didn’t kill anybody even though there were times when they needed it. They are 21 and 18 now and somehow have become fine young men. I have no idea how that happened.
    This is a fun piece. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed (that always sounds like it would hurt)

  82. This goes on my list of things not to do. I’ll let you know if i’ll succeed.

  83. Laughed all the way through!

  84. Simple Heart Girl

    No.1 is soooooo important! No enough parents understand just how important it is.

  85. gpsnavigationapps

    Nice advice, thanks for the post 🙂

  86. Reblogged this on lucindalines and commented:
    Hey, when I saw this today, I couldn’t resist passing it on. Hope you enjoy.

  87. This is fantastic, I hope you don’t mind me reblogging this. I want my own children to see it as well as my siblings. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!!

  88. Great advice! How about number eight: Be a model of body shame and emotional discomfort whenever the subject of sex comes up.

    • That’s great too…further, even absent the subject of sex, obssess over looks and clothes…make sure you securely hinge your image of self to your child. And remember, they’re never too old to get mom and dad to choose their clothes and do their hair! … although I guess that kind of expands habit #2.

  89. Nic

    Ha! #5 is ideal. It extends far beyond parenting, as evidenced by my life.

  90. I love this, I want to bookmark it for when I have kids… just as a reminder of what not to do 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    http://stepstochangetheworld.wordpress.com/

  91. Joe Labriola

    I like number six: “ALWAYS SPEAK BEFORE YOU THINK. Enough said.” Too many opinions out there; not enough facts!

  92. I love this. Tear drawing laughter. You are an absolute hoot.

  93. Bahaha! Hilarious! Love your voice. If I had kids, I’d totally hang around your blog. Maybe I’ll be back in 5 years or so.

  94. And if you do all those things, you can bet your child will grow up into a neurotic and fearful adult with no self-esteem, unless they defy you and gravity… Thanks for the humor on this topic because it is helpful as I go through my own childhood issues.

  95. I stumbled across this on Freshly Pressed, an oh my gosh, this is AWESOME! Thanks for sharing such a hilarious piece on raising children. I don’t have kids of my own yet, but I have worked with them in various professional capacities {swim teacher, nanny, therapist, technical school instructor…}. It is hard work and not as instinctual as we would like to believe it is. Thanks again for such an honest and comical piece.

  96. Reblogged this on verticalviv and commented:
    I really needed to read this today. Summer is so very long.

  97. Hilarious! Congrats on the being Freshly Pressed!

  98. This is awesome and just what I needed to read. Summer sure is long, isn’t it?

  99. you got it right sister

  100. I especially believe in number two. I don’t think parents are doing enough for their children *laughing uncontrollably* Helicopter parenting is the best!……… just kidding. Fun post!

  101. Reblogged this on Joshua. and commented:
    Amazing piece. The day I have children, I will raise them to make their own decisions and judgements. Growing up in a strict cultural upbringing, I relied on my parents up through college and when I realized that soon enough I would have to take responsibility for myself, it quickly effected me in a negative manner. Only after college have I been able to grasp and accept this responsibility. I think, that it had more to do with how I did NOT embrace this change in a positive manner. You must embrace every challenge in life and take positive approaches. I read a quote the other day that said “It is not stress that kills us. It is our REACTION to it.” Enough said.

  102. This is funny you would think people would have the common sense to get this but unfortunately we all fall into some little bits of these somewhere along the line most likely.

  103. This article helps me a lot.

  104. The Smile Scavenger

    Fortunately, a few of us manage to become “equal and opposite reactions” to these things rather than replicating them… of course the people closest to us often secretly (or not so secretly) wonder if the crazy switch is going to flip later. 😉

  105. Stacey Blubaugh

    How did you know my address? I could probably add to this list. Thanks for the smile and for giving hope. Knowledge is power, right?

  106. Loved it, funny, and dead-on. Glad I discovered you on “Freshly Pressed” – I’ll be following your blog! Thanks. -Martie
    (P.S. I also wrote a blog post offering my parenting advice a couple of years ago. If you’re interested, here is the URL: http://bluebeachsong.com/2010/06/20/a-few-words-of-wisdom-happy-fathers-day/)

  107. Guilty of #7. But it’s meant to be funny. Of course, a four-year-old’s grasp of sarcasm/tongue-in-cheekness might not be up for that “humor.” I stand chastized.

  108. Ann

    Interesting post! I loved all the points and they are all so true! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  109. WOW, I LIKE THIS POST!!! THANK YOU FOR POSTING!!!!
    ANY ADVISE ON POSTING REAL GOOD STUFF?

  110. Yes, and if you DON’T want to do items 2 and 3, prepare to deal with the silent, superior censure of those who do (nowadays, most of your parent peers)!

  111. In amongst all that sarcasm, lie many nuggets of truth. Hilarious and thought-provoking at the same time! Just imagine what the world would be like if all parents were perfect…bleugh 😛 I love your category “We Put the Fun in Dysfunction”! 🙂

  112. Have we met or did we just attend the same parenting course? There were a couple of habits, that as I read them, a huge flashing neon sign began to blink. EPIC FAIL! Well, when parenting we learn to be in a constant state of learning. Thanks for sharing.
    Peach State

  113. a little dysfunction can makes a person more interesting! 🙂

  114. Can I still curse Everyday Math and be a good parent? Thank goodness my son is old enough for Algebra! Unfortunately, I’m a substitute teacher and must teach it everyday – ugh!

  115. Absolutely hilarious! I followed number three nearly to a T–specifically the tent and pets part. Well…a good touch of the endangerment, too. All in the name of creative exploration, discovering their unlimitlessness, and the real farm I could not provide. Best tents in the world! More animals than kids! All equals “tired, worn-out mom”.
    So then I discover Stephen Covey’s book. “Begin with the end in mind.” Gee, I succeeded right away by nearly ending “me”! So add that to the defective habits. Maybe number eight, of which he wrote another whole book on.
    All in all, farewell to a man whose book impacted the modern world is a great way.
    Peace,
    Alexandria Sage

  116. Love it. I have some of these habits, tried to kick some of the others. Excellent tribute. Stephen would be proud.