Do you ever feel like you’re doing this whole parenting thing wrong? Of course you do. Because, the internet.
Everywhere you click, there’s another article: “5 Ways You Are Ruining Your Children” or “Open Letter to the Mom Texting While Driving Her Car With Her 3-Year-Old in the Front Seat” or “7 Potentially Deadly Objects in Your Child’s Lunchbox” or “Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad Fortune 500 CEO” or “5 Reasons Why My Kids Are Better Behaved Than Yours.”
Sometimes the flood of information about parenting is so cataclysmic it leaves you overwhelmed, depressed and adrift. Overwhelmed because there is so much to be scared of and mad at. Depressed because it seems like everyone is doing it better than you. And adrift because, for all the information available at your fingertips, one question remains unanswered: How does my parenting really compare to that of strangers and my friends?
Worry no more. In just a few moments you will finally know, once and for all, how you stack up. This short quiz will answer all your questions. That is, after you answer its questions. Go ahead and score it yourself when you’re done. No cheating! Haha.
But seriously, no cheating. To be safe, maybe you should take your answers to the park and find that mom with the really attractive and well-behaved children who all play the violin and ask her to grade it for you. Yes, let’s go with that.
And, off we go!
1. When you take your kids to the park, how much time do you spend on your phone?
• Greater than 50%. The park is super boring and my kid’s stunts on the slide aren’t as great as she thinks they are. (2 points)
• Less than 50%. I only respond to important texts and emails or check how many likes my “Look how awesome I am at parenting” picture has on Instagram. (1 point)
• None. I cherish every moment with my children and am not a slave to technology. In fact, I never use my phone except to check for special deals on locally grown organic fruits, vegetable and legumes. (0 points)
2. Do your children climb up slides?
• Yes, always. (2 points)
• Yes, sometimes, but when they do I correct them loudly so everyone can hear. (1 point)
• No, climbing up slides is uncivilized. (0 points)
3. What kind of juice do you serve your children?
• I don’t know, whatever. (2 points)
• Only 100% fruit juices mixed with water to lower the sugar content. (1 point)
• Only homemade carrot juice with a hint of lime. (0 points)
4. How much screen time do you allow your children to have each day?
• I don’t know. (2 points)
• No more than two hours, of which 75% is educational programming and games. (1 point)
• None. Screens are opiates of the masses. We practice 24/7 mindfulness. (0 points)
5. How would you describe your family’s sleeping arrangements?
• Free for all. Much like David Sedaris’s family, we morph into a pack of house cats after dark. (2 points)
• Co-sleeping is permitted, but only on weekends. (1 point)
• We sleep in our beds, and the children sleep in theirs. We all go to bed by 9:30 and wake up with the rising sun. We do not believe in or need alarms clocks or caffeine. (0 points)
6. What kind of music do you allow your children to listen to?
• My 5-year-old knows all the words to “Hotline Bling.” (2 points)
• Only children’s songs and Adele. (1 point)
• Only classical music and Coldplay. (0 points)
7. What are you serving your 4-year-old for dinner tonight?
• Character-shaped mac and cheese, yogurt and a grape. (2 points)
• Whatever I eat. (1 point)
• Whatever organic, locally sourced food my chef prepares. (0 points)
8. If your child drops food on the floor or ground, how long can it stay there and still be eaten later?
• Unlimited—unless a dog or small woodland creature gets to it first. (2 points)
• 5-Second Rule FTW. (1 point)
• My child doesn’t drop food on the floor or ground. (0 points)
9. What parenting style do you follow?
• What’s a parenting style? (2 points)
• Survive and Advance. (1 point)
10. How often do you compare yourself to other parents?
• Never. (10 points)
• Only occasionally, just enough to stay motivated. (1 point)
• Other parents compare themselves to me. (0 points)
≥ 15: Congratulations! You’re doing great! You have officially mastered parenting and are the envy of your peers!
5 to 14: Keep up the good work. You’re not the best parent, but the good news is, you’re not the worst either. You are solidly mediocre. But just to be safe, set aside a little extra money for future psychotherapy for you and your children.
< 5: Hopeless. Everyone hates you, including your children. Plus, you’re a liar. Just do us all a favor and give up now.