Parasite Parenting: The Secret to Surviving The Beach With Kids

It’s summertime, and for many families that means a trip to the beach. Sadly, taking young kids to the beach is about as relaxing as having a cavity filled while getting a Brazilian bikini wax.

Well, last year I said “Enough is enough!” but they kept screaming anyway. So this year, I decided to put my psychology degree to good use by creating a beach environment that allows for the sneaky style of parenting I like to call “Parasite Parenting.” What is Parasite Parenting, exactly? It’s the weaseling your kids into another family’s fun, while you sit by and do nothing… but relax.

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Here’s how it’s done…

1. Sit right next to or behind a landmark (i.e. Lifeguard Stand, “Danger” sign, or one of those really obnoxious sun tents that could double as a homeless shelter in the off season). Point these out to your kids so they’ll have an easier time finding you when the host family leaves. And mark my words, they will leave when they realize what’s happening.

2. Always choose to sit near a family that is digging a hole. Whether they’re digging to China or digging a hole to drop a body in later, it doesn’t matter. It just needs to be a hole that your child will wander into and want to stay in for the long haul. However, it’s very important that the hole is being dug by the father and his children, not the mother. It’s been my experience that fathers start a hole and then become obsessed with making it bigger and bigger, deeper and deeper. They have a stick-to-it-ness that mothers don’t. I think it’s some sort of vagina-envy-but-with-a-hole thing.

If the other family gets a whiff of your shirked parental duties they’ll shut your kid out. They’ll claim it’s because they want to spend “quality time” alone with their own kids, but really they’re just pissed because you’re more clever (clever-er?) than they are. To avoid this you have to do a bit of work. But don’t worry, this can be carried out between martini refills and chapters of your Fifty Shades of Grey.

3. You should occasionally (about every 30 min) approach your child and spray sunblock on him/her while saying, “Honey, why don’t you come back to our blanket and brush up on math problems, or maybe snack on some edamame?”

4. You MUST wave to the other parents at least once, shrug, and mouth the words “she loves you!” Make sure to follow it with a look that says “Yikes, I’m so sorry.”

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5. Drop off crackers, gum, juice boxes, shovels, and buckets at the edge of the hole – basically help your kids set up shop so that they have no reason to come back before the sun goes down. On your way back to your chair say to the dad “Great Job! I’ll be over here on my iPhone looking up Guinnessworldrecords.com for the deepest beach hole. I’ll let you know what I find. Though the internet has been really slow today. Weird.”

By following the above steps you should be able to read a book, play UNO, get a tan, or brush up on your bartending skills, all with little interruption. Have fun!

About the writer

Kim is a SAHM who spends her days trying to outwit her children, and her evenings sipping wine in her king sized bed while offering bad advice, ridiculous tips, and embarrassing family stories on her blog, One Classy Motha!  You can also find her posting inappropriate things on Pinterest and Twitter @mothakim ...but she usually keeps it classy for Facebook (her mother "Friended" her).

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carol 5 months ago

Not wanting to be a wet blanket (or, in this instance, sandy towel), but just an FYI, digging holes in the sand can be dangerous and deadly. Sometimes the sides of a large hole can collapse, without any warning, burying the ‘occupant’. I live in CA… plenty of beaches, plenty of sand, and there have been instances of people DYING after being smothered by sand. I realize this was a humorous article and not meant to be taken at face value, but everyone does need to know about this danger. Also, if your children dig any type of hole, they should fill it in when leaving. People have broken bones from falling into an unseen hole, especially if they are walking or running on the beach at night. Not trying to be Debbie Downer, just passing the info along. :)

MrsL 5 months ago

I agree Misty. The alcohol laws here are really tough and there isn’t much in the way of public transit options to get to the beach without having to spend hours on a hot, crowded bus. None of the decent beaches are that transit accessible.
This post hit a bit of a nerve with me too because I spent pretty much my entire life from the time I was in my tweens to my mid twenties being stuck looking after other people’s kids. Family dinners would involve everyone else having a great time and me being stuck giving airplane rides to my little cousins because they “just liked me so much”. Being forced to constantly parent other people’s kids constantly made me rethink my stance on motherhood for myself. When I met DH and found out that he couldn’t give me children without medical intervention I decided that I’d be ok with having raised other people’s kids. (By this I mean spending more than half of the nights any given week babysitting while the neighbour went out drinking, having a crib in my bedroom for the kids who were at our place during nap time, and being refered to as mom by kids who saw me more than they saw their actual moms.) Don’t get me wrong – I like kids. But I’d prefer to not have people handing their kids over to me so that they can have fun while I work.
I get that this post was all in good fun and that the author wouldn’t actually do this but the sheer volume of “OMG I’m totally going to do this” comments make me wonder how many people are actually going to do this.

Angela Taber Neihoff 1 year ago

yep they proberly know its a joke but some ppl have such a negative outlook on everything they would never admit it was funny

Ricki Snow 1 year ago

Lot of info in that one about sink holes. Also the one with all the ideas about surviving on the beach, some were pretty funny! Some good!!

Diana Murdock 1 year ago

Love ot

Allison Bendig Gallaher 1 year ago

We once had a dad and kid encroach on our sand-city we were building and jump right in.
After an hour of wishing they’d just leave, he actually asked us what hotel and what room number we were staying in. o.0
“Oh boy. Look at the time. We gotta get to dinner soon. Bye!”

Amber Turner 1 year ago

Always someone who doesn’t get the joke.. lol! Watch out for those sinkholes!! :p

Karen Buck 1 year ago

It’s just for our amusement! Can’t you just enjoy the articles?!

Raven Queen 1 year ago

how the fuck is it scary

Amber Hotelling 1 year ago

This is pretty funny. I live very near the beach in SC and I see this happen for real! Lol!

I would ask this though – PLEASE FILL IN THE HOLES! Holes on the beach are a major hazard to sea turtles. And of course take your trash with you.

Raelene Del Rio 1 year ago

This is the stupidest shit (advice??? ) ive ever read. Way to make YOUR kids someone elses problem :/ and when ur kids think back to all those “fun” trips to the beach they wont remember MOM at all…..ass clown

Ricki Snow 1 year ago

Love it!!

Leslie Hawa 1 year ago

Lol- Excellent!!

Cheryl Taylor 1 year ago

Really funny –

FannyTheNanny 1 year ago

Word! This is NOT cool.

FannyTheNanny 1 year ago

As a full-time nanny who has had MANY parents (or OTHER nannies!) at the playground, beach , etc…mistake my enthusiasm for my charges as a willingness to look after more children, I am not fooled by this act. If you tried to off-load your kids on me, I would do as I have done many times: politely ferry them back over to you and request my standard rate of $15/hr to continue babysitting your child. I will continue this practice when I have kids of my own as well.

Lisa Self 1 year ago

Good thing my beach trip is going to be at a adult only resort… I know the secret now, lol!

Elisha Burgwinkle Hamburger 1 year ago

& really people, settle! It’s funny and it’s a joke!!!!

Alysha Boileau 1 year ago

My husband is THAT hole digger. It’s on him to watch any children who decide to help. Whether they dig the hole or “help” by filling it. Because I’m busy trying to relax 😛

Amanda Robison Siefring 1 year ago

Wish I had seen this one week ago. We just got back from the beach and I am wiped. Hilarious read.

Mark Walker 1 year ago

Having been a beach life guard many moons ago, I would also give this piece of advice: if, God forbid, you lose your child at the beach, start looking for them in the direction the wind is blowing. Children will follow the path of least resistance when looking for mom and dad.

Stephanie@themadchatters.com 1 year ago

You are officially a genius!!! I will never again look at our yearly trip to Orange Beach the same. I need a vacation after my vacation normally.

Kay Livesay-Flint 1 year ago

Lol!

Andrea Thompson 1 year ago

Hahaha hilarious.

Dorothy Marie 1 year ago

I love the vagina envy!

Katie Barzizza 1 year ago

Why didn’t I think of these?

One classy motha 1 year ago

I can’t believe no one’s addressed the REAL issue here! According to a poorly funded study out of my friend’s basement, every year 1.25 people injure their funny bone through the insidious “Laughing Until It Hurts” syndrome…or L.U.I.H. I find it deplorable that this author would encourage such a dangerous disorder through her use of disgusting satire! Where is her sense of moral responsibilty? Does she not care about humanity? Has she never heard of “It Takes a Village”? No Ma’am, I will NOT laugh at this story, I have a funny bone to protect!

Aga Lutolans 1 year ago

Love it! Ready For a trip to the beach tomorrow!!!! :)

Ashley Safstrom 1 year ago

I hate when people fucking do this to me. I don’t want to watch your kid. Really, I don’t. There is a giant body of water in front of us, and I am not going to be responsible for keeping your kid out of it. Recently, a dad left his daughter with me for over 2 hours. One hour longer than I even wanted to be there and he wasn’t even watching her because I couldn’t find him anywhere. Do not do this to people.

Vanessa Matos 1 year ago

This is so true, twice this week I noticed people just left their kids with my husband while he was digging a hole! I told him he was babysitting… Loll

Melissa Maiorana 1 year ago

I swear this just happened to me. Lmao.

Deanna Jo Wiley 1 year ago

This is too funny.

Meagan Durbin 1 year ago

Shit I take this as serious parental advise.

Tina Irvine 1 year ago

This is genius. I want a donor family. Anyone want to go to the beach with me??

Sarah Stubblefield Allred 1 year ago

This really is funny, I had no idea there was a science to this! We are the family that always attracts the other kids … which is fine but I wouldn’t mind sharing in the peace some as as well.

Angie 1 year ago

OH MY GOODNESS!?! Is this how we end up with so many extra kids at the beach?! Thank you for the head’s up!! LOL!

Julie Wiener-Martinez 1 year ago

Hilarious!!!

Ingrid Walerius 1 year ago

Hahahaah!!! So funny and brilliant!

Corey Bopp Slattery 1 year ago

I think I’ve been a victim of this strategy! 😉
Gonna have to take some tips from this mom!

Corey Bopp Slattery 1 year ago

I think I’ve been the recipient of this kind of parent!

Kim Cameron 1 year ago

My kids do this all the time. It drives me nuts! I’m the mom that wants my kids to stay close and they always wander off to find “friends” to play with.

Liz 1 year ago

You are an evil genius!

Jamie Lyle 1 year ago

Brilliant! And what makes it even better–for me–is that we have 5 kids. Woot! Sorry future surrogate beach parents! Lol

Jenny Long 1 year ago

I LOVE when my kids make friends at the beach. I’ll happily watch someone else’s kids if it means mine are occupied and not asking every 10 minutes “when are we going to the poooooool?” Our kids and 2 little girls were playing in a tidal pool for hours and the girls mom kept coming by “are you SURE you’re ok with them over here?” OMG, finally the kids are entertaining themselves and actually having fun!

Crystal Salas 1 year ago

#4 is hilarious!

Victoria Valderrama 1 year ago

Love the busy looking up on guiness book for worlds largest beach hole!!! Lol

Christy Rhoads 1 year ago

Too funny!!

Joyce Livaniou Tzavellas 1 year ago

Hilarious!

kim 1 year ago

I have 3 children and live near the beach, so I’ve become an expert at packing for the beach (shovel for each one + some, lots of buckets, lots of snacks). We have become a magnet for other children on the beach, and the parents are only half-heartedly trying to keep their kids away. It’s ok though – the more the merrier.

Emily Smaczniak 1 year ago

Haha!!

Jennifer Anne Weedon 1 year ago

Genius.

Tut TheSphynx 1 year ago

Funny!

Leila Boukarim 1 year ago

This is hilarious! Number 4 made me laugh till I cried. And yes, the dads get so obsessed with hole digging at the beach they keep doing it long after their kids have lost interest. In fact it just looks like they’ve forgotten where they are and that they even have kids. It’s bizarre.

Mercedes 2 years ago

Thank goodness I live here, then. Sounds like B.C is really trying to crack down on impaired driving, but honestly, I doubt that’s the way to do it. Whatever, not my issue :) I can drink wine and safely bring my son home no problem!! (also, haven’t you ever heard of going on a bus?? That’s how we get to the beach, then when it’s time to go, I don’t have to worry, even if we stopped for dinner and had some wine… food for thought.)

Misty 2 years ago

I livr in BC. And yes that os ybe law here. It came into effect a couple years ago. Zero alcohol. Zero tolerance. My cousin is fighting a DUI charge and he hadn’t even drank anything. He was ybe designated driver. But tbe police saw him driving away from a pub. I can assure you if you got pulled over aftet having a glassnof wine here, you would have problems.

Mercedes 2 years ago

Indeed. She’s making us all look bad.

Mercedes 2 years ago

My issue is not with your opinion, you are more than entitled to it, my issue is with this statement “this is only funny if you are a crappy parent. Talk bout neglectful”. This is a judgmental statement, that is completely uncalled for. As for the laws in Canada, don’t try to bullshit people, it applies to young drivers 25 and younger. For everyone else, the legal blood alcohol limit is .08, but by your logic, I could be arrested and lose my son for having a glass of wine with dinner and driving him home… which is ridiculous. I’m curious to know where in Canada you live, so that I can avoid it like the plague, considering you seem to have such strict laws that no one else in Canada is subjected to. I live in Toronto.

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One Funny Motha 2 years ago

I can’t imagine why anyone would prefer the company of margaritas to the company of their own children. They may be pesky, whiny, loud and boisterous little tikes and you may spend every waking moment of your life w/ them, but that’s what life’s all about. Wait a minute, I’m gonna need a margarita to cope w/ this little realization.

Vicky 2 years ago

Don’t forget to do the sweet smile and shoulder shrug that says, “Sorry, is this OK?” and then break eye contact with a sudden “phone call” before she can answer.
Works every time, baby.
Vicky

Carole 2 years ago

To clarify, Canadian Mom’s usually have a great sense of humour.
How could we not when a moose just walks into a Safeway and goes foraging in the produce section?

Not sure which part of Canada Misty hails from but I really need to know now so that I can avoid visiting that province in the future…

Shay 2 years ago

“Maxi Christmas and an absorbent New Year!” OMG, Kim, you are TOO MUCH!! I laughed out loud–and I’m not just saying that. It was a literal laugh out loud!

Michele C. 2 years ago

dying. this is awesome. And a tactic I *must* remember for next week 😉

The Next Step 2 years ago

Dammit! I’ve fallen victim to this MANY times! Now I need to commit your words to memory so I can turn the tables on some other poor suspecting family.
That is – if I ever acquiesce to a beach vacation. I hate the beach. But your version sounds appealing! (and I have TWO great coolers)

One Classy Motha 2 years ago

Amen!

One Classy Motha 2 years ago

What’s wrong with the tampon Christmas tree?
“Maxi Christmas and an absorbent New Year!”

Kim 2 years ago

If anyone is disgusted by this post, they certainly want to avoid reading how you flatten chicken breasts with your car tires. Or how you clean all the kid crap left in that car with a leaf blower. And forget a about the tampon Christmas tree.

Amy – Funny is Family 2 years ago

I was reading this and laughing because it’s obviously a shit ton of funny, but the end made me sad. Even though I didn’t know it had a name, I love me some parasite parenting, but my drink ALWAYS gets warm hours too soon. Rookie move.

One Classy Motha 2 years ago

I now understand why you became emotional. Thank you.
Wow, Canada is strict regarding humorous blog posts.
Don’t worry though, I’d only have one margarita and my husband would be doing the driving.

gracenikki 2 years ago

LOVE IT!

Frammitz 2 years ago

Oh no! I just got back from a week at the beach. I really could have used this information!

Misty 2 years ago

well, first of all, this was on my facebook wall. obviously I was curious. Im not a stick in the mud. And where I live, alcohol on the beach would land you in jail. So perhaps we just lead very different lives in different areas of the world, and we see things very differently. when I was a child, my mother mde alcohol a priority rather than spending time with me. So it might just hit a sore spot too. Where I live, people call the police if there is alcohol in any public place, nevermind a mother at the beach with her children who needs to drive them home after partaking in the consumption. It would be a call to child protection. again, where I live, if you are pulled over and have drinken ANY alcohol your vehicle gets impounded and you’re hauled off to jail cells, and if there are children in the vehicle, they are then put into foster care and good luck getting them back. so you can see how our societies in general differ. I live in Canada, and if a mother here wrote this, it would quickly come into question her parenting abilities, and she would have the ministry of child protection involved.

Amy Florez 2 years ago

This is the best advice I’ve received since this smothering hot summer began. You see, I live at the beach so we go almost every weekend and it blows. I have a 2 1/2 yr old leach and 2 pre-teen stepdaughters. Enough said. You’re the best. I’ll put this into action this weekend. Thanks again!

Lindsey 2 years ago

Oh this is too funny! And I learned that I was a victim of just such a plot! I didn’t mind though, the ocean scares the crap out of me so I’d rather be digging a hole with my sons and that random curly haired little girl with the mother tanning by the guard tower… Well played other mother, well played.

One Classy Motha 2 years ago

Misty,

I’m so sorry to hear that you were disgusted this morning, nothing curdles coffee creamer quicker than disgust!

I just want you to know that my post was meant to be a humorous exaggeration…but not entirely untrue, I do love a quiet margarita on the beach while my child frolic in the sand with other children.

I want to assure you that I do enjoy spending time with my kids. In fact, I host “Camp Cheapo” in the summer. My kids invite their friends and we spend ALL week do messy, crazy, outdoor activities in our backyard. And surprisingly, this involves zero alcohol on my part. It’s the best (and most exhausting) week ever!  

And then we all need a break from each other. 

I would normally suggest that you go to my site and read about Camp Cheapo, but I’m guessing pretty much everything else I’ve written would piss you off.

Thanks for your comment!

C Love 2 years ago

That was funny!! But I love taking my kids to the beach and being someone with ADD I can’t sit still for very long anyways. I’m usually the one that is digging the holes, building sandcastles/giant sand turtles(yes I did that) and Dad is the one running up and down the beach with them. It’s great we have so much fun!

Allie Burdick 2 years ago

I have twins! I’m going to have to be extra clever to pull this one off but I’ll try anything once!! Thanks for the tips…:-)

Sandy 2 years ago

Thanks for making me happy I live hours away from any beach and send my kids to the tacky-yet-amazingly-useful above ground backyard swimming pool. Beaches are beautiful (but expensive) and easy is nice.

Ariana 2 years ago

Loved this! Thanks for the great tips! These beat my “always sit next to the family that has better toys than your’s does” rule.

Stephanie (www.whencrazymeetsexhaustion.com) 2 years ago

Absolutely HILARIOUS, Kim!!!!!!!!! “I said enough is enough but they kept yelling anyway!” Bahahaha!

We leave for the beach at the end of July and best believe I’m printing this bitch and putting it in the cooler next to my vodka. 😉

Anita @ Losing Austin 2 years ago

You’re a pro! I’m just a novice, but working on that.

(p.s. for Misty types- I’m 99% kidding and love the beach with my kids- sometimes I just love it more when they’re having a great time and I can watch instead of having the sand flung on me and the whining directed at me)

Mercedes 2 years ago

Need*

Mercedes 2 years ago

Misty, you have obviously missed that this is a website where we SUPPORT and RESPECT other mothers… we have enough people trying to make us feel like we’re not doing the best for our kids, why on earth would you, as a parent, hop on that bandwagon too?? Look in the recent articles and find the one Jill posted about judgy moms… I think maybe you meed a reminder of why we come here.

Misty 2 years ago

this is only funny if you are a crappy parent. Talk bout neglectful. im sorry this disgusted me. I personally live for summer at the beach and camping with my kids, that’s what being a mom is all about, if your priority is to sit and drink at the beach you have some problems

The Shitastrophy 2 years ago

OMG Hysterical! Loved the plan to go over and spray every 30 minutes just to give the look of trying. I am going to have to try this this summer when we go to visit the family in NJ. Genius.

Nate 2 years ago

Haha. This post is amazing! Good advice for keeping your margaritas cold. If you don’t have that, you do have much when your kids are being annoying. Thanks so much for this!

Brinda 2 years ago

Love it! LOL. My oldest tends to do this anyway. Now I just need a thermos. 😉

Samantha 2 years ago

Hilarious! I’m taking all of these suggestions to heart this summer! :)

Kathy at kissing the frog 2 years ago

This is great! My strategy has always been the whole, smile, shrug the shoulders, say, “Oh, is that okay if he plays over there, too?” I thought it was just me, but I guess now I’ll be on the lookout since you’ve blown the cover! 😉 Great job and congrats on your post!!

Linda @running4two 2 years ago

My little one will only be 6 months at the beach this year, but will def use these tips in years to come!

Katie O 2 years ago

Thank you dearly for your services 😉

Lisa 2 years ago

Oh No, that other family is us ! We can’t go anywhere beach/Park whithout other kids joining in with us, I have only just realised that they weren’t terrible mothers but clever ones, tut tut.

christie 2 years ago

Love it! Even better is when you have a friend on the beach that has a kid several years older than your own. That kid LOOOOVES to be “mommy’s helper” and acutally ASKS PERMISSION to watch my child. “Well, I don’t know….”, “oh, pleeeeeaaaase can I watch your 3 year old that wants to dig for sandcrabs for 9 bazillion hours and jump in the waves when the water is still 60 degrees and freezing?” “oh, okay…”

One Classy Motha 2 years ago

Thanks so much, Kristen! I’ve been over in the corner, drinking coffee and hiding from my kids. I’m glad you found me!

Kristen Mae at Abandoning Pretense 2 years ago

HOW IN THE HECK HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF YOU.

This is my kind of parenting. I’ll be going over to your blog now to add you to my feed.

I have to pee now, on account of all the laughing.

Stephanie 2 years ago

Oh, God. We’re going today. Or maybe not…

Kate 2 years ago

HEY! You’re giving away my secret strategy!!!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

HaHa!!! I at the beach on family vacay this week and I am sooooo going to try this today!

shate98 2 years ago

It’s SO much easier if you just pawn them off on a grandparent. Better yet, bring the grandparent to the beach too!

Dani Ryan 2 years ago

“No one wants to drink a warm margarita while watching another mom plead with your child to stop throwing sand in her eyes – it’s a total buzz kill.” <<– Best. Link. Ever.

This is HILARIOUS!

Thanks for the Tuesday morning laugh!!!!!

xo

Amanda 2 years ago

Hilarious!! And absolutely perfect! I don’t want my kids swimming at the beach without me, but they can certainly dig the deepest hole at the beach with another family!

Mama J-Ro 2 years ago

Awesome post! My kid always gravitates toward babies which is extra-safe considering they’re usually inside a makeshift pet corral. I’ve never thought of replacing my red Solo cup with a thermos…next on my shopping list! 😀

Cyndi 2 years ago

This is awesome. Made my day.

Linda 2 years ago

Frickin’ hilarious! Thanks for the laughs…and beach survival tips. 😉

Shay 2 years ago

Kim, you know you are one of my favorites and that I just adore you–and this post shows exactly why. Hilarious, as usual!!

Janine Huldie 2 years ago

Seriously loved this Kim and you just totally cracked me up again this morning. No words, but thank you!! :)

Lynn from For Love or Funny 2 years ago

You made me laugh out loud a number of times when I read your beach post…I just assumed moms were tired, which is why their hole-digging skills paled in comparison to dads. Now I know the truth!