The Really Important Chapters Missing From Parenting Manuals

by Kathryn Leehane
Originally Published: 
parenting tips
hottholler / Flickr / Creative Commons

Parenting books seem to focus on the very basic aspects of raising babies and toddlers and gloss over the really important things—like how to change a squirming child in the back of your minivan after a diaper blowout and how to deal with teenage angst and heartbreak.

I’m writing a new book with parenting tips to address all of the missing topics from the existing manuals. Here are the proposed chapters:

1. Learning to Accept that You Will Screw Up (But the Kids Will Be Fine)

2. Bottle Versus Breast: Do What Works for Your Family and Screw the Rest of Them (The Same Goes For Everything Else)

3. Cut Off the Onesie and Other Tips for Handling Bodily Fluids

4. It Won’t Always Be Like This: Getting Enough Sleep and Other Delusions

5. You Are Not Alone: Finding Your Mom BFF

6. Dealing with Unsolicited Advice: Ignore, Nod Politely, or Beat a Bitch Down?

7. Cleaning Your House With Children: Get a Dog and Lower Your Standards for the Next 18 Years

8. What Is that Smell? A Guide to Identifying Common Stenches

9. Walking: Pray It Happens Later Rather Than Sooner and Why Child Leashes Aren’t Evil

10. They’ll Eat When They Get Hungry and Other Food Strategies

11. Badges of Honor: Coming to Terms With Your New Body and Effective Camouflaging Techniques

12. It Only Gets Better: Great Sex After Baby and Other Myths

13. Raising Independent Children: Slacking Off and Other Ways to Teach Self-Reliance

14. Lock Up Your Vibrators, Store Candy in Frozen Vegetable Bags, and Other Ways to Hide the Good Stuff

15. Managing Grandparents: How to Avoid Rivalry, Excessive Spoiling, and Unrealistic Expectations

16. Screw Sorting: Put the Legos in One Giant Bin and Other Toy-Management Techniques

17. Bribes, the Illusion of Choice, and Other Strategies for Eliciting Desired Behavior

18. “Terrible Twos,” My Ass: Three Is the Worst Fucking Age (Until the Teenage Years)

19. Wait Until Your Kids Are Ready and Teach Your Boys to Sit Down When They Pee: Successful Potty Training Tips

20. Sharting: Teaching Your Children the Difference Between a Fart and a Poop

21. Managing Meltdowns: A Guide for Every Age, Including Yours

22. Waking You Up in the Middle of the Night and Other Annoying Ways Kids Express Love

23. Starting School: It Hurts You More Than It Hurts Them

24. Dentists, Doctors and Parent-Teacher Conferences: Navigating Through Your New Circles of Hell

25. It’s Illegal to Lock Them Up: Effective Discipline Strategies

26. The Friend of My Enemy Is My Friend: Using Peer Pressure to Make Your Kids Do What You Want

27. A Low Bar Is a Good Bar: Save Time, Money and Sanity by Not Encouraging Extracurricular Activities

28. The Sweet Spot of Parenting (Ages 6 to 10): Enjoy It While You Can

29. Facing the Real Parenting Horrors: Hygiene, Homework and Hormones

30. Your Daughter’s First Heartbreak Will Hurt You More Than Your Own: Getting Through It Together

31. Teenagers: Texting as Primary Communication and Other Ways to Get Along With Them

32. Thank God Facebook Wasn’t Around When We Were Kids: Managing Technology and Social Media

33. Handling Other Moms: Qualities to Look for in Friends and Mastering the Art of “Fuck Off”

34. Disguising the Humble Brag: Do Not Gloat About Your Children Because Murphy Will Bite You in the Ass

35. They Will Repeat What You Say: Rules of Swearing

Appendix: Recipes for Eating Crow: How to Cope When You Say Things You Thought You’d Never Say and Do Things You Thought You’d Never Do

I predict an international bestseller.

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