It is only natural to look back to one's own childhood when you become a parent yourself. For some of us, those years are a blueprint for how we want to raise our own children. For others, the past is a map identifying booby traps and snares that need to be avoided at all costs. The luckiest, of course are we happy few who had overprotective parents because, it turns out, there are things you know about parenting if your parents were overprotective, as there are things only overprotective parents seem to know. Actually, there's only one thing overprotective parents know: everything.
As the child of overprotective parents (the first child of overprotective parents: double whammy), I learned young and often the lessons they wished to impart. The world was dangerous; I was special and needed to be shielded from the horrors; I had to be smart, and careful, and constantly on my toes; I could accomplish these things best if I listened to them at all times. For example, once, when my family went on a plane, my mother told me "If anything happens, you take your sister and run!" Where? I don't know, she was never clear on where, but I assume to, like, a second plane waiting midair or something. Or maybe just around and around in a circle? Anyway, I knew she knew what she was talking about, so I didn't question it. Now, as an adult, I know before getting on a plane to tell my kids to "run" if anything happens once we're in the air. This is valuable information we're talking about, people.
Here are some other things I now know thanks to my sheltered upbringing, which is clearly coming in handy and in no way making my kids afraid of airplanes (or anything else, for that matter).
Literally Everyone Is A Predator
Every. Single. Person. And it is a parent's duty to protect their children from them. I recommend excitedly hopping around your child at all times, randomly striking karate poses and getting in people's faces just to let them know, "I'm onto you. Back the f**k off. This is my baby and you're not going to get him!"
"The Bad Man" Is Lurking Everywhere
On top of everyone being a predator, "The Bad Man" is out there. The Bad Man is the worst of the worst. Based on the way my mom talked about him, I can only assume there is one Bad Man (since it was always the Bad Man, not a Bad Man) who is somehow literally everywhere at all hours of the day and night. He is not a metaphor: he is real, and he is always watching, waiting to strike when you're least expecting. Your karate moves cannot stop him, but your child's diligence can, so you must teach your little one to be constantly alert lest The Bad Man get them.
If A Child Does Not Call You From A Social Outing Every 30 Minutes You Need To Call Liam Neeson, Because They're In Danger
Because, really, how do you know something hasn't happened to them? Maybe they were kidnapped. Maybe they fell down a well. Maybe they're being forced to drink and smoke. You just don't know. So, you need your children to call you at regular intervals to assure you this isn't happening. Every 30 minutes should do it; every 15 would be even better, but you don't want to be paranoid. Let them spread their wings, ya know?
Field Trips Are Elaborate Tricks To Figure Out Which Parents Are Careless Enough To Give Permission For Their Child To Go Someplace Dangerous, Like A Museum Or A Play
Once the school finds which reckless parents would willingly allow their children to travel on a bus (and forward-facing!) to go see an exhibit on Monet, the principal calls all those parents into the office to have a heart-to-heart with those mothers and fathers to lecture them about making better choices to keep their precious little ones safe. Don't they know The Bad Man follows field trip buses and that the museum docent is a predator?!
PG-13 Is Just A Suggestion Because There Are Some 16 Year Olds Who Aren't Ready For Ace Ventura
The idea of a person's butt talking is just too much for some kids. You really have to make sure you've had long, meaningful discussions about what butts can and can't do before watching a scene like that. When they're ready, really ready, you'll both feel it.
Baby Leashes Aren't Embarrassing
All Food That Hasn't Been Pulverized Is A Choking Hazard
I'm pretty sure a child's esophagus is the width of a drinking straw,* and not the kind out of which you can successfully suck down a milkshake. Oh no, I'm talking the kind that come with your juice box. So merely cutting food into tiny little pieces really isn't doing anything to prevent choking. It's really best to give purees and smoothies until your child has their Masters degree, at which point you can decide if letting them cut their own food works for you and your family.
All Social Plans Must Be Set Up 2-4 Weeks In Advance
This gives you as a parent time to run background checks on the family, friends, acquaintances, and neighbors of whomever your child wishes to spend time with. You may also choose to research said friend's ancestors on a genealogy website, as you don't want your child to potentially be haunted by any malevolent ghosts. This is also a good time to administer a polygraph test on your child to ensure they are actually going to be where they say they are.
Thinking About Sex Will Get You Or Your Partner Pregnant
Because sex is the single most dangerous thing a person can do and should therefore be avoided until the age of 35, minimum. I mean, you can't be president until you're 35, and sex is way more dangerous than nuclear weapons. Ergo if you cannot be trusted with launch codes you cannot be trusted to have sex.
Consider Keeping A Toothbrush And Change Of Clothes At The Pediatrician's Office
Because you are going to be there every time your child sniffles, sneezes, or blinks in a way that you think might indicate a neurological issue.
Parents Always Know What Their Child Is Doing
Literally everything. As a parent, I'm awaiting this superpower myself. however, since I had overprotective parents who claimed to know my every move (and could usually back up that claim) I understand it's going happen for me any day now.
"Well, Maybe Your Friends' Parents Don't Love Them Like I Love You..."
Because pretty much everything overprotective parents do they do out of love, even when they're being misguided and actually insane.