Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Revisions to Buzzfeed's "28 Genius Hacks Every Lazy Parent Needs To Know"

There’s a Buzzfeed article on “28 Genius Hacks Every Lazy Parent Needs To Know” that’s taking its course through social media right now. I know because my husband asked me if I had seen it. Even though nobody asked me what I thought about the article, I’m going to let you know anyway (You’re welcome!). Why? Well, for some of these hacks, I can give you even lazier hacks. Most importantly, however, one of the hacks is a terrible fucking idea that could result in your child dying, and some others are bad ideas for the long-term development of your kids. In fact, the real reason I’m writing this blog is to make sure you NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DO THE FOLLOWING…


Buzzfeed's #4 “hack” made me 100% positive that the person who wrote this has never been in charge of keeping an infant alive. The first thing the kid is going to do is pick those fucking Band-Aids off the outlet. Then, the kid is going to play with the outlet. If the kid is my son, he will try to lick the outlet. Also, do not “hack” around getting actual outlet covers by putting any other tape-like material over the outlet. Kids will just keep picking until it comes off. There is no hack for outlets. Go to the goddamn store and buy outlet covers or replace all of your outlets with tamper-proof outlets. Never take a lazy hack approach to your child’s access to electrical outlets.

2. Buzzfeed’s #6 hack is to cut your kid’s pancake with a pizza cutter. My lazier hack is to just give your kid the fecking pancake. If your kid is old enough to eat pancakes, your kid can eat the pancake in a way that is developmentally appropriate. Specifically, if you give your infant a pancake, the babe can use his or her hands. If you want your toddler or preschooler to practice using utensils, give the kid a plastic knife and fork. If your pancakes are too chewy to eat without using a real knife, stop making your family eat your gross pancakes. Most importantly, this pizza cutter hack could result in your child refusing to eat pancakes unless you cut it up like pizza. You do not want this “quirk” to develop; you want to foster your child’s independence and adaptability. Cutting up your kids’ pancakes with a pizza cutter does not accomplish this task.

3. Buzzfeed’s #12 hack is to leave your kids at home while you shoe shop for them with an outline of their feet. #SorryNotSorry: I can’t support “hacks” that leave your child side-lined from daily life. You’re also probably going to buy the wrong-sized shoes. I totally empathize that taking kids out in public is a lot like taking animals in public, but if you do not take the animals kids in public, you are not socializing them, which is crucial for making sure your kids eventually stop acting like wild animals and start acting like modern humans. My unsolicited advice is to take your kids with you to as many things as your mental health can accommodate. If shoe-shopping is where you draw the line, fine, but maybe you should see a therapist and get your family into counseling because that’s a weird line to draw, which screams to me that there are other deeper issues that need to be addressed.

4.  Buzzfeed’s #14 hack is to use a lint roller to pick up glitter. My hack is to immediately impose a ban on all glitter products in the house. Let them play with glitter at the sitter’s or daycare or school. Tell them you’re allergic to glitter. Wait, what….lie to my kids? Yes. Have you ever tried to clean up glitter? Lie to them. You start to tear up anytime there’s glitter introduced into the house anyway—you may as well pretend it’s because you’re allergic.

5. Buzzfeed’s #15 hack is to use a straw to remove a strawberry’s stem. My hack: leave the stem on your strawberries. Let your kids learn to eat around the stem if they think they’re gross.

6. Buzzfeed hack #19 suggests that you can punish your kids without having to listen to them whine by taking away their chargers instead of taking away their electronics. This hack leaves me absolutely confused. Your kids are still going to bitch and moan that you took their chargers. They aren’t going to have a look of growing fear in their eyes as their charger dies—they’re going to figure out how to get another charger, thus hacking around your “hack.” I get that disciplining your children sucks really hard, but there is no hack around it. Set a firm limit, state the consequences for crossing the line, follow through. The hack seems to be about preventing your kids from acting like assholes when you follow through with your established consequences. There is no hack for this. In fact, your kids’ emotional reactions to punishment are healthy and normal. There is nothing you need to do about that. If you’re feeling kind, you can recognize and empathize with your child’s feelings. Otherwise, their emotions are their own so let them have them. Nobody ever said that your kids are going to take punishments with a smile. They’re going to be upset, which is fine. They’ll get over it.

7. Buzzfeed hack # 24 suggests you clean toys by putting them in the dishwasher. My hack: stop washing your kids’ toys unless there is puke, blood, or poop on the toys. Washing your kids toys robs them of the opportunity to build their immune systems and prevent allergies.

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