I am a parenting editor and a mom. This means that all day, every day, I read about how to raise better children, and then go home and mess with my own. You know, it's all fun and games until the therapy bill arrives! In full acknowledgment of how little my advice will help any parent out there, I've decided to stick to letting the wonderful experts on this site tell you what to do, and give you this handy guide on what to DON'T:
1. DON'T ask, "Why did you do that?" Why did you bite that boy? Why did you hit your sister? Why is there spaghetti in your ear? Why am I asking you a question you can't possibly answer in any way that will make me feel better? Oh yes, because it's easier than accepting the idea that I am in charge of a tiny lunatic.
2. DON'T be surprised by the number of things that can end up in your toilet. This includes shoes, spatulas, cell phones, small animals, keys, and a whole eggplant that looks an awful lot like a human head to your middle-of-the-night eyes.
3. DON'T be surprised by the number of things that can NOT end up in your toilet.Number two, for example, can occasionally end up in your purse.
Related: 10 things you should NEVER say to your toddler
4. DON'T assume that repeating directions increases their likelihood of being followed. DON'T assume that repeating directions increases their likelihood of being followed
5. DON'T over-explain adult situations. "Sorry, honey. Mommy is just in a bad mood because she doesn't understand why she chose to make a living on the Internets. And taking out a second mortgage to fund your preschool appears not to have been the prudent thing to do. And wow, your sitter is expensive! That noise? Oh, that's just Daddy weeping through the wall."
6. DON'T say, "Let's wash your hair!" This is akin to saying, "Let's put this large needle in your eyeball." If you really feel like you have to warn your toddler about the upcoming sudsing, consider something relatively benign and tangentially related, like, "Let's put this large needle in your eyeball."
Related: 7 things toddlers don't actually need
7. DON'T wear a short skirt to a toddler birthday party. You know that fantasy you have about being unintentionally violated by giddy elves? Yeah, me neither.
8. DON'T let a boy shorter than the toilet try to pee standing up. Too late for that? Try not yelling helpful tips like, "Point your penis up!" Too late for that? Wipe your chin.
9. DON'T ask if your toddler if he wants to do something you need him to do. This includes Do You Want To Wear A Jacket? Do You Want To Eat Something? Do You Want To Hug Grandma? Do You Want To Wash Your Hair? and Do You Want to Keep Me From Running Out The Door To Jamaica?
10. DON'T try to catch vomit in your hands. A) It doesn't work. B) You don't get points for trying. C) You get vomit in your hands.
- Mira Jacob