The parent's guide to giving up and just bribing your bastard kids

YOU once believed your kids would do what you asked without having to promise them all manner of shit first. Here’s what happens instead.

You occasionally try not to

You may periodically kid yourself that other parenting methods work. In which case, go ahead and see what happens when you try to get your teenager to dress smartly for their cousin’s wedding without promising them some AirPods first. When they’re lining up for the family photos in ripped jeans and a Call of Duty t-shirt, you’ll realise the truth.

You pretend it’s a last resort

Tell yourself you’re only bribing your children as a last resort by muttering a half-hearted ‘Carrots are healthy’ before swiftly adding ‘and if you eat them all you can have some ice cream’. They will refuse to eat the vegetables and demand the Ben & Jerry’s immediately, but what can you do? You did try.

You convince yourself it’s normal

Seek reassurance about your complete lack of parenting skills by telling yourself that other families resort to the same low tricks as you. Other toddlers do seem capable of eating a single sprig of broccoli without the promise of four straight hours of Paw Patrol as a reward, but who knows what goes on behind closed doors? Unashamed bribery, you fervently hope.

You tell yourself it’s a survival skill

Your bribery is teaching your children valuable life lessons. In the future, when they are attempting to find food in the flooded ruins of their home town after the latest climate catastrophe, they’ll need the excellent bartering skills you have instilled in them by agreeing they can eat a whole tube of Smarties if they have a bath. It will end up saving their lives.

You know they’re f**ked anyway

This is the age of social media. If you don’t mess your kids up with a bit of questionable parenting, TikTok and Instagram are going to crap all over their psyches anyway. What difference is promising they can play Playstation until midnight if they finish their maths homework going to make in the grand scheme of things? None.

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Suspiciously cheap pints and other ways Wetherspoons has you by the balls

YOU vowed never to return to one of Tim Martin’s watering holes, but here you are crawling back yet again. This is how Wetherspoons has you in a chokehold.

Suspiciously cheap pints

You’ve been to Wetherspoons loads, but every time the barman charges you little over two quid for a pint of Doom Bar you can’t help but blink in disbelief. You’d be forking out at least twice that amount in a proper pub. It’s almost cheap enough to make you forget how Tim Martin threw his employees under the bus during the pandemic.

Convenient location

You could trek to that lovely independent bar at the edge of town which isn’t owned by a blowhard gammon you swear you despise, but it’s miles away. Wetherspoons, on the other hand, is right next to the bus station, so you’re left with no choice but to go there. What else are you supposed to do, stick to your morals? Not likely.

No bullshit Sam Smith pub rules

Wetherspoons might be a bleak corporate bastardisation of real drinking houses, but at least they don’t forbid you from connecting to the wi-fi or glancing at your phone like in Sam Smith pubs. It’s just as well because nobody should be forced to confront the reality of a Wetherspoons carpet without a screen to distract them. That would go against your human rights.

It hooked you when you were young

Just like cigarettes or a pornography addiction, Wetherspoons got its claws into you when you were an impressionable teen. You may even have developed a Stockholm syndrome-style attachment if you spent every weekend of your A-levels in there drinking pitchers of Blue Lagoon. You know you should go cold turkey, but you’re also worried your body couldn’t cope without steak club Tuesdays.

They’ve killed the competition

Like a ruthless apex predator, Wetherspoons has established dominance by wiping out the competition. You aren’t really its customers, you’re the prey it has allowed to live so it can drain your money and life force like a parasite. And in return it mocks you by giving you a cold beef madras, which you dutifully shovel down because there’s no point in complaining.