IT’S your duty to bring your children up well, but it’s more important to make them love you more than your partner. Here’s how to make sure you’re number one.
Never say ‘no’
Boundaries are essential, but why should you have to be the killjoy who enforces them? Allow your kids to behave how the hell they like: watch 45 consecutive episodes of Hey Duggee, use their shoes as a weapon to clobber other kids over the head, etc. Your partner will be forced to step in and say ‘no’ and BOOM! Who’s the most beloved parent now?!
Avoid the tricky stuff
Come across as the fun-loving parent by slipping away whenever there’s a challenging moment in your child’s routine. Yet again you’ve got an important call/terrible headache/chronic fatigue when it’s time to order them to put on their shoes, eat their peas, have a bath, brush their teeth or go to bed. Fail as a parent and never be the bad guy!
Sweets, sweets, sweets
If there’s one thing children will do anything for, it’s sugar. They may start on fresh fruit but by the time they’re toddlers they’ll be begging like junkies for the hard stuff: sweets, cakes, M&S biscuits that are almost 100% chocolate. If you want to motivate them to do anything — from homework to loving you the most — sweets are the currency you’ll need.
Sacrifice your phone to them
If you can handle the sticky fingerprints and the odd accidental call to your ex-boyfriend, then letting your child loose with your phone will be rewarded with adoration. Obviously there will be disturbing things online that children shouldn’t see. Those will be their favourites, so let them fill their boots. You’ll treasure seeing their little faces light up over YouTube videos of bloody shark attacks and fatal car crashes.
A reliable way to avoid losing your shit with your children and mentally scarring them is to not be there. And it’s going to happen – they’re too annoying for it not to. Also by not being around you retain an aura of mystique. A few ‘deadbeat dad’ parenting techniques will make partners of both sexes way more popular because you’re not doing annoying things like stopping their teeth falling out.