The parent's guide to pressuring your child into sports they're shit at

THE whole point of having kids is to exorcise the ghosts of your own childhood failings through them. Here’s how to force them to take up sports they’ll grow to loathe as much as you did.


You harboured dreams of being the next Gazza, but you were crap at football and had the piss ripped out of you as a result. Make your child detest the beautiful game by bullying them into trying out for the school team, and then spending every Saturday morning on the touchline yelling like Roy Keane, even when it’s just a practice match.


How impressed and jealous would your friends be if your child turned out to be an Olympic medallist like Tom Daley or Rebecca Adlington? Even if your kid is petrified of water, insist on throwing them in at the deep end – literally – to force them to learn to swim. The crippling embarrassment of being rescued by the lifeguard will probably put them off, so persistence is key, even if they won’t stop crying.


If you own a detached house and an outdoor pizza oven, you’ll probably consider having a professional footballer for a child as a bit naff,. Instead, push your small, bookish child into the physical terror of rugby, despite their protestations that they don’t want to be trampled into frozen mud by bigger kids twice a week. You’ll thank me when I’m older, you say, putting an ice pack on their black eye, while they silently plan which home they’ll put you in as soon as they have the chance.


You’ve long identified with Judy Murray’s fierce determination to make her child an international success. The only unfortunate difference is that her kid had some innate natural talent on the tennis court whereas yours has all the grace of Mr Blobby after seven pints. Still, that won’t stop you trying to force her into being the next Emma Raducanu, even after she sets fire to her tennis racquet and then buries it in the garden.


There are many different disciplines within athletics, so surely your child must be good at one of them, even though he’s currently showing more interest in coding. Appointing yourself as his personal coach will save tons of cash on classes and ensure you can make him train every evening and at the weekend, which will also save him from the distraction of having friends and a life. After several months, he’ll still be shit at the javelin, and he’ll hate you too.

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Putting condoms on bananas: what passed for sex ed in the 80s and 90s

SEX education in the 80s and 90s was a mystifying process that left you more clueless than you started. Here’s how you attempted to piece together the facts of life:

The birds and the bees

Rather than explaining the process in basic, comprehensible language, why not trot out one of the most bizarre metaphors ever invented? After 40 minutes of your clearly mortified PE teacher vaguely rambling on, everyone left the classroom confused and under the impression that birds and bees secretly shag.

A visit from a priest

If you were unfortunate enough to go to a strictly religious school then you’re probably still slightly unsure about what sex actually is. Having a man who has been sworn to celibacy explain sex to you is like asking a dolphin to land a plane. They’re woefully unqualified for the job, and it’s guaranteed to end in disaster.

Putting a banana on a condom

Nothing could be designed to make teenagers more afraid of sex than seeing their science teacher unfurl a condom over a banana. When you eventually did have your first sexual experience, the mental image of Mr Blakeley brandishing about his rubbered-up lunch was more than enough to throw you off your stride.

Porn magazines

Nowadays, porn is available at the click of a button, but in the 80s and 90s teenagers had to seek it out by furtively peeping at the top shelf at the newsagents, or hope they stumbled upon it in a hedge. Unfortunately, a half-second glimpse of a penis before getting kicked out of the shop or a water-damaged picture of a vulva did not provide a realistic understanding of the biological workings of the opposite sex.

A friend’s older sibling

Hearing the almost certainly fabricated tales of going all the way from a friend’s sibling in the Upper Sixth was about as close as you’d get to learning the realities of sex. From this, you assumed that intercourse could only take place in the backseat of a Peugeot 306 in a rural lay-by, a scenario you harbour kinky fantasies about to this day.