We are all mad here. At Offshoot, we meant. So when we think of parenting tips, we think “parenting tips – ah, that’s easy stuff!” After all, we’ve managed to become parents (without any tips, ahem!)
So we decided to do a fun countdown of the ten things we should teach our kids (what they will learn is only up to them! Honestly, in our experience, we have been taught more by them than we have been able to teach!)
Life: Teach them to live. And not just exist. Even non-living things exist! (We checked the dictionary before writing this one – exist also means to occur or to be found!) And as we write this, the team has already decided what each one wants to exist as. And we already have a frying pan, a remote control, a flying saucer, a hot-air balloon…
Chance. Always tell them that this isn’t the last time. And this isn’t the last chance. There will always be a next time. And there will always be a next chance. For example: the gorgeous guy said no? Excellent! Tell them they will find one with a better dressing sense – his was more of a dreading sense! A failed test – take care of the rest!
Respect. Not only for family and friends, but for everyone else. That dog that barks at them like a dog possessed. (Fear). That table that always decides to come in their way and hurt their little toe. (Anger). That gardener who loves his flowers more than anything else. (Want.). That tall girl in the basketball court. (Jealousy). That cute boy who said no. (Rejection). Respect for all these living and non-living things who teach them their most important emotions. First hand.
Punctuality. They need to be there on time. Say it is a test. Whether they pass or they fail, that’s immaterial. What’s important is that they are there. And on time. An exam. A date. A meeting. Anywhere. They need to be on time. Respecting their time and that of others’.
Battles. Well, they need to pick up their own battles. You aren’t the bouncer (and if they think you are, it’s high time you start watching your weight – and throwing it around too!) And while you teach them to do so, also tell them how important it is that these battles are not picked up with siblings – and that too on a regular basis! (Well some things are life-long wars!)
Fun. Teach them to have fun. Always. And in all ways. Tell them that they need to find fun in whatever they do – sports, studies and even boyfriend/girlfriend! What’s life without a bit of fun, eh?
Honesty. Well, and how do we teach that? By being cool. Sonny’s crazy like a fool: you need to be parents cool (long live Boney M!). Cheated in an exam; tried a joint; the first can of beer; the first kiss – bring it on, baby. We’ve all been there and done that. And let them know that. Some things are learnt best by experience (and not by others’ experiences). And while kids are busy exploring, sit back and chill! With a good book (check out our website www.offshootbooks.com: we make really fun books that will keep you glued and mostly in splits!), a hot cup of coffee (or tea or whatever else) and some good music – may we suggest Boney M?
Humor. Life is a tumor without humor. (Ouch! That was so bad!) Okay, let’s settle with this one: no one ever heard the rumor, that spite was better than humor! (This sounds so much better!) And we at Offshoot follow this as our life’s mantra. With our kids (and also our team members, who are no better off than kids – check point 6, the last bit) and everyone else!
Patience. It will come. The Xbox. The MacBook Air. The Samsung 8. The triple sensor watch… Barring these, everything else, we meant. If not today, tomorrow. Or day after, or the month after, or a couple of years down the line. Or 2050. But it will come. The time will come.
And the last tip is for you. You the parent. You the hero. Don’t whine. Just wine. Or whiskey. Or vodka. Or tequila. Or beer. It’s your pick. And we just read today that people who drink live longer than the people who don’t! (Ain’t that obvious – any kind of a high adds moments of laughter and fun!)
Cheers to being high on life and high on our kids! Long live wine. And long live our kids!