The Sport of Parent ShamingAllana Harkin
Welcome! Interested in Parent Shaming? Fantastic! Let’s get started! Hurray.
Like any sport Parent Shaming takes practice so we’d like to suggest you start by taking it slow. Okay, slow-ish. If you jump in too quickly you may be taken out of the game for being too brash. And that is no fun! We want you to say IN the game and have a huge impact. Let’s do this!
It’s an easy step-by-step process. Anyone can do it! Did we mention it’s FREE? You may be thinking, well surely I at least need to be a parent myself? NO. Isn’t that amazing? Parent Shaming is open to everyone: Perhaps, making it the fairest game out there! In fact, you don’t even need to be YOU to play the game. You can be Anonymous. Just remember that anonymous doesn’t get you as much respect as a gender neutral name. This can or may not be important depending on your mood.
To get started you need a Parent Shaming toolkit. Can you buy it at Wallmart? No, unfortunately you can’t. Wouldn’t that be so much easier? ha ha ha. But seriously, this is where we’re going to ask you to get tough on yourself. To reach down deep. Let’s GET REAL. Think of that time in your life when you knew you were right and everyone else was wrong. Close your eyes, light a candle, THINK. Imagine that thought to be a brownish light. It doesn’t matter how bright the brown light is. It could be dark brown, light brown, banana-ish brown, multi-brown colored, marble brown, black/brown. But it’s brown, we know that. Now imagine you have a net. Capture the brown light, like you would capture a butterfly before pinning it alive to a plank of wood. Got it? Great. Now put the brown light in your mouth. Keep your eyes closed until your mouth is completely full. Bursting. Imagine your head to look like a glowing orb. Of brown. Isn’t it amazing?
When you’re ready open your eyes. How do you feel? If you don’t feel 100% right then you’re not ready. We’re sorry, we never said this was going to be easy! You may be thinking okay, hold on, I feel other things too like a lack of empathy thrown in with a dash of ignorance and a sprinkle of arrogance. WHAT IS HAPPENING?! Don’t panic! Put those feelings in your imaginary fanny pack (or bum bag for the Brits out there). Like a boy scout never leaves the house without his swiss army knife, a trained Parent Shamer needs armor to protect themselves from potential push back. The better you become at Parent Shaming the larger your bum bag will be. Eventually you’ll be caring around so much imaginary luggage full of know-it-all-ness and arrogance you’ll have to start working out! Can you imagine?
Now that you have a giant brown glowing head and fanny pack full of knives it’s time to head to your computer! But wait. How legit are you? What have you done? Does it matter? Not really. But if you sound like you’ve done a lot of things it’s going to help your Parent Shaming cause. Maybe you’ve traveled the world and spent some days reindeer herding with Sami people? Use this! It makes you sound like you know stuff and it will back up your thesis that Europeans make crappy parents. It could go viral. And then people will not only feel bad that their child watches too much TV but they’ll also feel bad that they’ve never herded reindeer. DOUBLE WIN.
A cautionary note for non-parents who want to shame. Do not start your post/blog/article/tweet or FB status with… “I’m not a parent but -“. You’re just asking for it. Launch into your educated opinion with confidence. Parents have so much to learn from you. Think about that mother whose life will be changed by your harsh words. Sure, she might have thought she was happy and fulfilled with a great life/job/outlook on life until she read your opinion piece on how her son is going to grow up to be a non-empathetic psychopath because she wasn’t wearing him 24-7 but she needed to hear it! You were once somewhere where you saw this happen and that makes it true. In fact do not wait until you get to hide behind an anonymous computer screen. Next time you see a parent pushing a stroller with a screaming baby tell her to pick that baby up! Does she want her baby to grow up and burglarize a corner store?! Sheesh.
Okay, this is a lot. I know. Take a deep breath. You may be asking “But what about me?” This seems like it’s going to take a lot out of me. Fair enough. Parents and non-parents who want to shame others carry a heavy burden on their backs. Let’s link it to your globe of light and call it the brown burden. Sometimes it’s just too much. In those cases, when you truly need a break, you can do one of two things. Sit in a public place like a park with a book or something that brings you joy, be it a bag of nails or a croissant and just shake your head at other people. And during those times when you are alone, try and stew in all your knowingness and let it effect your central nervous system.
Just like any professional athlete who is master at his or her (mostly his, let’s be honest here) sport you’re going to experience people who are not on your side. This is not your fault. In fact nothing is your fault. It’s fair to say any issues you’re dealing with today can be 100% blamed on your mother. Phew! Good to know you don’t have to get involved in all that! Yikes.
The positive side effects of Parent Shaming* are mountainous. In fact there are so many that it’s even hard to come up with just ONE! But remember, everyone thinks a furrowed brow just means you’re smart with a possible PhD in…something.
Good Luck! Start shaming!
Your friend for now,
* It is highly recommended for those new to parent shaming to never to engage with the following people: Oprah, Ghandi, Deepak Chopra, Jesus, Maya Angelou, Inspirational quotes, people who unconditionally love you, Brene Brown (new, but dangerous), Raffi,Yoko Ono on a good day, Picnicking families, individuals who have just booked vacations, the Dalai Lama, Justin Timberlake before an appearanceon SNL, Your neighbour who makes a good pie and women in labour (don’t even go there).
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