My best parenting advice. EVER.
My best parenting advice. EVER.
Sam Wilson (Shawn Benjamin)
Right. I’m leaving tomorrow, so I wracked my brains all weekend to think of the absolutely BEST parenting advice I could leave behind me.

Of course, this lead to a lot of joking in my family.

“If you want your children to stop drinking milk directly from the carton, you should stop drinking it directly from the carton,” deadpanned 12-year-old Josef.

“This is true,” agreed 10-year-old Benj. “And parents should also obey screen time rules, and not surreptitiously check their iPhones during Family Movie Night.”

“At least I taught you what surreptitiously means?” I asked hopefully, feeling a little chastised.

“No, Dad did,” Benj retorted. “When you were surreptitiously pouring yourself a small ‘help-you-cook’ gin and tonic.”

“Perhaps this is something Mom doesn’t need help on,” I said crossly. “Mostly because your help sucks, sons. And yes, I know telling you that you suck means I have to put R50 in the therapy jar. But it’s worth it.”

So asking the boys was a big, fat waste of time. But the answer did dawn on me in the shower this morning, right after I figured out where the new puppy had made his toilet corner. (In the shower.)

Are you ready? It is this: Never Tempt the Parenting Goddess with Smugness; it will ALWAYS backfire on you most spectacularly.

Don’t believe me? Then try my litmus test. Go and find the person in the office with the youngest baby and tell them that your child slept through the night from day two, because of your containing love and unvarying routine. Then go home... and see what your kid did. Because, sure as midnight nappies land sunny side down, it’ll be something BAD.

And with that, dear fellow parents, I say good bye. And ask... what’s your BEST-EVER parenting advice? There’s a R250 voucher in it for one of you. Just as long as you aren’t smug.

P.S. You can still find my columns on Parent24 or at

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