Sticky parenting
Sticky parenting
Scott Dunlop

Hello, amazing DIY parents!

You get three kinds of parents. Prestik parents, Sellotape parents and superglue parents. A lot can be discerned from the way a parent chooses to fix the broken things in the home.

Prestik parents keep huge blobs of the stuff stuck to the side of the fridge. It gets used to fuse broken dolls or keep the crayon drawings on the walls. It’s not the easiest of materials to use since you have to work it with your hands to get it nice and tacky, and you really, really don’t want to get it in your carpet (or hair). It says that you enjoy tactile experiences and you appreciate art.

Sellotape is for patient parents. The kinds of parents who don’t mind fumbling with the ring of tape while searching for that elusive end. Generous parents who still wrap presents rather than cramming them into recycled gift bags. Organised parents who know that at all times there’s a roll of the stuff in the top, left-hand drawer in the kitchen.

Superglue parents are thrifty and wise. They know that if something can be superglued back together, there’s no need to replace it. They have to be careful with all things, especially using the glue itself which has the habit of making fingers stick together, too.

Actually, this is untrue.

We’re all fixers, using a combination of whatever works best at the time. We know how to erase tears and make scrapes and bruises a little less sore. We may not be able to unburst a balloon, but we can put a smile where a sob was.

It doesn’t really matter what you use to fix things. Some parents use humour, some use affection and some use encouragement to help their kids to overcome. 

We know that it’s hard to find the end of the roll of tape but we do it anyway because otherwise the gifts won’t get wrapped. We know that the artwork can’t get stuck on the fridge without risking a bit of sticky putty on your favourite shirt. We know that in order to get that broken thing to be useful again we may lose our fingerprints to glue-related incidents, but we also know that that’s part of the deal.

Somewhere along the line we teach our children to become fixers, too. They also make mistakes, but then the expression on their faces when they put something back together is priceless.

Hopefully, you’ll get that this isn’t just all in reference to badly-made toys, but also our emotions and our temperaments. We learn how to fix our flaws and help our kids to do the same. We do whatever it takes.

What lessons have you learned as a DIY parent? Share your stories with us at of fixing something that was broken with us and you could win a R250 voucher from

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