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10 Things Our Familes Can Do Without

1. Goody bags at kids parties. I never understood these. Shouldn’t the reward be getting an invite and having fun? No one should have to spend extra money on the crap that goes in those bags. The only things a kid should leave a party with is a dirty shirt, a smile, and a stomach ache.

2. Made-up Graduations: Enough with all the graduations already. You have two in life: Graduation from high school and college. You do not graduate from 8th grade to 9th grade. You move up and if you don’t then you’re a “Sweathog.” End of story.

3. Participation trophies – We need to quit devaluing people’s accomplishments by rewarding kids for just showing up. If you want to give everyone a trophy when they’re 5 years old, that’s fine — if you’re still doing it after they’re 7 then you’re starting to set unreal expectations for the real world. There are winners and losers in life, and it’s good to taste both.

4. Webkins – Honestly, how many do they really need?

5. Doing everything for our kids – Make them clear the table, pick up their clothes and do some yard work. We live in houses, not hotels. Unless you’re Dylan McKay. Teaching them to take care of themselves is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.

6. Constantly eating out – When we were kids it was a huge deal to eat out — something we really looked forward to. Now, our kids expect it — and don’t appreciate it. We need to bring the magic back that came with going out to eat — from practicing manners (remember those?) to getting a milkshake the size of your head. I swear I can remember every trip we took to Coco’s when I was a kid.

7. Lunchables - Are they even food? Your kids have a better chance eating a well balanced meal at Walmart.

8. Chuck E. Cheese - It’s irritating, dirty, the pizza sucks and kids would have more fun with a killer party you put together in your backyard. Don’t go for expensive and easy, go for cheap with some elbow grease. You’ll also decrease your kid’s chances of catching something from that snot-infested ball pit that antibiotics won’t cure.

9.  DVD Players in Your Car – I’ll catch hell from a lot of my friends for this one, but we’ve taken away one of the last places families can actually talk to each other. It’s also a great place to promote reading and arguments between siblings. The only exception to this rule is a road trip — a parent needs to survive.

10. Caillou – He’s a little shit and teaches your kid to whine. Turn on Ernie and Bert for some good ol’ fashion comedy.

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