OMG Yes, Complete Stranger, I Would Love to Hear What I’m Doing Wrong as a Parent! Thank you!

This is, WOW, awesome. Here I thought I was just running into the Food Lion to pick up bananas and milk, but thanks to you, Lady I’ve Never Seen Before, I also get a detailed breakdown as to why I suck as a parent. SCORE!!!

It’s super sweet of you to tell me that children shouldn’t be treated as servants, since you happened to overhear us talking about chores. I mean, some people would say expecting children to help around the house teaches them responsibility and self-respect but I could be wrong.

If I’m lucky, in the next aisle I will be informed that today’s parents spend too much time on their phones. Bonus points if I am not actually looking at or even holding a phone. Because sometimes parents need to be reminded of how much they suck balls even if they are not doing anything obviously wrong at the moment.

I have my fingers crossed that we’ll run into someone at the checkout who can tell me children should be outside playing, not running errands with their parents. What was that? You mean to tell me when you were growing up you played outside unsupervised all day, rode your bike around the neighborhood and only returned home when the streetlights came on? That’s freaking amazing. I mean, I did that too but then this was before mass media broadcast stories almost daily about kids being abducted, trafficked and/or slaughtered.

What’s that? In your day you weren’t afraid to give your kids a good “whupping” if they acted up? COOL! Sounds great. You must have only had to do that once if it was so effective. And I’m going to guess you smoked at the dinner table and let your kid sleep in a crib coated with lead-based paint.

Yes, please, tell me I’m being overprotective by escorting my 8-year-old daughter to the restroom. I’ll be sure to ignore the other stranger who tells me it’s reckless to let my 9-year-old son stand directly outside the restroom door to wait for us. I mean, yes, kids certainly are snatched from under their parents’ noses when they are less than five feet away. Not when they are on their bikes riding around in parts unknown, though. Under those circumstances the Magical Shield of Childhood Innocence protects them.

Please tell me, as my children and I make plans to go to the park later, that they should be going on their own. Although, do be a sport and let me know if your friend/neighbor/fellow parenting expert plans on calling the cops on me if I let my children play unsupervised on my own front lawn. I want to make sure my makeup is perfect for my child endangerment mug shot.

What’s that? Your children never quarreled because just one look from you made them stop in their tracks? Amaze balls! Did they, by any chance, wait until your back was turned and then proceed to pound the crap out of each other? I seem to recall scenes like this from my own childhood but I could be wrong.

Please, please, please could you tell me more about how parents are raising a generation of whiny, overprivileged, self-centered monsters? Because if children were raised so well in the past, I’d like to know how we ended up with our current Congress.

Wait a minute, are you saying you don’t even have kids but your expertise exceeds mine? Well smack my nuts and call me Matilda. Your gifts are truly astounding.

Seriously though, this unsolicited advice really helps me up my parenting game. To have someone tell me what I’m doing wrong, especially when it is the exact opposite of what another concerned random f**kwad just told me, provides me with such clarity and insight.

If you have the time, could you please give me a vague but virulent assessment of what the “so-called experts” (i.e., men and women who study child development and have learned more in the last 30 years about how little peoples’ brains work than was previously known in the entire history of humankind) are getting wrong? Because that would just, like, make my g*d**m, f**king day.