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How Lousy a Parent Are You????

No, really. Here’s the first ever foolproof way of testing how you measure up.
Created by Mark Stephenson

Add up the numbers in front of the answers for your total score.

Your 1-year-old wakes in the night crying. Do you:

1 – Rap on the wall, exhorting her to ‘get over it’

2 – Rap on your partner, suggesting s/he ‘deal with it’

3 – Arise immediately, rush into the bedroom and offer lullabies and confectionary

4 – Wait a few minutes to see if it stops before going in to check/ reassure

5 – Wake refreshed the next morning

Your 1-year-old wakes for the fourth time that night, the third night in a row. Do you:

1 – Rush into her room and threaten her with the open window

2 – Dig your partner in the ribs, reminding her/him that it was s/he who wanted another one anyway

3 – Arise immediately, rush to the computer and Google-search sleep problems while your partner checks the baby

4 – Take her into your own bed to cuddle and comfort her till she finally sleeps

5 – Wake refreshed the next morning

Your toddler throws an almighty tantrum in the supermarket. Do you:

1 – Smack him and look over your shoulder to see if anybody saw you

2 – Crouch down next to him and spend the next 30 minutes explaining the ethics of displaying anger, from a liberal rationalist, post-industrial perspective

3 – Lie next to him on the floor and validate his feelings

4 – Smack him and laugh while placing him back in the shopping trundler

5 – Actually not notice till you find him lying on the floor on your second lap of the pet food aisle.

Your toddler poos on the kitchen floor. Do you:

1 – Rub her nose in it

2 – Point it out to your partner

3 – Don surgical gown, gloves and nose peg before removing it with long handled shovel

4 – Show her the proper place – in the toilet

5 – Kick it under the stove

Your three-year-old son leaves the bathroom taps on (plug in) – the house is flooded. Do you:

1 – Call Marine Rescue

2 – Splash about, shouting and making more mess

3 – Explain to him about dangers of wet electrical wiring, rotting floorboards etc., etc., etc.,

4 – Turn off taps and remove plug

5 – Teach him to swim

Your eight-year-old daughter calls you a bastard. Do you:

1 – Call her a bastard back

2 – Explain that some words are bad and may hurt people’s feelings

3 – Check the language curriculum at school

4 – Ask her what a bastard is

5 – Notice nothing amiss

Your ten-year-old boy throws rocks at the neighbour’s cat. Do you:

1 – Return fire on the cat’s behalf

2 – Clip him round the ear

3 – Make him apologise to the neighbour and watch him squirm

4 – Show him a safe alternative target and have a competition with him

5 – Show him where to get the best rocks

Your 15-year-old daughter returns late at night with her 20-year-old boyfriend. Do you:

1 – Demonstrate to him the smooth loading action of your shotgun

2 – Shout, stamp your foot, and indicate the nearest exit

3 – Give a lecture on God, the nation and chlamydia, then finish by asking if his intentions are honourable

4 – Ask his name, invite them in for a drink and a chat around the bowl of condoms on the coffee table

5 – Retire early and tell them to switch the lights off when they go to bed

Your sixteen-year-old son returns late at night with his fourteen-year-old girlfriend. Do you:

1 – Produce the shotgun and show her how to use it

2 – Bore them about the legal age of consent till they run off to do it at her place instead

3 – Drive her home

4 – Offer a condom and tell them how to use it

5 – Say goodnight

Your nineteen-year-old son tells you his girlfriend is pregnant. Do you:

1 – Order him to ‘down trou’ while brandishing the meat cleaver

2 – Ensure he knows how stupid he is

3 – Ask ‘what happened’

4 – Ask how he feels about it, listen to his feeling and discuss his options

5 – Suggest he tell his mother


10 points – you can’t count

10-15 points – you need help: your parenting is tense and volatile. Suggestions include: anger management, valium, calming music, any meditation group that does not use firearms

16-30 points – parenting style is perfectionist (not perfect), uptight with high expectations, though you do have your child’s best interests at heart

31-44 points – parenting style is relaxed, undemanding, optimistic and fatalistic, though you do have your child’s best interests at heart

45-50 points – you need help: your parenting is so relaxed you are non-existent. Suggestions include: bone growth diet, team-building exercises, Outward Bound, NZ Army

>50 points – you can’t count.

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