Sometimes you pick up parenting wisdom from a book. Sometimes you pick it up from a class. But sometimes you just have to get it where you can. And on Super Bowl weekend, it may as well be the commercials. Here are the tips we’ve picked up so far.
Don’t knock their weird fantasies
If Mommy can drool over that mythically hot Old Spice man who can leap from the shower to horseback, you can entertain a kid’s 10-minute yarn about a dragon who makes waffles.
They’re only playing dumb.
This commercial takes literally one second to get its message across. And the message is clear. There is no doubting what the message is. If your kids say they don’t understand “go to bed,” they’re lying. You gave them the luxury of three whole words.
White lies are A-OK
This Darth Vader kid did not just open the trunk of this car using the Force. But let him keep his sense of wonder out in the driveway. It’s either that or he comes inside and plays Candy Crush for the next 6 hours.
Mean Joe Green was totally mean, until a little kid unlocked his niceness with a Coke. Something out there will break your kid’s 15-minute tantrum over Milk Duds. You will find that thing. Do not give up.
Sometimes kids need to break rules.
Pushing boundaries is a part of being a kid. It’s also a key part of being awesome and changing the world. Just look at this person running indoors. You’re not supposed to run indoors … unless you’re saving the planet from tyranny.
He’s not always amazing.
So your 6-year-old snowflake wants to go to Disneyland at 3 o’clock on a Friday. Not every idea is a good idea. Just ask the people who bred a Doberman with a Chihuahua in this Audi commercial.
Sibling rivalry is just gonna happen so let it happen.
Look: If two Dalmatians are still trying to one-up each other after years of separation, as they are in this Bud commercial, then sibling rivalry is clearly buried deep in our primordial mammal DNA and nothing is going to stop your kids from fighting. Just separate them and go find a beer.
Forgive yourself for losing it.
So you chewed out your 9-year-old a little too harshly for lighting the curtains on fire. He will survive. Just ask the hardy folk in this office here.
Remember: They’re trying.
This poor guy is just trying to make his girlfriend happy. He is not trying to kill his cat. Just remember that next time the kids turn the kitchen into a tomato-soaked hellscape; they just wanted to make you a pizza for chrissakes.
Force them to fly.
You may hate that your baby wants to go to college or get a job hundreds of miles away, but it’s better than having a 25-year-old still living at home, reliving his high school years over and over. It could happen. Just ask Matthew Broderick.