7 – Thou Shall Have Flexible Principles
Your kid does not care that you’re a vegan. They want what they want and they don’t care about the ethics of farm-raised animals or fair-trade string beans. I’m not saying that you have to abandon everything you hold dear, but you do need to develop a certain level of flexibility.
Before they were born, I swore I would not let my kids watch TV. That did not work out so well. The best I can do now is limit the amount of programming we allow them to see.
Also: CHEESEBURGERS FOR ALL VEGETARIAN BABIES!!!
8 – Thou Shall Remember The Age Of Thy Children
If you’re trying to argue the merits of bedtime with a 2 year old, you’re an idiot. Remember how old your kids are and make sure that you don’t have unreasonable expectations of them. To quote Louis CK, you must ask yourself “WHY? What is to be gained?”
All too often, I find myself asking my daughter why she is throwing food, or biting a doll, or yelling incoherently.
The answer is always the same: Because, dad, I’m 2! I forget this WAY too often.
9 – Thou Shall Not Compare Your Children To Other Children
Your kids are amazing! They are incredible! If you start down the path of “Bill’s kid is two months younger and can already Riverdance!” then you will make yourself nuts.
Don’t even compare your kids to your other kids! So what if one kid walked at 3 months and the other is just sitting there watching American Idol on her 3rd birthday? Kids develop at different rates and have different milestones.
Besides, my kids are better, smarter, faster and cuter than yours anyway.
10 – Thou Shall Chronicle Everything
Take pictures. Take them by the millions. Buy extra storage on your iPhone to keep them all. Buy an external hard drive with 50TB of space and then buy another. You can always go back and delete bad pictures, or ones that you are in, but you can never go back and take more. Your kid will only be 149 days old once. They will only have 1 first birthday party.
Take videos. If your kids is chatting away about unicorns and birdseed, put your camera on the table and tape the whole thing! Video editing software has made leaps and bounds so that you can always edit out your cousins racist rant later!
You will not be sorry.
(This story originally appeared on Justin Aion’s blog.)