Dr 9Tendo's Parenting Slot [Week 2]

Parenting Blog

Dr 9Tendo is back!  We’ve a lot to get through this week so buckle up for some excellence and insight from the priest of parenting.

First off is a worried mother from Inverness called Adam.  She says: 

My son seems to have some form of OCD as he repeats everything he does.  If he comes down the stairs, he climbs straight back up and comes down again. When speaking he repeats every sentence.  Where could he possibly have developed this disorder from?

I don’t have the stats to hand but, from memory, something like 1 in every 2.15 people have a form of OCD.  The most recently reported manifestation of the disorder has led one particularly hapless sufferer to say the word “vanilla” at the end of every sentence.  This has caused huge problems when he orders ice cream that isn’t vanilla.  As for how this illness may have materialised with your own son, well it is likely that he witnessed similar behaviour close to home, perhaps with a family member.  Observe other family members to see if you can spot unusually obsessive behaviour.

We received this email from a worried mother in Inverness called Adam.

My son seems to have some form of OCD as he repeats everything twice. If he comes down the stairs, he climbs straight back up and comes down again. When speaking he repeats every sentence.  Where could he possibly have developed this disorder from?

Ah.

Moving on, Sarah, a married dad-of-three, says:

My daughter (named after me) moans when I give her heavy stuff to carry.  Last week I asked her to help carry our new 42″ plasma from the car to the house and she dropped it three times.  I mean if an ant can manage to carry up to 50 times its body weight, surely she could manage to carry a TV for 50 yards??  Sarah is 5.

Hi Sarah.  Well, this is an unfortunate problem.  Kids have a genetic disposition for doing nothing of use until their early 30s.  Hand your kid a napkin and tell them it’s very important that they lay it on the table in the living room and they will gleefully run inside with it, feeling really proud of themselves.  Hand them a chainsaw and ask them to put it in the attic beside your old porno mags and you’d swear you just asked them to circumnavigate the globe in a deep fat fryer.  

My advice is to gradually increase the weight.  Start with some batteries, then the remote control, then the transformer unit, then the TV stand until eventually she’s ready for the plasma.  If you do this every day for a year, by the age of 6 you will have an unusually strong little girl on your hands.  At least then you could send her off to join the circus if she continues to disappoint you. 

My son, Grant, injures himself frequently because he just won’t stop running.  How do I get him to slow down?

So says Mark from Toxteth.  Elaborate booby traps are the way to go, Mark.  One that I know works very well is to dig Grant-sized holes in the garden and around the house and then cover them up with grass, carpet or whatever is appropriate.  I also recommend a bucket of water perched on top of a door, a large net on the floor that will suspend him in the air when he walks on it and quicksand.  Stay away from spike trap pits, bamboo whip and landmines.  Some good movies to watch for ideas are “Predator” and “I Am Legend”.  Believe me, once he gets stung a few times he’ll proceed with far more trepidation.  Expect that trepidation to last a lifetime.

Finally, Gavin from Warrington is fed up with her twins Rio and Brasilia telling her crap jokes.

I quite like my twin sons (named after the cities they were conceived in) but they tell rubbish jokes all the time and expect me to laugh.  I just don’t think it’s right to give them a false sense of their own worth because they’ll end up trying to sing or entertain on some reality show in 15 years and completely embarrass themselves.

I totally agree with you Gavin.  I’ve never heard a kid tell a good joke as the material is always weak and their timing is poor.  Usually it’ll be some mind-numbing gag that you read in a cracker in the 80s and have heard every Christmas since.  Let your child tell his joke and then leave an awkward silence for about 5 seconds afterwards.  Rio and Brasilia will be looking at you earnestly for a positive reaction (as they have been conditioned to expect you to laugh).  

But this is the perfect time to sit them down and tell them they’re not funny and in all likelihood won’t be until they are in their 20s, and only then if they don’t become accountants.  Hopefully they will take this pep talk as the ideal catalyst for improving their joke-writing, working on impressions and bringing more variety to their sets.  But if they fail, not to worry – tell them not everyone can be Frank Carson after all.  

That’s all from me this week.  Please mail me your parenting concerns and I will endeavour to put your mind at rest in next week’s parenting slot.

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