Welcome to my weekly Bad Mom Advice column where I attempt to answer all of your parenting questions as only I know how — with zero degree in early childhood development, but with the experience of raising four kids and not having any of them in prison – yet! Plus, I back all my advice on numerous scientific research, which may or may not include me making fun of your dumb kid behind your back and drinking a bunch of wine! Welcome to Bad Mom Advice!
How do I get my kid who is 10 to stop back talking about every single thing I ask her to do? If I ask her to clean her room, she smarts back. if I ask her to take out the trash. if I ask her to walk the dog. she will do things eventually but she smarts off and makes ugly faces and slams doors and I am going crazy. help me
Have you tried singing The Coasters to her at every possible moment?
You can basically solve any parenting conflict by singing Coaster’s songs to your kid, but if you aren’t ridiculous weirdos like my own spouse and I, you can try using simple logic. Kids your daughter’s age are just on the cusp of becoming super sucky for a few years. Puberty and pre-pubecence will make you long for the days of toddler tantrums. At her age, sometimes she just fights you on everything because she can. It may not even be an issue of her not wanting to pitch in or do her share of chores, but moreso because she has so many things she has to do in her own little reality that are non-negotiable, mainly school and homework, that fighting you on other things is her own way of asserting her independence. That doesn’t mean you should let her get away with back-talking, but sitting her down and talking to her, asking her what is going on in her life, explaining to her how every time you ask her to do something and being met with the lippy-lip is annoying the hell out of you, can go a long way towards stemming the ‘tude. Get her on your side. Explain how no one likes to take out the trash, but it’s just something that’s got to get done, like feeding her foods. Tell her that if she doesn’t stop the drama every time you ask her to do something, you will start removing privileges. I do hate to tell you this though, this is just a big ‘ol sign that things are about to get a lot worse. I am not sure how any of us, or our parents, made it out of puberty. I suggest buying a lot of vodka, for you, in advance.
Eve I read your column out loud to my husband and we laugh so much and he wants to get Grand Theft Auto the new one to play with our sixteen year old and I told him that I don’t think it’s right for his age and then we agreed we would ask you and you get to decide! What do you think? I say no but my husband says yes, I think mainly because he wants the game and he thinks it’s ok because he will play with him. we love you!
Oh great, no pressure here. So either I get on your good side or your husband and kid’s bad side. Sheesh. Can we leave this up to the readers? Can they decide if your kid gets the game or not? I have played the GTA franchise, but not super-extensively. I know enough about the games to know you can beat up prostitutes, but you can pretty much beat up everyone. The games are super violent. My younger kids have never played them, my older one has. The games are rated for ages 17 and up. I think it’s a great thing your husband plans on playing with your kid, so he can discuss all the problematic elements of games like GTA. I’m pretty disappointed in advance because you still can’t play as a woman in the series. That being said, I really want GTA V. Badly. Like way badly. Like MY husband if you are reading this please get me the game on September 17. It looks amazing. The graphics look insane. Pam Grier is going to have her own radio station. You guys seem like good parents (because you said you love meeee) and I assume you probably talk to your son about violence in video games and how they can affect people and all of that good stuff, so I’m not too worried about it. Your husband plans on playing with him so I can foresee a whole mess of teachable moments. And even though I could easily endorse your husband wanting to take him outside and kick a ball around, I can only endorse getting your kid the game if he is mature enough and smart enough to understand the problematic elements of the game. I do think it’s great and awesome this is something your husband and kid can do together. So yeah, if he is a mature 16-year-old I say go for it. Make sure your husband is on board with discussing violence with him, and especially any misogyny in the game because I’m sure there will be a whole mess of it. And make them let you play too. Have fun! Happy video game killing!
Thursday, September 12th, I will be hosting my first ever LIVE Bad Mom Advice on our Mommyish Facebook page from 12-1 p.p. EST! This means you can ask me questions live and I will answer them! This also means you actually must do this so I don’t feel stupid if no one asks me anything!