Daddyish: The Parents’ ‘Don’t Be An Idiot’ Anti-Gift Guide

85902446This isn’t about dangerous toys. I honestly wouldn’t even know where to begin such a list. When I was a kid, if you wore a bike helmet you were King Dork of Nerd Mountain. Nowadays, you need a helmet just to ride the school bus or you’ll end up suing the NFL. The standards for safety have changed so drastically that I’ve pretty much stopped giving my kid anything that has corners. I’m not even joking: my son has never had a Saltine.

Instead, this list is about the worst gifts for kids. Not all kids, like I said, I can’t speak to that. But the worst gifts to buy your own children. I don’t give a shit what my neighbors give their kids. At least not until my son sees whatever cool new toy Rohan-across-the-street’s parents bought him and starts waking me up in the middle of the night screaming for it. I swear to god, last week I found my kid at his little desk with a stack of papers with “No ‘Jake and the Neverland Pirates’ Hideout Toy Makes Me a Dull Boy” scribbled all over them in crayon. He wrote “NAP RETEP” in red lipstick on the back of my bedroom door. It was fucking terrifying. When did Christmas become so cutthroat?

The kid is making Christmas annoying before he’s even gotten the toys, and we all know pretty much every toy for kids under 15 is the most annoying thing on earth. So I made a list of stuff to avoid, if you’re into avoiding brain aneurysms.

12 Gifts You Should Avoid Giving Your Children

A New Sibling – You’re joking, right?

A Pet Do you want a pet? Because after about six hours, when your kids pass out from the candy and the excitement and the chloroform (no judgment here), that pet will be yours. FOREVER. This is not a gift for your kids, it’s a punishment for yourself. Don’t be a sap.

A Drum Kit – We got one for our son last year and I’ve never hated myself more. What was I thinking? It’s like the number one rule of parenting: don’t give your kids a drum kit. Or any musical instruments. In fact…

Anything That Makes Noise – Giving your kid a talking Elmo or a talking Buzz or a train whistle or a fake computer or anything else that makes sounds is a recipe for a migraine. Do you like migraines? I DIDN’T THINK SO.

A Smartphone – If your kid is under 10 and they own a smartphone? Congratulations, you win the Asshole Parent award. I’m an adult and my wife doesn’t even trust me with my iPhone, you think we’re gonna trust a tween or a twerp or whatever the marketing lingo is for tiny idiots these days? I’m dumb but I’m not that dumb. I’m getting my son a calculator watch.

Plastic Guns – Thankfully this isn’t an option, because Congress recently extended the ban on plastic guns. So you’re protected from your own stupidity. Thank you, government!

Real Guns – I take that back. You can still get as many real guns for your kids as you want. How absurd. Some of these things are so elaborate you can hardly even call them guns. You might as well sit your kid behind a tank. Jesus Christ this country sucks.

A Football – I love football as much as the next red-blooded American (Go Dolphins!). But I love my son’s ability to stay healthy and live past the age of 50 just a little bit more, so I think it’s time to ease up on glorifying the playing of the sport. I’ll probably still watch games with him – I mean, I grew up watching “CHiPs” and I never thought being a motorcycle cop was anything less than stupid, so I think it’s okay for him to be a spectator – but I’m not going to give him any more of the accessories that go with playing it.

Stuff That You Need to Inflate – For his birthday we got our son an inflatable tee-ball tee and now I’m on the list for a lung transplant. You’ve been warned.

A Computer – maybe we should teach out kids some practical stuff for a change, like how to build a fire or swing a baseball bat. Get their faces outta the screens. (Actually, I don’t have a big problem with my son learning how to use technology at an early age, I’m just broke.)

A DVD of Your Kid’s Favorite Movie – Feel like watching the same movie 8000 times until you want to tear Woody’s limbs off yourself? Get your kid a book. And a reading tutor, so you don’t have to read it to him.

Girl Stuff for Boys or Boy Stuff for Girls – actually this is totally fine, whatever makes your kid happy (aside from the other stuff on this list, of course). Don’t be a bigot.

You can also find him at Dad and
(Image: getty images)

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  • Bethany Ramos

    REDRUM – that’s what I want for Christmas this year!!

  • Kay_Sue

    My youngest decided that the “new sibling” thing is a very real and present threat. Why, I don’t know, because has he met himself? But he’s sandwiching between us at every opportunity.

    I can’t believe you bought your kid a drum set. Were you high?

    • DadandBuried

      Hahaha, I wish. I was in the throes of “it’s his first real Christmas! Let’s make it a great one!” Now I wish Christmas didn’t exist.

    • Kay_Sue

      Ours was Legos. i wish we’d never discovered those nasty, feet-seeking bastards.

  • Julia Sonenshein

    Is it bad form to give your kid the gift of staying at Grandma and Grandpa’s for a week while you get day drunk and order sushi every night? Asking for a friend.

    • darras

      Haha! That’s genius! As for bad form, I’d say that depends on if Grandma and Grandpa knew about this gift or if it was a surprise for everyone ;)

    • Janok Place

      You just made a pregnant lady very sad, and very very jealous :(

  • kay

    the majority of these do however make fantastic gifts for your nieces and nephews

  • Janok Place

    Eve, Eve, Eve, Can we keep him? He’s funny. Plus, I totally get to say TOLD YA SO to my husband about half this list. Inflatable, DVDs, football, musical instruments, things that go beep, pets (I love her cat, really, I do… but it’s MY cat.)

  • Natasha B

    We made the plastic gun mistake. All the way to the big Nerf that come with ammo belts. One day, my house will be free of orange darts. One…day…..

  • Dusty

    I would also add “Never give board games to an only child.” Nothing says “You’re all alone in this world” better than having to play that first round of Monopoly BY YOURSELF.

    • Lu

      This was literally my childhood.

  • brebay

    I don’t know, I sometimes wish the bike helmet wouldn’t get lumped in with all the plastic bubble-hand sanitizer-shopping cart kozy nonsense. I guess personal experience plays a part, I had a friend killed in 4th grade in a biking accident. I just figure the germ thing, the body has a self-righting mechanism for dealing with that; the immune system. No self-righting mechanism for a TBI. I don’t know, I do thing we’ve gone overboard, but bike helmets make sense to me. I mean, professionals wear them, so it’s not really a kid-coddling thing, more like a seatbelt.

    • DadandBuried

      HI Brebay – I actually agree with you. I would never let my kid ride a bike without a helmet these days. I was mostly making light of the how drastically things had changed since I was a kid. Which isn’t a bad thing. But I might buy him that awesome “invisible bike helmet” that was going viral a few weeks ago so he can protect his head and his reputation. Thanks for reading!

  • allisonjayne

    My mother-in-law is buying my 2 year old a drum kit for xmas.

    • DadandBuried

      Thank her, and insist she keep it at her house, for when you visit. ;)

  • NotTakenNotAvailable

    Go Dolphins, indeed. Thanks to your team, my Broncos are still the reigning champions of the AFC.

    Besides that, thank you for this list of “must-gets” for when my acquaintances who have Future Sanctimommy (and daddy) written all over them start documenting every one of Li’l Snotneaux III’s yellowish-green poops for Facebook.

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