How To Not Be A Shitty Child (In Four Easy Ways)

I took a break from my Friday’s 10 Happy Things and The Sunday Currently since I was too busy with helping my siblings get ready for school. Why are school uniforms so damn expensive?!

It’s been almost two months of my unwanted adulthood and I’ve realized a whole lot about myself and parenting. I’m writing this because I’m here to tell everyone to be not shitty children. I know your parents love you unconditionally and they would never admit (out loud) that they have a shitty child but, come on, you have to admit that you do some things to be purposefully annoying, right? Don’t deny it. I’ve been there before and I’m telling you to stop. Reserve this kind of behavior to your frenemies. Here are four things you should do to become an okay child.

1. Do your chores when you’re told to.

I don’t care if you’re in college already and you think chores are beneath you. Listen, your parents work 8-9 hours a day just to make sure you’ve got the basic necessities such as food, shelter, and Internet. Also, if they’re normal people, they probably hate their jobs at least 60% of the time but they stay anyway because then what would happen to you? And then, they get home, and see that your fucking room is still untidy? The living room floor is still collecting dust?

Let me tell you that it’s taking all of their power to not break down in frustration and beg you to do your part in keeping the house clean. It won’t shave off too much of your precious time.

I’ll also add that this delay in chore-doing ruins parents’ plans. They probably wanted you to defrost the fridge since they’re going to do the groceries and store a shit ton of food for you to devour. They wanted you to tidy up your room because they’re planning a surprise party for you and have your friends sleep over. Always think about these secret ulterior motives parents have when trying to make you do chores. It’s highly motivating.

2. Respond when you’re being talked to.

I used to do the I’m Too Busy to Say Yes or No act all the time when I was still a rebellious teenager.

Parent: (while doing something) Kumain ka na ba?
Me: *nods*
Parent: Oy, Reginne, kumain ka na ba?
Me: *nods*
Parent: ANAK NG TOKWA SUMAGOT KA KAPAG KINAKAUSAP HINDI YUNG TANGO KA NG TANGO. ANO KA, PIPE?!?

Let me explain why this is important. Chances are, you don’t talk a whole lot to your parents about your daily happenings. And parents understand that. They’re cool with you doing your own business. With that being said, when they’re trying to engage with you using small talk, just throw them a bone and entertain them, all right? These interactions are the only ones they get with you. Just go and talk about how delicious dinner was, or how the weather was like in school.

Parents need constant validation that they’re doing things right. They live in fear that they will turn out to be bad parents. That’s another reason why they keep asking repetitive questions like have you eaten, or did you bring your umbrella. They want to make sure that they’ve done everything in their power to make sure you’re safe and doing well. I know you’ve probably heard this before but it’s better that your parents pester you with annoying questions rather than just flat out not care about whether you get drenched in the rain or starve to death.

3. Take care of your things.

Again, do you know how expensive school uniforms are?!? If you’re attending a private school in Manila, chances are your uniforms cost a small fortune. And of course, you still have to buy school supplies,  a couple highlighters in different colors, new shoes, the latest accessory in fashion, yada yada yada.

That’s fine and all if your parents buy you those things. It’s okay to want stuff. However, when you arrive from school and your parents find out about the stupid things you’ve done like lose your entire pencil case or drag your school bag all over the corridor, or vandalize your rubber shoes with a marker, they’re imagining your things as their money. It’s their money you lose, their money you drag across campus, and their money that you shit ink all over. And you know those things don’t come cheap. And then you complain that your parents don’t give you extra money for things you want but don’t even need? Well, genius, if you just fucking took care of your things, they’d probably have a couple of bucks to spare.

Fucking take care of your things. Seriously, it’s not that hard a job.

4. Study hard.

Look, I’m not saying that you should get straight A’s. Grades are not everything. I’m just saying, don’t fuck around with your studies. Exert a little bit of effort. I know it’s difficult to focus on academics especially with the Internet and technology being so damn distracting but if you could just devote an extra hour or two in studying, that would be heaven for parents. And you would be surprised with the effect an extra hour of studying can make.

My parents often told me: Yang pag-aaral mo ang tanging pamana namin sa iyo. And it’s true. We’re not a rich family and I’m thankful that they cared enough to send me to good schools, push me to excel, and even stay up late with me just to make sure I get all my studying done.

I know how fragile life can be. Like it or not, your parents will grow old and die (hopefully in the very, very distant future). The things you learn in school, both outside and inside the classroom, would define you and how you carry yourself in the world.

Bonus: Appreciate your parents more. They gave birth to you, fed you, clothed you. The least you can do is be a good kid to them. Or not be a total dickhead. Be nice.  They’re your family and when push comes to shove, they’re really the only ones you’ve got in life.

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