If you ask me, David Cameron's introduction of £100 vouchers for parenting classes to "restore family discipline" – and as available through Boots – made me think we might have come at this from the wrong end. Consequently, I have decided to introduce a similar voucher scheme for children, particularly teenagers, to spend on classes which will help them deal with their parents' problem behaviours before they get out of hand, as if they were actually running things round here. All such classes, which have been approved by both the National Institute of Get Out My Face (UK) and International School of Whatever (Geneva), will cover the following areas:
Communication: Communication is key. If your parents are boring and a drag, don't just say so, but sit them down and carefully and patiently explain why. "Dad," you might say, "your taste in music, with its leanings towards 70s folk, is appalling, and, Mum, who is to say I don't want to end up washing dishes one day?" Plus, always remember a lot of parental behaviour is specifically designed to bug you, and may often come in the form of requesting you perform some kind of chore. In these instances, and to prevent the situation escalating, you can fend off all such requests with a "later", and feel perfectly safe doing so, as the latest research from America has shown that the chance of "later" ever happening is "never".
Praise: While it is easy to be critical of your parents who are, like, so lame, do think abut praising them every now and then. Just a simple, "You look nice today, Mum... loving your fleece!" can work wonders, particularly if you need to borrow a tenner, or require a lift to Chris's as his parents are away and so won't get under your feet while you empty the drinks cabinet, experiment with drugs and look at naked girls on the internet.
Boundaries: Parents need boundaries, and should respect those boundaries. Boundaries need to be clear and specific and some examples might include:
* You may open the front door to my friends and provide snacks but you must not talk to them;
* You may ask where I am going, with whom, but must accept "nowhere" and "nobody" as answers;
* You may do my laundry but cannot enquire why some items have burn holes in them;
* When I say: "Bye, white folks, I'm off to chill with my homeboys", you must not remind me I am not black;
* You must never probe for any details, about anything, ever.
If any teenagers are interested in these vouchers, they can be picked up from any branch of Monsoon which, let's face it, needs the foot-traffic as well as the younger demographic.
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