Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Doctor Who Survival Guide to Parenting:

Disclaimer: When we look back through the Whoniverse, there is contradiction, even among the Doctors, as to rule #1. And as the series continues, other characters have chimed in with rules as well. The list below is a compilation of some of those rules as they relate to parenting and is by means a reflection of the “order” of rules on the show.

1. I’m in charge and don’t wander off.
The seventh Doctor said rule number one was “I’m in charge.”
The ninth Doctor said it was “Don’t wander off.”  

For our purposes, combining them is a good starting point for any parent. As a parent, you are supposed to be in charge. That is part of the job description. And don’t wander off, well, that’s just good advice as far as kids go.

Unfortunately, we know that in the many regenerations of Doctor Who, there were times that the Doctor definitely did not seem to be in charge of a situation. And as for his companions, did they ever not wander off? And in your role, you will find yourself repeating these rules - seemingly  to no avail - over and over and over and ov...well, you get my point.

I know that right now you’re wondering why I’m trying to convince you of these rules when no one is following them, but that is exactly the point. Rules were made for breaking and these WILL be broken...ALL THE TIME! The idea is to keep repeating to yourself that no matter what happens, you ARE in charge. It is your job to step up and take control of the hysteria that is sure to encompass most of your parental life.

And as for the “don’t wander off” part, be prepared for the little buggers to do just that despite the repeated warnings not to. So always be prepared to chase them down and if all else fails, they microchip pets, why not kids?

2. The Doctor lies.
According to River Song's rules, this is number one. And she is right, the Doctor does lie and you better be prepared to as well.

From the little white lies, like Santa and the Tooth Fairy, to the somewhat more exaggerated ones like “stop touching yourself or it will fall off”, every parent must be willing to lie to their children. And if you’re lucky, you’ll find a real Doctor a.k.a. a Pediatrician that is sympathetic to your plight and willing to lie as well.
There is nothing better than stories of the horrible things that may happen to their little bodies to make your kids get their shots, take their medicine and eat right. And let’s face it, they’re not really stories. But, we’ll save the discussion of diseases for another time. Just make sure that your kids know there is no such thing as regeneration for humans!

3. Don’t blink!
I cannot stress the importance of this rule enough. Never let your kids challenge you to a staring contest unless you are sure you can win and NEVER,EVER let them see you flinch. It's a sign of weakness and once they know that you are indeed human and have weaknesses, they will use it against you to get their way whenever they possibly can.
Unfortunately, it's impossible to maintain your “Superhero” status forever. As they get older, they will learn the truth. It is, however, in your best interest to keep up the facade as long as possible. Trust me!

4. Monsters do exist.
We live in a world full of real horror stories. There are monsters out there and usually they come in very un-monster like forms. Protect your kids while they are little and as they get older, prepare them for a world in which evil does exist.
Obviously, there is a balance to maintain. You don’t want them to live in fear and miss out on life’s adventures, but you also don't want them thinking it's all rainbows and unicorns. Being gun-toting, knife-yielding vigilantes isn't optimal either. Balance, people. Balance.

5. No matter how scared you get, never run.
Parenthood is scary….really scary. Wake me up from this horrible nightmare scary. And there will come a point that you will want to run. Don’t. Take deep breaths.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have relative or friend that you can call to come to your rescue and watch the little terrors so that you can regroup. If that’s not possible, calmly tell the kids that you are sending yourself to "time out"* and lock yourself in the bathroom or your bedroom for 5 minutes. Don’t worry. The idea of you being the one in a time out and not them will have them so confused they’ll be too preoccupied to get into any trouble. And in the end, not only will you calm down, but by disconcerting them, you’ll have regained the upper-hand.
*Kudos to my good friend, Kellie, for teaching me the "time out" trick.

6. Fixed points in time cannot be altered.
Your kids will embarrass you in public. You will embarrass your kids in public. You will screw up or forget things that will make you feel like a failure as a parent. Your kids will say they hate you. You will cry, scream and question why you ever had kids. The list of things that will happen goes on and on.

These are fixed points in parenting. No matter what you do they WILL happen and cannot be altered. Just remember that you are not alone and you are always and completely forgiven.

7. Never knowingly be serious.
In other words, LAUGH! Laugh as hard and as often as you can. And while this is the last rule on our list, it is probably the most important.

As a parent, you will want to scream and cry...A LOT! After reading these rules, just the idea of parenthood may have you on the verge of tears or waking from night terrors. It’s okay. Just always remember this last bit of advice. Do NOT take yourself, or anyone else for that matter, too seriously.
Things happen. Things go wrong (see rule number 6). You need to be able to laugh at yourself, at others (behind their back, of course) and see the humor in situations. This is the best medicine for the parental blues and is a great example for your kids. Laughter is good. No, scratch that, it’s great! And kids need to learn that there are times when it’s okay not to be serious. Unless, you want to raise neurotic and stuffy kids, then go right ahead. But just know that if you do, the rest of our kids will be laughing at them one day.


  1. You don't have to be a parent to appreciate the points laid down here. Although it helps to be a Dr Who fan!

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