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All the (Bad) Parenting Advice You'll Ever Need

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Newsflash: Parents love giving advice to other parents. This is a good thing, because there are lots of little nuggets of wisdom we can get from others with experience. But as we all know, not all of it is necessarily helpful information — and some of it is absolutely horrible.

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There also doesn’t seem to be a time limit as to when parents stop trying to give advice to other parents. My husband and I were at a party recently, and one mom was trying to tell us where our daughter should go to college. I think we’ll run into this same woman in 20 years and she’ll be telling our grandson not to pick his nose because he’ll pull out his brains.

This got me thinking about all the advice I’d heard over the years, and I decided to compile it into a chronological list. I admit I may have missed one or two and I might be embellishing a little. In fact, I think some of these might even be advice I gave to others. (Sorry I can’t remember. When I was a baby someone told my mom not to put me near the radio because it would make me slow and she didn’t listen.)

0-2 months:

You should sign your baby up for pre-school now, otherwise she'll have to go to public pre-school and there are gangs there. Baby gangs.

She might have diaper rash because her onesie is too tight and you buckled the car seat wrong and then drove by the tire factory.

If you don't breastfeed, your baby will be stupid and she won’t get into Harvard.

If you breastfeed too long, your breasts will sag and no one will love you.

You shouldn’t use that brand of baby soap. My aunt’s friend’s sister did and now her baby has an extra leg.

3 months-1 year

You should try my baby carrier. It was designed by Bono and will make you look thinner.

Baby food from a jar is fine. Just make sure it’s organic and hand-mashed by Mensa members.

You should make all of your own baby food. All you need is an organic garden, an industrial freezer and an old-timey food grinder. Do you have a co-op vintage mercantile in your neighborhood?

She should be walking by now. I asked my mailman and he said babies like that usually need surgery on their legs. (Thanks, mom.)

2-5 years

You should transfer to our pre-school. It’s the ‘Free Range’ approach so the kids get to roam around and only sit down to do macramé.

Toilet training is so easy! Try our method that uses soothing music, magnets and crushed fennel sprinkled in your baby’s training pants.

I wouldn’t go near that playground. I saw shards of glass on the slide once. Well, it turned out to be water but my point is life is dangerous.

6-10 years

You should transfer to our elementary school. There are only three students in each class and my son just learned how to make cheese. Also, no gangs.

Don’t let them spend too much time on the computer! Our neighbor’s boy did, and I’ll bet that Bill Gates kid is nothing but trouble now.

Don’t let them spend too much time watching TV! Our neighbor’s boy did and now he is fairly well adjusted and similar to other children on earth.

11-17 years

Whatever you do, don’t send them to public school. There are gangs there. Did I mention gangs? There.

Teenagers are awful and just cause trouble. And I should know because I don’t have any teenagers of my own but I’ve seen several episodes of "Blossom."

If your kids ask you about birth control, pretend that you don’t know who they are and start speaking a different language.

Don’t let them go to parties, because they might have fun and learn how to be at ease around other humans.

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18+

Your daughter should go to [prestigious college] because I went to [prestigious college] and I’m sure your 18-year-old daughter is similar to me — a middle-aged man working in an office who likes to line-dance on the weekends.

If she goes away to college you’ll be so sad and not want to go on living. That is, until you turn her bedroom into an awesome cat palace.

If she lives at home while going to college she might never learn how to make ramen on a hot pad plugged into her laptop.

You should re-think sending her to that school. Is that a real school? Do they give out real diplomas? I’m only asking because I’m trying to make sure I’m never invited to another party ever.

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