Wednesday, October 25, 2017

My Kids Need a Class On What's Going On Around Here So I'm Teaching One

Dear Kids:

As your mother, I've done a lot of reading on parenthood and experts consistently agree that kids thrive on structure. So things are going to change around here.

Effective immediately, you are enrolled in a life skills immersion program called Growing Up, taught by yours truly. Attendance is mandatory and the course lasts until you turn 18 and leave the house.

Of course you've hopefully been learning these life skills informally all along, but I thought officially enrolling you in Growing Up might speed up your progress and help you take it more seriously. At the very least, it will be an improvement over watching people play video games on YouTube.

Please find the attached syllabus, and don't hesitate to contact me with any questions. (NOTE: My office hours begin at 6 AM and end promptly at 8 PM. After-hours contact is limited to emergency situations ONLY. Failure to observe office hours or abusing the emergency policy may result in being left at the fire station.)


Growing Up
Course Syllabus


Growing Up is a comprehensive class covering all aspects of becoming a responsible adult including:
  • remembering to change your underwear every day
  • exercising tact when speaking
  • using soap in the shower
  • eating a meal in less than an hour
  • putting your dirty socks in the hamper
  • sneezing into your elbow instead of in someone's face

This is a broad, skills-based program and students are expected to practice the habits and techniques learned in class even when the instructor is not present.


Growing Up is a multi-age classroom experience. Older students must attend mandatory lectures on being good examples for the more junior members of the class at least twice per semester.

The instructor will attempt to refrain from making comparisons between classmates or playing favorites; please do not attempt to bring to the instructor's attention that s/he does not treat each student exactly the same at all times. S/he knows and is doing it on purpose.


The purpose of Growing Up is to turn students into fully functioning members of society who don't leave their shoes in the middle of the floor or use their pants as a napkin.

By the time they complete this course, students will be able to do laundry, unload the dishwasher, and eat a granola bar with more than 60% of it actually getting in their mouth.

All graduates from the program are licensed to begin teaching Growing Up courses to their own pupils someday. 


Skills covered in Growing Up range from how to flush a toilet to how to throw away an empty cereal box. The hands-on lab unit on opening cereal boxes may require substantial work outside regular classroom instruction.

There will be extensive discussion on bad times to request snacks, new toys, or money (e.g: after lights-out, when you are in the middle of getting in trouble, etc.)

Class lectures will include:
I Am Not Your Maid
When I Was Your Age
I'm Not Paying to Heat the Whole Neighborhood
You Don't Have to Like It, You Just Have to Eat It
I'm Not Asking You, I'm Telling You
I'll Treat You Like an Adult When You Start Acting Like One
I Brought You Into This World and I Can Take You Right Back Out

Advanced Placement (AP) courses such as Changing the Toilet Paper Roll: Not Just for Moms and Towel Racks: Where Do I Find Them and How Are They Used? can be taken when all beginner and intermediate course have been satisfactorily completed.


The required supplies for Growing Up will vary greatly from student to student and will be purchased on an as-needed basis.

However, the following is a list of general materials that all students will need for the duration of the course:
  • Beheaded/limbless action figures
  • Assorted rocks and acorns found outside
  • Socks without matches
  • Metric ton of plastic junk party favors
  • 18 years' worth of participation trophies
  • Copious amounts of baby wipes (these can and will be used for everything.)

The instructor will carry around a gigantic bag to hold students' supplies at all times. Students should complain if required to carry any of these items themselves for any length of time. 

Should any of a student's supplies ever go missing, they should grill the instructor on its whereabouts and refuse to accept any personal responsibility for it going missing in the first place.


Growing Up is a very demanding course that expects high standards of students at all times.
  1. No hitting, kicking, pushing, or biting.
  2. Do not destroy property that does not belong to you.
  3. No throwing balls in the house.
  4. No texting at the dinner table.
  5. Tell the truth.
  6. No farting or burping on other people.
  7. Just because you didn't mean to do it doesn't make it okay.

Failure to follow the rules will generally warrant an immediate consequence. This will often be a complete overreaction (such as loss of iPad time for a month) followed by a retraction and a much more realistic consequence that won't punish the instructor more than the pupil.

Due to extenuating circumstances, the instructor may occasionally forgo disciplinary action for breaking the rules when s/he is particularly tired that day and just can't even. 

A comprehensive course syllabus on what my kids are (hopefully) going to learn around here, including how to change a toilet paper roll.  {posted @ Unremrakable Files}

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Jenifer said...

It's so good to read that someone else is also living this life. For my classroom, which has 3 male students, I will be adding a class on aiming and seat position in the bathroom.

Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

This is hilarious. I especially like the AP options. I wonder what the test to opt out of the class would look like.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic!!! Thanks for the laugh.

Jenny Evans said...

Probably a very good idea.

PurpleSlob said...

I love it!! Needs to be mandatory in all homes!!

Unknown said...

I would have loved to successfully teach a course on how to get dirty clothes into the hamper.

Marilyn said...

Hahahaha. This is excellent.