Testing Limits: A Multiple Choice Quiz For Parents

kid art work 4

1. After your third request to your child to, “Come here so I can brush your hair,” she spits at you.  Your response is:

a) Calmly explain that her disrespectful behavior has resulted in the loss of TV privileges before bed for the night, comb her hair, and move on.

b) Launch into a lengthy lecture on germ transmission while flailing your arms in the air and searching for the Clorox.

c) Run away and hide in the linen closet until you calm down or she turns thirty, whichever comes first.

d) Spontaneously combust because you will not, I repeat, NOT have that shit.

2. Upon finding that your child poured himself a glass of milk and in the process spilled three-quarters of the gallon on the kitchen cabinets and floor, you:

a) Find the mop and six bath towels, calmly hand them to your child and go outside to sip spiked lemonade and read a novel on the porch.

b) Send your child to his room for at least twelve years and proceed to clean the mess up on hands and knees, cursing violently the entire time.

c) Burst into tears.

d) Take your child by the hand, grab your purse, walk out the front door one last time, and go in search of a new home.

3. While shopping at the local mall, your child throws herself on the floor after being told that, “No, we cannot stop at the play area today.”  You:

a) Say loudly, “Where are your parents, little girl?”

b) Pick up your child, throw her over your shoulder like a fire fighter might, and march to the nearest exit, emitting smoke from your ears.

c) Start sweating profusely and sternly mutter, “Get up, get up, sweet mother of all that is good, just GET UP!”

d) Stand next to your child calmly and quietly, waiting out the tantrum while making a mental note to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss sterilization.

4. On the way home from daycare at the end of a long stressful work day, your child asks, ”Mommy, how do babies get in your tummy?”  You say:

a) “Ring, Ring” and pick up your phone as if you are getting an important call and then carry out a fake conversation until you reach your driveway.

b) “Who wants pizza, ice cream, and candy for dinner?”

c) “Well sweetie, when mommies and daddies love each other very much, a magic fairy princess comes to visit them at night while they are sleeping and sprinkles fairy dust down the chimney and in the morning, there is a baby in the mommy’s tummy.”

d) “Ask your daddy when we get home.  He knows lots of things.”

5. The first time your son or daughter comes home from school and tells you another child was mean to him or her, you:

a) Calmly ask for the other child’s name, find out where he or she lives, and take off in your car to “address the situation.”

b) Yank your child out of school and rearrange your entire life so you can homeschool him or her.

c) Ask open ended questions about the situation, looking for signs that your child stood up for him or herself while still following basic rules of safety and respect.

d) Order twelve books from Amazon.com on the topics of bullying and self-esteem and develop a nineteen week program for learning how to effectively cope with bullies.

I’m not sure there is an absolutely correct response to any of these scenarios.  I can tell you that I’ve either tried or considered each of the above choices at some point in the last five and a half years.  As you can imagine, some had better outcomes than others.  The key, as I see it, is to respond to the best of your ability, and then go back to the drawing board when the outcome is not satisfactory.

Because, as it turns out, parents are tested daily but perfect scores aren’t required.

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11 thoughts on “Testing Limits: A Multiple Choice Quiz For Parents

  1. Okay, I cannot resist…here goes: (I am supposed to answer, right?)…however, I’m going to edit a bit if that’s okay.
    Question 1 – answer is: I don’t have girls (thankfully)…and if the boys wouldn’t comb or brush their hair (which never got THAT long), they’d have a crew cut before the day was out! Q2-Answer: Yeah, I always anticipated that AND even reading that makes me cringe…afraid I never did let him happen and never would–dang, I probably protected those boys too much! Q3-Answer: Okay I KNOW that NEVER happened! My boys were always taught that if they ASKED for something (while shopping), they were guaranteed that they would NOT EVER get it–I did not want “gimme” kids!! They were, however, free to say how “cool” something was, how much they might like something; and NEVER did I thankfully EVER experience that one! Q4-Answer: Oddly, never got that question, but then again my oldest is autistic and only lasted 3 DAYS in the daycare–I hired a nanny and I’m sure she was not shy to say whatever came to her mind if they asked her that–German-born nanny!! Q5-Answer: It would crush me more, but I anticipated that one too and taught my boys that if someone is mean to you that it is because they do not like themselves; so my extremely sharp “baby” boy would just come back at bullies and say, “Wow, I really feel bad that you don’t like yourself; it must be very hard on you.” And at that, the idiot kid had no clue WHAT he was talking about and since he didn’t have a comeback, would walk away. My son often thanked me for it and got such a kick out of watching their reaction. I didn’t know that about bullies until I was about 30!! I never wanted them to take that long to learn. Sorry for such a long post…couldn’t resist! 🙂

      • It’s probably helpful that I had NO CLUE what I was doing and having a child with autism to start me off really made things interesting! I probably should put out a post about my “crazy” things I did (sometimes I really had to get creative to teach my Scottie something that was a concept which he doesn’t get and make it something concrete–surely tested me!!). But funny, I was thinking about your quiz this afternoon and HOPED you were not upset with my silly post or insulted or anything…glad you were cool about it. 🙂

  2. I’m not sure if I should laugh at this quiz or cringe because I have experienced all of these at one time or another, and I could probably add a couple. I enacted time outs in Wal Mart while she screamed (while holding her bodily in place because she thought it was fun to make me chase her) and I just grinned at people who walked past, the whole time praying for salvation but knowing it wouldn’t come. My oldest girl is a handful and a half and her little brother doesn’t like to be left out. Yup, being a parent is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I was shocked the other day when I was talking to a fellow mom about how hard parenting was and she went on to tell me how easy it has been for her with four (yes 4) girls. I looked at her in shocked awe as she explained how they all slept through the night very young (even the twins) and how they don’t get into mischief. Boy do I begin to wonder if maybe I’m just doing it all wrong???

    • I hope you laughed but I suspect there was a bit of cringing too. It sounds like your oldest and my oldest have a few things in common. I remember Dr. Lynch talking about that book “Your Spirited Child” – I’ve never actually obtained it but I suspect I could relate to the material. Maybe I should look into it? Anyway, yes, parenting is exponentially harder than anything else I’ve ever faced and I think we’re supposed to have doubts. Right?

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