Before I was married, I was an expert on marriage. Before I had children I was an expert on child rearing. Now that I've done both, I got nothing. Except my sense of humor.
So here's my expert advice on HOW TO RAISE A BRAT, not that I did. It's just that there are myriads of books on parenting. I thought I'd take the road less traveled and give it the Kathy twist.
1. Make life fair every chance you get. This means intercepting coaches, teaching teachers a thing or two and running interference with the neighbors when your kid comes in crying.
2. Build up their self esteem with lots of praise and stickers! Be sure they feel good about themselves. Never base it on accomplishments or competence.
3. Buy them the most expensive and trendy items so they'll have high expectations for earning a lot of money right out of college.
4. If their piano teacher seems tough, expecting them to practice daily, take it up with her. Be sure school teachers who overload homework also share your philosophy of child-rearing. (Share item #2 with them.)
5. Do not expect them to do menial work or chores around the house. Let them know flipping burgers is beneath them if they want to succeed in life. They should always enjoy work.
6. When they mess up, be quick to make it all better. Help them find excuses for why things went wrong. Even take some of the blame on yourself to keep life fair.
7. Be a friend to your child. Dress youthfully and listen to their music. Be cool. Be involved at their level.
8. Teach them "It's not whether you win or lose." Everyone should feel good about themselves.
9. Be sure they have plenty of leisure time to play, enjoy life and discover themselves. Having the latest technology helps this pursuit. Good parents work to provide and show love this way.
10. Kids learn a lot by watching television, especially educational and kid-friendly channels. It's cheaper than a babysitter while you work for their good.
11. Acceptance is important with peers. So help them be cool with the jocks and cheerleaders. Dress them for success with the IN-crowd.
If you prefer not to raise brats, just do the reverse of Rules 1-11. Or read another person's expert opinion below. And for the record, I did NOT raise brats but 3 excellent parents who are now rearing their own!
Expert on the obvious,
Choose. My advice. Or Bill Gates'.