My kids know I never miss an opportunity to teach - or what they might call lecture. So I love complaints like 'my teacher hates me' or 'Jimmy is smarter than I am' or 'everyone does it' and even 'well Grandma tells me that's what you did.' Like juicy steaks to a tiger or Pepperidge Farm Goldfish to toddlers and drunks these are a veritable feast for a know-it-all lecturer like myself.
Awww shucks I am sorry to hear your teacher hates you. That must be hard... To believe. First of all hate is a strong word we reserve for describing rabbit boilers, Lady GaGa and Bears fans so let's dial it back to dislike and see where that gets us. How convenient that your teacher dislikes you. That certainly explains away the C- you got on that test for which you hardly studied. Imagine if you had a teacher that liked you and you had a C- and you had to take responsibility? That would be awful. No excuses. No scapegoat. Nothing but culpability and consequences. Yeah, you should have seen that one coming, now hand over the iPhone and cancel your weekend plans.
Notice Jimmy isn't trying to sell 'the teacher hates me' to his parents as his weak ass excuse for his performance. Jimmy did the work so Jimmy gets a pat on his head and a pass to use his iPhone to make weekend plans in which you will not be participating. You are right. Jimmy really is smarter than you - oh, and harder working.
'OMG you are so overprotective. Everyone else is allowed to hang out at the mall with their friends. Why can't I? An excellent question belied by the disenfranchised valley girl accent in which it was delivered. Do you remember the interview where Bill Gates talked about all the time he spent being a mall bum and how that contributed to his success? No? Did you read in the news where Lebron James was arrested at the mall for shoplifting jewlery? Oh no, that was Lindsay Lohan because Lebron doesn't spend time hanging out at the mall because he is busy working and winning championships. Bill and Lebron don't busy themselves with doing what 'everyone else is doing' they get busy getting ahead of everyone else and thats why they fly private and you fly coach.
'Hey dad, did you - [insert crime here] - shoplift, have sex, cheat, drink, smoke pot? So many parents fear this question and believe they have to discuss this with their children 'at the right time' and nothing could be further from the truth. It is absolutely none of their damned business what you did or didn't do you during your awkward socially inept years. Here is the simple answer I give my kids: "It doesn't matter if I stole a car to pay for the heroin that I snorted off that drunk HIV infected hookers naked arse - you shouldn't." If it's true you are lucky I made it out alive so we could share this moment picturing pubescent me naked snorting illicit drugs off a felon. You're welcome.