Having read the "Don't Be… " articles on PIC, I started thinking about things that annoy me about people and, frankly, I can think of no group of mental deficients I find more irksome than parents. Frankly, I am perpetually stunned by how vapidly stupid the parents of smart children can be. So I decided to list some of the types of parents I despise the most.

Here are the top 10 idiotic THAT PARENTS:

10. Disney World Warriors

I like Disney World. Since I didn't have the easiest of childhoods and my adulthood didn't exactly go as expected, I was unable to make my way to Disney until I was in my 30s. That said, I like the experience; I like Epcot, I like MGM (or whatever it is now), and I like the rides. I don't like the parents. The first time I went, it was in the mid-fall and all the children were pretty much in school. This worked out well. The next time was in the late summer and this worked out considerably less well. It was there, through careful observation, that I made many of my initial considerations upon the parental species.

One of the most common observances was the frustrated dad finally enduring enough and pushing and shoving through a crowd to get his children somewhere "important." Note the quotes over that indicating irony as nowhere in Disney is actually important with the exception of the bathrooms. After a few days of this, I found myself developing stealthy combat techniques to deal with it. An "accidental" headbutt, elbow nudge, or knee to the groin would often slow down the progress of the angry dad and a "sincere" apology would then calm him down.

Warning: Children left unattended will be sold to the circus.It was then, however, that I learned of the second part of this disturbing phenomenon: the angry mom. Mom isn't willing to go to the lengths of dad, but the minute dad stops after I cause a minor "accidental" injury, he and I instantly become tied for the worst human beings on the planet. The yelling begins and I make my egress… perhaps with the barest hint of a smile. Disney is supposed to be a happy place, but it is a place that people go and, therefore, there will be crowds. If you can't deal with this, stay the hell home.

9. Soccer (or Football, or Baseball, or Lacrosse, etc) Moms (or Dads)

I have been to the soccer games of my niece and nephews and I have enjoyed the company of said children because they are kind of cool. Also, it's more entertaining to watch a sport at the level that children are playing because you can see them beginning to grasp the fundamentals of the sport as they are taught by the superb team of coaches willing to volunteer their valuable time to teach kids teamwork and good sportsmanship. What I haven't enjoyed is the exceptional gall of all the additional, unwarranted coaching staff: the parents.

Without a doubt, the single most annoying thing at any children's sporting event is the idiotic advice administered through a haze of rage by those who spawned the team members. Failing in actually coming up with any commands that may be construed in some circles of the ignorant as useful, they issue forth an instruction that offers up the most important advice of all: "COME ON!" At a pee-wee soccer game, you will hear this call so often, you might think it some form of mating call for the "common household begetter." If you wish to offer coaching advice to your child's team… GET OFF YOUR ASS AND VOLUNTEER TO BE A COACH!!! Otherwise, sit down and shut up.

8. Baby People

I do not, as a rule, like babies. They are incommunicative, uncooperative, messy, stinky, uncouth, and overall useless. I would say they were stupid, but I'm not convinced. I think babies are actually quite intelligent but figure they should get away with shitting themselves while they still can. Also, I have an innate distrust of anyone who smiles when they fart. That said, I find that those parents who PREFER babies are, quite simply, diametrically opposed to both my own beliefs and all logic.

Man vs. woman breastfeeding a child diagramI have met several parents who fall into this category. It occurs after their child has developed into, what I like to call, a person, and has a personality that they see someone else's baby and say: "Oh, they're so much better at that age." I want to tell both the parent and the baby to shut the fuck up. They aren't better at that age, you are simply able to control them more easily. If you just wanted to have a baby, you had two other options: get a realistic doll that pisses and shits itself or give your kid up when it gets to the age you no longer like it. I'm certain there are plenty of folks out there who would love to spend time with your great kid if you don't want to. Hell, some of them would possibly leave the coaching to the coaches in their little league games.

Babies are, by definition, useless until they start to do something. Pampering babies seems detrimental to both them and to the human race. Babies are weaker because only the strongest of the humans is supposed to survive past that stage. If we, as a race, had kept up with that idea, I wouldn't have any reason to write this article.

7. Abusers

I guess this should go without saying, but I despise any parents who harm their children in any way. Beyond physically, emotionally, or sexually abusive parents, this includes those who would punish a child far beyond the scope of a crime in order to get some gratification of control or any other, darker emotion. I don't mean to get too serious here, but I really feel that anyone who gains any pleasure from the causing of harm to a child in any way, shape, or form should be thrown into a ditch, doused with kerosene, and forced to light a cigarette.

6. Do-Nothings

On the opposite end of the spectrum of the parents who over-punish are those who do nothing when their child misbehaves. I don't think that these folks realize the damage they're doing to their kids when they don't offer any discipline. I worked in a school, for a short time, involved with the discipline arena. I saw a lot of the same children come through there, repeatedly (one kid shaved his head when I gave him the nickname "Lex" after he commented on how "Alex" was a dumb name), and I have to say that a good proportion of these "regulars" were actually decent kids. I would talk to them and ask them what happened or help with homework assignments and I would discover that they were actually pretty okay, overall. So what was it that caused these good kids to misbehave over and over again?

I understand that high school kids are going to try to get booze and drugs and what-not, but if you get it for them, you aren't only a terrible parent, you're a criminal. My wake-up call came when I talked to the father of one "Willie" who explained, "My boy wouldn't be in so much trouble if the teachers would just give him a break." Willie was in special ed and had attacked another kid unprovoked. He had then threatened a teacher as he was being pulled off the other kid. This wasn't the teachers not giving him a break, this was a father making excuses. This was a really smart kid with a lot of potential who would never be reached because his father was a pussy. I'm not saying that Willie needed to be beaten within an inch of his life, but he definitely needed something more than a prescription. Parents who rely on pills over a stern hand are doing much more harm than good.

5. Over-Protectors

There's a lot of bad shit out there that can do serious harm to your kid. The worst thing a parent can do is make certain that their child is exposed to as little of it as possible. Letting a child make mistakes and get hurt allows the kid to grow up a little tougher and, maybe, capable of dealing with the real world. In fact, so many children are so fundamentally coddled these days, that if you do seek to toughen your kid up, I can guarantee that he will completely dominate whatever social activity he takes part in, in the future.

Let your kid be a kid and do your best to make sure that no permanent damage happens. The best protection you can offer your kid is a willingness to let them explore while keeping an eye out for the single greatest danger to all living creatures on the planet: mankind.

4. Best Friends

If you think of your kid as your best friend and that kid isn't able to vote in the United States, it is quite likely that you are a complete, raving idiot and should reconsider, pretty much, every choice you make in life. I understand that high school kids are going to try to get booze and drugs and what-not, but if you get it for them, you aren't only a terrible parent, you're a criminal, to boot. Also, if at any point you allow other children to have any form of sexual relations in your house, you can be prosecuted for so many crimes it's not even funny… except that it is, to me.

Parents are supposed to create better people for the next generation. Once you have merged your various genetic goop to form that stupid little zygote, the only thing in your life that matters is making absolutely certain that kid is the best possible human being he or she can be. Everything else is secondary and if you think that you have, in any way shape or form, a right to be your child's friend before he is an adult, you are far too stupid to have procreated. Those of us who know this are working on laws to make sure you can't.

3. God Fearers

Okay, so I guess being afraid of the microwaves from electronic devices is only a little crazy, really. Frankly, there are lots of signals in the air that work on all levels of frequencies and these things actually exist. Despite the fact that we can't see them, we can definitely prove their existence with the right devices. We can't seem to do that with God, though. Weird. Especially considering that mankind has believed in god a lot longer than it has believed in the wide band of frequencies ranging from 500MHz to 4GHz.

That said, taking your kid to church every Sunday, no matter what, is only going to help if you actually seem to believe in what was said. If you're just playing the good religious person to try and ensure that your kid gets into heaven, maybe you should readjust your priorities. I'm not going to say that a level of spirituality isn't important to a child's development into a proper, worthwhile human being, but you have to understand, that kid of yours is actually smarter than you are. You can't fool him or her into thinking that you actually give a crap about the Book of Job. I don't know what the right thing is to do in the case of religion, but I know that lying will end up badly.

If your kid wants to explore a spiritual side, maybe encouraging research and joining them in a little experimentation would be more beneficial than forcing them to sit in a stuffy church that smells like people who died 118 years prior. Plus, with the controversies that seem to keep cropping up over the last few decades, are you sure your kid is even safe in church?

2. Leap Froggers

"My little Dylan can read at a fourth grade level thanks to this great program I found on TV." Yeah, I saw that commercial as well. What I didn't see was them quizzing the kids afterwards to determine comprehension. I know kids who like to read and read at an advanced level. I also feel that children should have the opportunity to actually be kids, at some point, growing up. Pushing them too hard and too fast is likely to burn them out long before they actually manage to figure out why that was advantageous to begin with.

I realize that some other nations have much higher standards than the United States in regard to what children can accomplish. These nations also tend to have a high level of stress for the kids and higher suicide rates (ah, you want to see some actual statistics on this… well let's see if I can find my… aha! Fuck you! There's your statistics).

If your baby can read then you should be forced to punch yourself in the taint for my amusement. Your baby should only be concerned with stupid baby stuff like binkies and pooping in the clothes its wearing (I mean, really, what the hell! stupid babies). If you have a kid in sixth grade who is seriously looking into potential colleges, you have failed to offer that kid a childhood of any significance and you should be ashamed of yourself.

1. New Agers

Sigh.

Listen, I like new age touchy-feely crap as much as the next semi-effeminate, emotionally-scarred, pseudo-Asperger's Syndrome nerd, but frankly, I don't think that too much of it has a place in the rearing of a child. If you think that aligning your baby's chakra's early on will help it through life, fine, knock yourself out. It's a baby; it's stupid and it won't remember shit (keep telling yourself that as you see your few meager possessions carefully arranged around the room of the elderly home where you're going to spend the last few years of your life).

Things like making certain that a kid grows up vegan and teaching meditation when dealing with bullies is going to A) get your kid's ass kicked and B) take away some of the choices that you were able to make… oh yeah, and C) possibly cause severe health issues. The long-term effects of some of the New Age techniques on a developing child have probably not been explored to any significance. I know, I know: "But they used this or that in Thailand for thousands of years with their children and everything worked out fine." Well that was a completely different environment with completely different variables. Without full control over environment and variables, some of these techniques could be a real threat to the safety of your child. Also, Thailand didn't turn out so great, what with all the centuries of occupation by a racist and totalitarian regime. Do you want this for your kid? I thought not.

I'm certain that I missed a few, but I feel that these are the most glaring examples of parents who I believe should be shoved under a bus by James T. Kirk. Who am I missing?

More "Don't Be" articles:

Don't Be THAT GUY »
Don't Be THAT GIRL »
Are You Half of THAT COUPLE? »

Join upcoming November classes in Satire Writing, Sketch Writing, and Stand-Up Joke Writing.