As children, many of us probably envied our parents just a little during spring-cleaning season, particularly if they were the type to respond to declarations of boredom with a list of apparently nonsensical household tasks. With heavy hearts — sprinkled with a smattering of annoyance — we'd get to work on the washing up, finish the window cleaning, or begin sanding the stair rails. Parenting styles have evolved significantly since those stair-sanding, dishwashing youthful days of yore. Even then, discipline levels and communication techniques varied from family to family: now, however, we have parenting globalization to contend with. Today, child-rearing demonstrations exist on television, too. Radical approaches, contentious debates, an ever-increasing list of long-term consequences and "super-nannies" with a sixth sense akin to Mary Poppins remind us — on a daily basis — that we could be doing just a little better. Refreshing, no? As parents, the full complexity of life suddenly becomes apparent. Then we realize that we have to somehow equip our joyous little bundles with the know-how to navigate the world. We have to teach them survival skills.
Why yes, it is. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then we'll begin.