Pete Johnson’s How to Train Your Parents is a delightful, light-hearted story of Louis, a 12-year-old who is an aspiring stand-up comedian. But his parents do not know about his dream and instead expect him to do well at school all the time and participate in all activity clubs. Even though Louis tries hard, he cannot meet their standards. Life is hell until he meets Maddy, a seemingly shy, introverted girl next door who gives him four foolproof ways to train one’s parents. Louis tries these rules on his folks and voila, they work like a charm for him.
How to Train your Parents by Pete Johnson.
When I got this book, I was eager to find out if the rules really work. Being a troublesome kind of teen, I think any help in getting papa and mama on track is welcome.
Well, I am not going to keep the juicy details to myself. The rules are simple and, if applied in limited doses, can work on the parents.
Not good enough: Shrutika enacts one of the ‘faces’ that are part of Rule No. 3 while dad Sachin Shridhar looks on, unmoved.Rule No. 1
Ignore your parents
This rule sounds mind-blowing. If only it was possible to follow it all the time. Unfortunately, it comes with a small rider. If you ignore your parents for a long time, then you really cannot ask for that new Adidas football, beg for a cellphone or demand the latest Hilary Duff album you’ve been eyeing for so long. So, take my advice and don’t use this rule unless there is absolutely nothing you want, which will never be the case. So, Rule 1 is a big no-no, at least for me, because I always want something from the folks.
Rule No. 2
Use dramatic phrases
Now, theatrical sentences, such as “I didn’t ask to be born in this family you know” or “Please can you leave me alone in my never-ending misery” etc., sound fabulous and really loaded but, alas, most parents of today or, at least mine, seem to have developed a thick hide for such melodrama. I have come to the realization that in my case, this rule will never work. My mother, first of all, never pays attention to anything I say and my father is always out of town. If and when my mother pays attention to such morose dialogues, she quickly threatens to call up Ektaa Kapoor and make her give me a starring role in her next daily soap. And that I cannot stomach.
Rule No. 3
Make faces and sigh whenever your parents talk to you
Yes! Finally, a rule which might just work wonders. The idea of making a disgusted face at whatever your parents say and sighing loudly while conversing with them is sheer bliss. But be careful. This might just get a little tricky, as parents will mistake your “I want to be left alone” stance for plain rudeness. So, it’s best if one stays within limits, especially by not going overboard with the sighing bit. You are bound to be lectured to if you overuse this trick. I say that from personal experience and hours of “You have to learn to behave” lectures, you know.
Rule No. 4
Slam doors regularly
What a wonderful rule…because it will get you thrown out of the house, pronto. So if your plan is to be booted out, then try this every day. As for me, considering that every month the carpenter has to be called to fix something or the other, I see no harm in banging a few doors…and windows. It did get the folks a little mad but hey, they also knew something was wrong and paid closer attention. But do make sure that the doors in your house are strong enough before you execute this rule.
Shrutika Shridhar is a 13-year-old studying at Convent of Jesus and Mary School, New Delhi. She lives to play football, loves listening to music and is a complete bookworm. Currently, she is trying to convince her parents she needs a cellphone.
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