Friday, January 01, 2010

Ask a Grown-Up

Yesterday I heard an ad for Dial-a-Psychic, giving a sample question. It occurred to me that what the caller needed was not a psychic; any competent adult could have given him decent advice after asking a few logical questions. A better service could be provided by eliminating the psychic component and renaming it Dial-an-Adult.

So many problems could be fixed with just a little Adult advice. Dating issues, child-rearing problems, and budget troubles could all be cured with a little input from someone with her head screwed on straight. Take these examples:

Caller: Joe isn’t the kind of guy I’d want to marry, but it’s OK to have a couple of dates, isn’t it?

Adult: And what is the purpose of dating if not to find a marriage partner? Don’t waste your time (and maybe your life).

Caller: I don’t understand why my kids won’t behave. I love them so much, and I just want to be their friend.

Adult: Kids don’t want parental friends; they want PARENTS! Get up and discipline them. Use time-outs, deprivation of favorite activities, and good, old-fashioned chores. If your children don’t behave, it’s probably because you were so concerned that they wouldn’t like you that you abdicated your role as the grown-up in your household. You must consistently, lovingly, and sometimes physically assert your dominance. They may tell you they hate you, but somewhere down the road they will thank you.

Caller: My credit cards are maxed out, and I just don’t know how I’m going to provide Christmas for my kids this year. Can you recommend an agency to help?

Adult: Sorry. Sometimes the best lessons your kids learn are hard ones. You messed up your credit? Too bad; your kids won’t have a Toys-r-Us Christmas. This year, you will have to do your Christmas shopping at the thrift store and garage sales or make items from what you have on hand. If your budget is underfunded, have a family meeting and let your kids know that sacrifices have to be made by everyone. Then cut up those cards and begin to pay your debts.

Adult advice could help many people. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to behave like adults because responsible living means self-denial, delayed gratification, and hard work. Dial-an-Adult is a great idea which will never work. It’s easier to call a psychic.

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