If your parents are anything like mine, they spend far too much time working, and not enough time paying attention to their children. If that sounds familiar, I have a top tip for ensuring you get a full afternoon of decent engagement out of them. Just follow these step-by-step instructions.
Getting them to work less and play more
- Insist on being taken to a grown-up’s party the day before you hatch your plan. Bear with me here, there is very good reason for this. Endure the 2 hour journey with a minimum of whining.
- On arrival, politely thank your hosts for a plate of food and a glass of lemonade, then retire graciously to the playroom with 6 children you’ve never met before. Allow your parents to socialise. Whatever happens, no matter how long you’re at that party, in that playroom, with those children you don’t know, do not complain. Allow yourself a maximum of 3 visits to your parents to wonder when you might be going home. Be careful not to appear too bored.
- When the time comes to leave, say something about having had a lovely time, and smile sweetly at all the tipsy adults. Accept compliments and endure the endless process of saying goodbye without comment.
- Ask if it might be possible to stay up late for the final of your favourite talent show, and depending on their reaction, gauge whether or not you have leeway to ask for a chinese takeaway on the sofa. Never give in to tiredness.
- In the morning, let your parents have a lie-in while you create an event in their honour.
They will have no choice but to go for it. They will pay for their tickets, follow the visual clues for the treasure hunt, winning Moshi Monster figures (which they will have to give back, because they belong to the Bug), and play with you on the trampoline. When they lose their tickets, they will respond favourably to the administration fee – “replacement tickets are £1.”
Knowing they owe you, they will enthusiastically engage in the activities on offer, including those of the ‘Jumping/Flying’ room:
There you have it. Next time your parents ignore you in favour of Twitter, spreadsheets or marketing plans, bide your time. Then hit them with this!
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