Then came The Simpsons. Now its fair to say they weren’t the first parents who used their children for humour and expressed the exhaustion and frustration of family life – think Roseanne Barr – but even now, most family shows have children who are either nauseatingly precocious or little more than props to demonstrate that they are based on a nuclear family. (Two and a Half Men is probably an exception here – the child is allowed to be humourous.)
Perhaps by virtue of being a cartoon, The Simpsons are considerably rougher on the children, ranging from verbal and physical neglect to outright abuse. I can’t imagine any non-cartoon allowing a small child to be strangled by his father every week!
So in honour of what Homer Simpsons teaches us about parenting, here are some of his classics. I don’t necessarily recommend that you adopt any of these in your family life or parenting.
1. Anything hard isn’t worth doing
2. Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!
3. Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean I don’t understand
4. If you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers.
5. Well, it’s 1 a.m. Better go home and spend some quality time with the kids.
6. Don’t discourage the boy! Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals! Except the weasel.
7. If you don’t like your job you don’t strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American way.
8. The answer to life’s problems aren’t at the bottom of a bottle, they’re on TV!
9. When you participate in sporting events, it’s not whether you win or lose: it’s how drunk you get.
10. What do we need a psychiatrist for? We know our kid is nuts.
11. Marriage is like a coffin and each kid is another nail.
12. Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.
13. I wonder where Bart is, his dinner’s getting all cold …… and eaten.
14. Kids, kids. As far as Daddy’s concerned, you’re both potential murderers.
15. Oh no! What have I done? I smashed open my little boy’s piggy bank, and for what? A few measly cents, not even enough to buy one beer. Wait a minute, lemme count and make sure … not even close.
16. OK, son. Just remember to have fun out there today, and if you lose, I’LL KILL YOU!
Do you have any Simpsons parenting classic quotes? Send them in.