The Junk Drawer

What ‘Gremlins’ can teach you about your little monsters

Which one is your kid acting like today?
Which one is your kid acting like today?

While you’re setting your DVR for Christmas classics and digging through your old holiday DVDs, we want to remind you of one festive flick you may have forgotten – Gremlins! In addition to a wintry backdrop and sweet ‘80s hair, this holiday movie also gives us a great analogy for how to parent our kids.

In the movie, the main character receives a gift of an adorable, cuddly little pet that comes with three important rules for care:

  1. Don’t expose him to bright light – it will kill him.
  2. Don’t ever get water on him – or he’ll multiply.
  3. Don’t feed him after midnight – because it will turn him into a man-eating monster.

The thing is, we’re pretty sure these rules are actually about the adorable little Mogwai living in your house. Here’s a reinterpretation of the Gremlins rules, as they might just relate to your kids:

  1. Don’t allow bright light into their rooms during sleep time – it will kill any hope of sleeping in for Mom and Dad.
  2. Don’t ever let them have a drink of your water – unless you want totally gross backwash to instantly multiply and fill your glass.
  3. Don’t feed them right after you’ve bathed them (or cleaned your kitchen) – because eating turns them into food-covered, mess-making monsters!

Although as far as Rule #3 is concerned, a recent study suggests that when your kid does the kind of food exploration that results in a major mess, he may actually be learning. Researchers gave 16-month-olds a bunch of unfamiliar gloppy foods, and the kids who played with them the most learned the names of the foods more quickly. So letting him play with his food might turn out to be a good educational opportunity.

But still, it’s a real pain in the Gizmos to clean up.

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