Duties include, but are not limited to:
- Arbitration and mediation
- Art and creative pursuits
- Baking on an ad hoc / PTA basis
- Careers advice
- Cleaning (including Biohazard)
- Concierge services
- Customer service
- Diary management / Social co-ordination
- Early morning duties
- Embarrassing dance moves / outfits / opinions
- Financial advice
- First aid
- Health and Safety
- Homework support
- Imaginative games playing
- Interviewing / interrogating
- Late night duties
- Logistics and Planning
- Monitoring and quality assurance
- Moral guidance
- Motivational speaking
- Parent liaison
- Polygraph testing
- Positive role modeling
- Progress assessment
- Record keeping and data cataloging
- Sanitation enforcement
- Sewing, particularly costume making
- Story reading
- Teaching, Coaching and Mentorship
- Wellbeing management
Self-starter: must be able to hit the ground running (no training provided)
People person with a cheerful disposition and a can-do attitude
Blue skies thinker: able to think outside the box and eat the elephant one bite at a time
Physical fitness important for the first decade (maybe more) of the role. Insomniacs are particularly invited to apply
Driving license and own car preferred
I, __________________________. will parent you, _________________________ to the best of my ability. This means:
I will give you the best start that I can. I will feed you the healthiest food within my constraints, provide you with opportunities to exercise and play outside. This means that I will not cave in to your fussiness and make you walk when you’re tired, but you’ll thank me in the long run. I will help you to develop healthy sleep habits, because it really is important (and I’m a nicer person when I am sleeping enough).
I will help you when needed / asked, but will not do everything for you. You must learn over time to stand on your own two feet. I am your parent, not your servant (once you’re able to walk)! From the age of 2, if not before, you are capable of putting your dirty clothes in the laundry basket so we’ll start from there. My job is to guide you towards independence and adulthood.
I expect you to make mistakes. Hundreds, maybe thousands or millions of them. I will do my best to let you make your own mistakes and learn from them. Mistakes are good because they mean you’re trying something new. If you never try, you’ll never grow. But I reserve the right to pass comment if I see you heading for disaster!
I will provide you with a safe home and fully include you in our family. But: everyone in the family is as important as everyone else. That includes me. It’s not all about you: adults also need respect, privacy and boundaries and this is my home too. Give respect to get respect.
I expect you to behave poorly sometimes and push boundaries, because I understand that this is how you find out where they are. Part of feeling safe is knowing that there is consistency in the world, so I will continue to react to you acting out in a firm, non-violent way. Your actions have consequences sometimes positive and sometimes negative, and I will not give you what you want unless you ask me respectfully.
Although you make me angry sometimes, I will never ever hit you. That’s a promise.
I will teach you discipline, manners, boundaries and how to be a decent, kind person. You won’t always like it, but I have a theory. If we work hard on these when you’re little, you will develop a strong moral compass and become self-disciplined. As you earn my trust, you will be afforded greater freedom. The greater your capacity to make thoughtful choices, the more trust and freedom you’ll receive.
I will support your need to socialise outside of school time in an age appropriate way: this is your home too and you can invite even your friends that I’m less keen on over. But again, everyone in our family is important. I am not your chauffeur and my free time and money are not exclusively for entertaining you. Creativity and inventiveness are the gifts of boredom! You’re welcome.
As far as I am financially able, I will give you everything you need and some of what you want. Happiness does not come from what you own and your possessions should not define who you are. Wanting something and working towards achieving it yourself, such as through saving and earning money, is far more satisfying that being handed it without any effort. I am not responsible for buying you all the toys that you ask for, an iPhone X or designer sneakers. If you want something, find a way of earning it or wait until Christmas / your birthday and ask politely.
I will endeavor to answer your questions, even when I find them complicated or uncomfortable. I would rather that you came to me first with what is bothering you, even if I don’t like what you are asking. This doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to feel emotional about it – being your parent means that I care deeply about you and the choices that you make.
I will provide a safe space to talk about what is bothering you. This does not mean that I can (or should) protect you from everything. Or that I agree with you all of the time Or that I will lie on your behalf. The older you become, the more you are responsible for your own actions. Treat others as you would like to be treated.
I will listen to what you have to say and, so far as is possible, be reasonable in the face of disagreement. This doesn’t mean that you will get your own way, but you will be heard before a decision is made. I am your parent, not your equal until you become an adult and can look after yourself. Sometimes the answer is no, but I will always explain why.
I will try to learn who you are: what makes you happy and what shapes your views. I will endeavor not to project my hopes and dreams on to you: that is what my own life is for!
I will respect your worries and fears and not force you to do anything that makes you deeply unhappy. This does not mean that I will not push you out of your comfort zone sometimes. If you never try something new, you’ll never learn what you’re really capable of.
I will advocate for you when you find it difficult to do so for yourself, but I will not be THAT parent. The one that all the teachers / other adults know about because they think their kid is always right. Sometimes you will be the guilty party and the consequences of your actions will not be up to me. I will always be by your side when you need me, but I can’t (and wouldn’t even if I could) make the world dance to your tune. You’re so special to me, but the world owes you nothing.
I will comfort you when you are unhappy. Even if it is because of your own making. Then I will be a gently critical friend because although everyone makes mistakes, it is important to learn from them. We can try to arrive at some conclusions together, if you like. Life is difficult and no-one has it completely figured out.
I will always love you.