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Life

Chad the Dad on Late Night Parenting and Artsfest

This month, Chad Harris is answering questions about navigating life in Springfield from a dad’s perspective.

By Chad Harris

May 2018

Photos by Brandon Alms

My son wakes in the night to sneak in some TV, then he’s tired all day. Help! 

Every generation must deal with some form of “binging.” When I was growing up we were alerted to the dangers of binge-drinking, in the ’70s my father was warned about binge-streaking, and my grandfather well, he just binge-worked all the time. Today, you have a binge-watching issue to confront with your child. 

In my youth there were very specific windows of time devoted to kid-content or cartoon consumption: after school (for a couple of hours) and Saturday mornings. These restrictions don’t exist any longer and children can now stream Power Rangers vs. Pokémon in Minecraft hosted by insert annoying YouTube star for hours upon hours. It’s as if Sammy B. Good and Mike Malibu crashed into your living room simultaneously screening Voltron and Muppet Babies at all hours of the day. 

So what to do? The best way to discourage late-night watching is to hide the remotes. If the TV can’t be powered on, episodes will not play. Stuff them deep into the couch cushions, in the freezer or any place a child wouldn’t immediately find them (near a pile of books). If all else fails, stuff them into your pillowcase at night. The noisy clinking of plastic will serve as a reminder of your dominance over the situation. 

How do I keep my kids engaged at Artsfest?   

There are so many things for kids to do at Artsfest! But I get it, sometimes the walking and stopping and looking and shopping can wear on children. If your kids are younger, invest in a wagon. Or drive to the event in a golf cart. If your kids are of walking age, remind them that you once walked four hours both ways through a volcano to attend a festival, and once you got arrived it was canceled. To elevate your kids’ Artsfest experience invest in these games: 

Pooch Petting: See how many different dogs you can pet. Extra points for multiple breeds, dogs wearing clothes and cranky canines. 

Corn Crunch Contest: Time each other to see who can eat an ear of corn fastest. Winner receives another ear of corn to slowly enjoy. 

Most/Least: Hunt for the most and least expensive items. Winners select a face paint style for the losers. (Stick Dad with something he’ll despise!)

Remember, if you’re not having fun, you’re not trying hard enough. 

ASK CHAD THE DAD

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Chad (the Dad) is a husband, father and comic who realizes it takes a village to raise a child, yet parents can’t dump their kids in the village square where the village idiot becomes a bad influence. He maintains that you should raise your own damn kids to make the world a better place—have fun, but don’t mess it up for the rest of us. Send your questions to him at standup@chadthedadharris.com

Disclaimer: C(TD) is not a parenting expert, holds no relevant degrees and claims not to provide helpful advice.