Expert Advice: Parenting insights from the ones being parented

by Shannon Farrell

Well, hello again. You’ve come back for some more Expert Advice, I see.

Welcome, welcome.

This week, we’re talking with a young lady who’s 8 years old, and if you’ve come for insight, excellent points, and of course a little bit o’ potty humor, you shan’t be disappointed. 

Let’s dive right in!

Hi there! How old are you?

I’m 8!

Cool. How many people are in your family?

Uhh……*counting on her fingers and then grinning* at least 3,000 because of our ancestors. 

Wow. I guess you’re right. So you and me are probably related, right?

Yeah. We are. 

Read archived Hell Raisers content here.

What’s your favorite food?

Ice cream and candy! And… veggies? And fruit? And ice cream and candy. And chocolate. And apples. 

What’s the worst thing your parents ever made you eat?


Got it. Broccoli’s always the villain, isn’t it?


So, what’s the most important thing a parent should teach their kids?

How to swim! How to catch a ball. And how to watch TV.

How to watch TV?! Did you have to be taught how to watch TV?

Yeah. Because you have to be taught how to use the remote.

You mean you weren’t born knowing that?

Uh-huh. I wasn’t born knowing that. 

Okay. Hmmm. Well, what DID you know already when you were born?

That my family loves me!

Aw. I love that. What’s the best thing about life?

Family, friends, sun, light, darkness, Jesus, God, love, kindness, everyone from the Bible. 

Awesome, that covers a lot! What’s the best part of being a kid?

You don’t have to be pulled up like a baby. You can run around with your friends. You don’t have to listen to sad music at dinner time…[pauses] Why is there a zipper on this bag?

I’m not sure. So you can open it I guess? What’s the best thing your parents have taught you?

How to be an awesome girl!

Seems like it! What do you think makes someone a good parent?  

Love and inspiring and believing! 

What should parents always do?

LOVE their kids! Be kind to their kids! And let kids eat birthday cake!

Of course! What should parents never do?

Maybe they should never, like, be mean to their kids. 

That makes sense. If you were the Queen of Parenting, what advice would you give to all the parents?

Let your kids eat cake! And be kind, obviously. 

Cake seems important to you. (and Marie Antoinette…)

YEAH. It is. Because it’s so yummy. And my birthday is soon. 

Oh, that makes sense! Happy almost birthday! What’s something your parents do that you love?

Let us play, and have fun, and help us, and say that we can go to school with our friends.

What’s something your parents do that you don’t like?

Make me eat broccoli. Put me in time out. And cancel fun things that we were going to do. Like today, my brother didn’t listen, and we were going to do a pumpkin carving day, but then we couldn’t because he didn’t listen. 

Oh, that stinks. Hopefully, you get to carve pumpkins another day.  

Yeah. For real.

Alright thanks for talking to me. Is there anything else you want to say to parents?

Yeah, I have some more. Can I say it??

Go for it!

I think that you should teach your kids how to write. Like, write letters to yourself. My dad’s been teaching me how to write letters to myself and parents should do that. 

Oh wow, that’s cool. I want to hear more about that. Tell me more.

About me writing? Well, a few days ago, I was playing and my friend and I started fighting, and we were playing, but then we both got mad and Dad called me in and I had to write a letter to myself and to [my friend].

What did the letter say?

It was about like… it said “Dear Me, I wish that [my friend] didn’t hurt me, but I also hurt him. I wish that we could build a relationship …and (this is the funny part)……. P.S. I love my dad. P.S.S. I pooped.“ 

Hahaha….. Oh boy. Poop. Why am I not surprised. Well, I like this letter idea a lot. Thanks for sharing it with me! 

You’re welcome! 




I know we’re only two weeks into this thing, but so far, if I had to summarize what I’m learning about parenting, it would look something like this:

  1. Kids like sugar and swimming
  2. Kids like nice parents
  3. Kids like talking about poop. 

Would you concur? 

Until next time, cheers to you, mamas and papas and caregivers of all spots and stripes. Keep on loving.

You’re doing the thing! 

Shannon is a mother of two who likes to run, work out, and drink wine. Except the truth is, she actually only likes to do one of those things.

Photo: Our 8-year-old expert, by Shannon Farrell