Dilbert’s Guide to Parenting

Scott Adams has to explain to his 6-year-old son why he will not buy him two video games instead of one, even though he’s rich.

My strategy — and it has been extremely successful so far — is to offer such boringly technical explanations that his 6-year old eyes glaze over and he wanders away. For example:

Me: Well, the reason you can have one but not two video games will require an explanation that spans the fields of economics and psychology. Pull up a chair and I’ll begin by discussing the future expected value of good character development versus the present incremental value of an extra video game. Would it help to review the concept of discounted cash flows?

6-year old: Never mind. I’ll ask Mom.

My method has the advantage that he understands I have a reason, and he’s reminded that I’m still smarter than he is. I plan to milk this approach until he starts reading my blog.

Sounds like a plan.

via Todd Zywicki

FILED UNDER: Humor, Parenting,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Herb says:

    Explanations are all well and good, but just buy him one game. If he starts giving you a hard time, then, don’t buy him any. If he gives you a hard time or throws a tantrum, a good swat across the rear end will usually solve the problem.

    I know, We raised six.

  2. floyd says:

    james; perfect approach! i don’t know why it’s harder to apply with grandkids though![lol]could it be the parental responsibility?[lol]