Parents: A User’s Guide, Part 5. Active Parents.

Will never be heard to say, “Let’s just chill with a box set.”

If you enjoy fording rivers, scaling mountain ranges and skidding through forests on a trail bike, then active parents are no problem – they are in fact the perfect fit. But if you’d rather curl up with a good book, or view the dangers of the natural world through a You Tube video, this type of parent is your worst nightmare come real.

Just one of the daring activities active parents want you to try.

The big problem is their belief they’re giving you a lifestyle that will keep you fit and healthy. Sadly, even recurring visits to A&E to set your broken bones won’t convince them otherwise. You see, the outdoorsy mums and dads consider accidents a small price to pay for the whizzy adrenaline rush that comes from hanging off a mountainside with two fingers, or hoisting a topsail in a tsunami. That’s their idea of fun. Honestly.

But if it isn’t your idea of fun, that’s probably because you’re not good at it, and if you’re not good at it, your challenge is, “How do I survive?” The best plan is to develop an allergy to something outdoors, such as pollen, or trees, or water. Just make sure it’s something vague and common or they’ll find an environment without it.

Of course, developing allergies on demand isn’t easy, so you must become a master of theatrical make-up. There are many You Tube videos that show how to achieve rashes using nothing more than crispy breakfast cereal, glue and a little face paint. Or if you feel the need for something more dramatic, fill a hot water bottle with vegetable soup, hide it beneath your jumper, then, bending over expel the contents, making bleughhh! noises. It’s surprisingly effective. After your allergy has ruined a few days’ outings, you’ll find your folks less keen to drag you along. At this point, suggest spending the day at a friend’s house or your grandparents’, and as long as they’re as laid back as you, you’ll have no trouble settling down to a whole day of computer games.

If you’ve survived active parents, why not share how you did it?

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