Parenting 101: The Ultimate Summer Kids’ Camp

John Hartnett

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Here’s a very special offer from the Dog Days of Summer Academy for all you parents out there who didn’t sign your kids up for any summer programs because you thought it would be important for them to experience the lazy, carefree days you remember so fondly as a child and are now petrified that something regrettable will happen if you hear the phrase “I’m bored” just one more time.

Leave it to the next generation to give the formerly endearing term “endless summer” a sinister new meaning. Not to worry. We’ll make things right -and for only $895 per student!

While there are thousands of summer programs that focus on athletics, academics and the arts, the Academy staff understands that it’s you, the parent, who are paying the bills around here and should therefore reap the lion’s share of the benefits derived from the skills we instill upon your children. That’s why our program focuses on teaching your kids skills to make your life easier – not theirs. Sounds selfish? It is!

Sample courses include:

DDA-012 Short Order Cooking
(Ages 4-12)
Learn to wake up on the weekends quietly without disturbing your parents, enjoy the satisfaction of making your own breakfast, master the art of cooking crepes, eggs benedict, corn beef hash and for those of you too short to reach the stovetop, cereal.
(Prerequisite: DDA-213 Dishwashing)

DDA-362 The Telephone and You
(Ages 4-16)
Did you know that the telephone is one of mankind’s most valuable tools? Harness its true power by learning how to write messages down and deliver them in less than 48 hours. Understand the importance of hanging up telephone extensions so that others may contact you or members of your immediate family.

DDA-815 Speaking to Adults (for beginners)
(Ages 4-16)
In this introductory class we will discuss the art of conversation between children and adults beginning and ending with the simple greeting that leads to more in depth conversations covered in DDA-816 Speaking to Adults (intermediate). At the end of six weeks, when an adult relative or friend of your parents spots you on the street and says “hello”, you’ll be amazed to hear yourself say “hello” back in a clear, articulate voice!

DDA-101 Conflict Resolution for Siblings
(Ages 18 months to 18)
Did you know that screaming, bickering and knock down, drag out fights between siblings are the number one reason parents leave for vacations in the dead of night often without telling their children where they’re going or when they’ll return? This course provides a variety of techniques for restoring order in the house. You’ll learn how to argue in silence using “The Mime Way™”, soundproof your tree house, file a restraining order, and for extreme cases, learn how parents can doctor birth certificates to enhance your eligibility for the Merchant Marines.

DDA-901 How to Prolong the Life Expectancy of Baseball Hats
(Ages 6-18)
In this simple, three minute class, we will explore the reasons why baseball hats which are consistently worn indoors in spite of parental requests to remove them disappear at a much greater rate than those baseball hats that are worn only when outside the home. (Prerequisite: DDA-599 Introduction to the Knee and Its Role in the Classification of Short Pants)

DDA-472 Eating Meals at Home
(Ages 4-16)
This course is built upon an exciting role-playing game in which you play the parent and the instructors play your children. Points are awarded to the children’s team whenever a “child” succeeds in ordering “off the menu”, has to be called to the table more than twice, fails to wash hands before sitting down, refuses to eat healthier items, is able to persuade you to dish out dessert in spite of not finishing dinner, uses fingers in lieu of utensils and chews with their mouth open. “Parents” are awarded points if they are able to remain in the dining room without sneaking out to go on vacation.

Dog Days Academy classes begin next week. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed or we’ll refund the entire amount or keep your children until they’re 18. Operators are standing by. . .

John Hartnett is the owner of Early Bird Publishing, a manufacturer of humorous greeting cards. He can be reached at


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