How to scare your neighbors and slow puberty at the same time

Posted on January 25, 2012


Neighbours ordered new blinds

Welcome to WTF Wednesday, where advice is completely free for the first six months if you commit to a ten-year contract and agree to pay whatever I decide you should during that time.

This week we were cleaning out our closet and found a few answers under a pile of dust bunnies and long-lost socks. We thought we’d share our good fortune with you and apply them to a few extra questions this week.

The first question comes from Christina Majaski who tweets as @cmajaski and owns the in-your-face-funny blog Solitary Mama. She writes:

Dear IBMP,

How old is too old to hang around the house naked?

Parenting involves a lot of nakedness. It even starts with nakedness (unless you’re one of those who prefers not to waste time bothering with all those buttons and clasps). I’m not an expert on nakedness per se, but I have been naked before.

There are a few ways to interpret your question; I’ll answer both.

At what age should a person stop hanging around the house naked? That’s really up to the individual and how much they value their neighbors’ friendship. As a general rule, you know you are getting too old to walk around the house with fully aerated loins when your neighbors offer to buy you blinds for your windows.

What about parents? When is your child too old for you to be wandering around the house naked?  You know your children are getting too old for you to walk around the house naked when one or both of the following conditions exist:

  1. Your son begins charging his friends for sleepovers at your house.
  2. Your daughter begins paying her friends for sleepovers at theirs.

Problem solved. You’re welcome!


Our next question comes via Twitter from Kasia (@PolPrairieMama), owner of the blog Polish Mama on the Prairie. She writes:

Dear IBMP,

Is it OK to breastfeed in public?

See, this is what sets IBMP apart from all those wannabe advice sites: I don’t shy away from controversy. I’ll give you my opinion regardless of how many nasty letters I throw away unopened as a result.

The answer is unequivocally no. I’m a 40-something year old man for goodness’ sake. I would never breastfeed in public. My wife is embarrassed just to be seen with me in public let alone to be seen with me groping her like that.  I make sure to only breastfeed in the privacy of my own home. Sometimes I’ll even draw the blinds that my neighbors bought for me last summer.

Problem solved. You’re welcome!


The final question is one we get here every week without fail. Most of the time, it is typed into search engines and the fortunate Seeker of Wisdom is directed to I’ve Become My Parents for expert advice.

Dear IBMP,

How can I slow down puberty?

Clearly, the writer is a parent hoping to squeeze the last few moments of hormone-free peace out of their children.

You’re asking the right guy: as the parent of a pre-teen, I’ve read every puberty book on the planet (that’s right, I get them for the articles, not just the pictures).

Based on my extensive research, there’s this thing called the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG) that initiates puberty. It’s the HPG’s fault that your kid’s about to go all Paris Hilton on you. There is no known physical way to slow puberty. No food; no exercises; no pills.

The only chance you have of slowing puberty is to use psychological tactics to trick the body into thinking its very survival is dependant on avoiding puberty. You need to scare the living crap out of your child’s hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.

The good news is that it’s quite simple. You already have the answer to scaring the puberty right out of your pre-teen:  just keep walking around the house naked.

Problem solved. You’re welcome!


Got a parenting question you want answered? Leave it below and we’ll get right on it.

Posted in: Advice (bad)