How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

9 Parenting Tips from the Movie ‘Zombieland’

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Parentland Survival Tips

Yes. It’s time for another helpful parenting lesson using zombie culture. In case you didn’t learn the first time, the second time or every other time, this one should teach you something. I guess.

I was a big fan of “Zombieland” when it came out. There was something sort of inspiring about it, though I couldn’t tell you exactly why. But now I think I’ve figured it out.


Sure, your kids aren’t trying to eat you (that you know of), chase you (yes, they are) and otherwise turn you into a zombie (okay, fine, they’re doing all of these things), but they sure do try their hardest make life apocalyptic.

So, here are nine parenting tips from the movie “Zombieland” — enjoy!


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If you’ve ever chased a three-year-old at the park or down a sidewalk to prevent them from falling, attacking someone or otherwise maiming themselves, then you know the marathon-level athletic skill required to cope with parenting on a DAILY basis.

“Cardio” isn’t just running fast. It’s running long distances and for the rest of your life, literally and figuratively. And though we may load up on carbs every night, this race will never end.


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Did you change that diaper? BETTER DOUBLE CHECK. Is that smoke you smell? YOU CAN’T BE TOO SURE. Did I leave the kids at home by accident? YES, YES YOU DID.

This isn’t about measuring twice and cutting once. When you become a parent, you need double check everything, so much that you almost forget how to count. Honestly, you only need to count to the number two when you have kids. Everything should take about two seconds, everything needs to be done twice and, coincidentally, it’s the maximal number of minutes you’ll have to yourself, every day.

Double tap. Because twice is harder than once.


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Bad things happen in bathrooms. Well, mostly after I’ve eaten too much, but especially when you have kids. They won’t leave you alone to do your business in peace. Do you know how many times my son has wanted to have an in-depth discussion about the political nuances and various weaponry within the universe of Lego characters? Too many.

Now, if you take your kids to a public bathroom? It’s a dangerous bacterial game of tag between your kids and every disgusting surface in there. I’d rather have my son pee on someone’s front lawn than the bathroom at the local playground.


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I probably shouldn’t have to write anything about this one. If you don’t know why you should be using a seatbelt, please don’t ever have children. If you have children and don’t use a seatbelt, let me know so I can come over and staple-gun a seatbelt strap to your shoulder and hip for the rest of your life.


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This is one of those rules that can sound pretentious, but I took it to mean you shouldn’t overextend yourselves. You need to sleep. You need to eat. Kids can get pretty dramatic and demanding. It’s okay to give them everything you have but without degrading your sanity and health.

I should probably listen to my own advice on this one. Oops.


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You might think this tip is awfully similar to the first one. It’s not. Try bending over to pick up up toys all day or throwing your children up in the air for two hours. You can’t just be fast or strong, you need to be loose. Stretching, liquid muscle relaxers — whatever it takes, party parents. As noted parenting expert Mr. Bruce Lee has said, “Be like water, my friend.”

And now I have to pee again for the fifteenth time tonight.


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This applies to all schools, grocery stores, restaurants, bedrooms, toy stores, kitchens, gun shops, zoos, clown-ridden birthday parties and theme parks. I can’t think of anything worse than being stuck with your kids and no visible way out.

This is also a great opportunity to mention that you should be prepared for the end of the world, whether by zombies or otherwise.


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Listen, you lose a lot of stuff when you’re a parent. Like your mind, for instance. Before you go anywhere, however, check that back seat. Everything from binkies to beverages and bonus money could be there, sometimes between the seat cushions. In more extreme cases, there may be a CHILD IN THE BACK. DO NOT FORGET YOUR CHILD.

They’re usually quite loud so you don’t need a reminder, but I’ve seen stranger stories on Twitter about these kinds of things. CHECK THE BACK SEAT.


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Finally, we have the epitome of parenting. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what you’re supposed to do, what books tell you to do and what other parents are doing. Enjoy yourself. Make a point of giving yourself some room to breathe in all the moments. When your kid pees on the rug, enjoy the beautiful urine-stained Pollock painting he’s created. If your daughter screams at the top of her lungs, take solace in the fact that she has a stronger voice than 90% of the contestants on singing shows. Flip the script on parenting stress, but literally doing a backflip on a trampoline. Whatever it takes.

When in doubt, come back to our site or put on a favorite zombie movie. Unwind.

The world is your Twinkie.


Follow us on Facebook. It’s sort of like the zombie apocalypse. Except funnier.

Here are some more rules for parents… Because RULES ARE FUN AND STOP HITTING YOUR SISTER!
Try this etiquette article about annoying PARENTS! 


16 Responses to “9 Parenting Tips from the Movie ‘Zombieland’”

  1. Lexy says:

    I presume sleep deprivation caused you to skip the #2…at least that would be my excuse!

  2. Monica says:

    I find it a little scary how accurate this is, but then I remember the Zombie Vs. Baby and realize the Genius of both. I love reading everything on this website. I bought the book and I follow you on Facebook and Pinterest. Thanks for making us smile! This is awesome!

  3. Jason Greene says:

    All of these are so true. Now, how can this be worked into those zombie runs?

  4. “The world is your Twinkie.” Ah yes, packaged cake with an inexplicably long shelf life.

    Why do you think we collectively love Zombie movies so much? At least now more so than ever. Zombie films used to be a fringe genre shown at midnight in tiny movie theaters off the beaten path. Now, it’s mainstream, get your action figure in the toy store, love me some zombies 24/7.

    All the parenting references were spot on by the way. Good work Charlie. – Vincent

    • Charlie says:

      Thanks, Vincent. Zombie films have as much to do classism and prejudice as they do the horror elements. I think in times of financial hardship and struggle with a person’s station in life, we look to these apocalyptic moments for entertainment and comparison.

  5. I am continually astounded by your creativity and humor. Don’t be a Hero is solid advice.

  6. Sean says:

    I can’t help but feel like “introduce your children to Bill Murray” should have been in here somewhere 🙂

    Great post, Charlie!

  7. Laura says:

    I thought this was an excellent, heartfelt movie.

    That said, no mention of the heart-breaking Woody’s “dog” storyline? I guess that would be a bit spoileriffic. Caveat: you will have all the feels. This is no mere shoot-em-up monster flick.

  8. Brent Almond says:

    #6 Is so much my mantra. And that of many a “mature” parent. Especially since I’ve committed to being the “Breakfast Machine” that hauls my 4.5 yo out of bed every morning so that we don’t start the day with screaming/whining.

    Time for bed, or I will be an actual zombie tomorrow. Funny stuff fellas, per always.

  9. Kelly says:

    Brilliant 🙂

    RE: #3 – I remember in an especially grody bathroom, telling my son, who was around 5 at the time, “Don’t Touch ANYTHING”. He looked at me and said, “Well, I have to touch my penis or I can’t aim”.

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