This morning I read the book Guide to Pirate Parenting: Why you Should Raise Your Kids As Pirates, and 101 Tips on How to Do It by Tim Bete.
Guide to Pirate Parenting was re-released after it was named Humor Book of the Year finalist. We frequently get asked to review women’s interest and parenting-related books. The name was catchy, the picture was funny, and we love parenting material, and so we decided to give it a review.
If you’ve heard of this book around the parenting circles or been thinking of buying it, here’s the rundown.
The Short Version
The Guide to Pirate Parenting is a humor book, not a non-fiction reference book on parenting. Yes, buy it if you want a good laugh and/or are a big fan of pirates in general (Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow, etc.). Buy it if your husband always wanted to be a pirate but never realized his dream. Do not buy this book for new parents who are expecting real parenting material or information for raising children!
Dads will love this book (especially the part about turning the family minivan into a pirate ship). Kids from preschoolers through tweens will roar with laughter if it’s read aloud. Most moms (if anything like me) will occasionally get a chuckle and feel very afraid for people who take this book’s instructions literally!
The name and author. Above the graphic on the cover are the words “Cap’n Billy “The Butcher” MacDougall’s” Guide to Pirate Parenting. In the Introduction, author Tim Bete describes how he met “Cap’n Billy”, a real live pirate. The pirate told Bete his life story and convinced him to write a book teaching parents to raise their children as pirates. His reasoning was that there weren’t enough pirates in the world anymore! Since this book comes from a humor columnist, I can only assume that Cap’n Billy is a fictional character, but there is no indication of whether this is so.
Caveat: The author is a parenting writer, with published work in Atlanta Parent, Big Apple Parent, Northwest Family, and more. However, this book is purely humor and comedy, and should not be taken as real parenting instruction on how to care for kids.
Bete describes his assumption that dads will love the idea of raising kids as pirates and moms will be confused, mainly because of the difference in their chromosomes. When I got this book, my husband actually read the entire introduction aloud, and I have to say that I laughed about it more than he did!
Guide to Pirate Parenting is filled with funny pirate versions of nursery rhymes, bedtime stories, children’s songs, and more that are sure to get a smile. There are also checklists at the end of every chapter so that you can check on the progress of your child’s conversion to a pirate.
Funny Excerpts From Guide to Pirate Parenting:
“Ask potential babysitters the following questions: what is the largest mutiny you have quelled? Can you tie any of these knots? Most importantly, can you untie these knots of my children tie you up using them? Be clear regarding what is expected of the babysitter and whether you plan to ever return. ”
“Do you have any recipes for cute pirate birthday cakes with little ships on top? No, you have this book confused with Martha Stewart Parenting.”
“Fighting a bedtime battle is no different than fighting a battle at sea. First tell your child to surrender or “prepared to be boarded.” If he resists, take out a wooden paddle and “board his bottom” until he’s willing to go to bed.”
All in all, the Guide to Pirate Parenting is a funny book and definitely a good read for family time if you have kids and spouses that will get the jokes (instead of taking everything at face value). For extra family fun, let your kids dress up in their pirate Halloween costumes before you read a chapter for the night!