Oregon Trail Gave Us All The Parenting Advice We’ll Ever Need

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Popular parenting movements like free-range parenting hearken back to a time when kids were free to be kids. But maybe they don’t go far enough back? Instead of spending money on pricey parenting-advice books, we can take a (virtual) page out of Oregon Trail, the beloved MECC game that occupied 97% of our childhood computer usage. Oregon Trail-style parenting is sure to sweep the nation faster than a cholera outbreak. You too can follow these easy steps to create a family as close-knit and well-traveled as our pioneering ancestors of yore!

1. Make sure your kids learn about firearm safety.

oregon trail huntingIf you’re going to have a gun on the premises, it’s important to teach kids about responsible firearm use. And what could be a more responsible use of a firearm than running at a tree while shooting wildly in all directions?

2. Always have a well-stocked pantry.

oregon trail foodAt any given time, it’s best to have 200 pounds of food on hand for each member of your family. You never know when the trail to the grocery store is going to become impassable, so it’s best to play it safe. And the best part: you’ll never have to hear your kids whine “Mooooom, I’m hungry!” ever again, because they know if they do, they’ll be directed to the giant pile of hardtack and jerky.

3. Name your kids whatever you like.

oregon trail namesNamed after beloved Great-Uncle Boogerbutt, of course. It’s an old family name.

4. “Hands-on” is the best way to teach kids about science.

oregon trail dysenteryTake the anti-vaxxer mentality to its logical conclusion by treating your kids to their own exciting cases of measles, cholera, and typhoid fever. Literally nothing is more natural than drinking water tainted with feces–the only true paleo diet.

Also, I’m bad at knowing what’s irony and what isn’t. But is it ironic that the child I named ‘Poo’ came down with dysentery immediately after we set out to Oregon, or is it just coincidental?

5. Two outfits are enough.

oregon trail clothingI don’t care what the cool new fashion trend at school is, everyone in the family is getting exactly two sets of clothing apiece. And they’re all overalls. Deal with it.

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