Three hundred years from now, when people are living on the moon and illegal aliens (literally) are scattered across Earth, the captain of some star-ship is going to explain his battle strategy by saying, “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
I was watching The Godfather for the 3,066th time the other day and I realized that there is some great parenting wisdom hidden behind the bloodshed and Italian accents. below are the top 10 pieces of parenting advice I found in quotes from the movie:
10: “Leave the gun…..take the cannolis.” – Clemenza: If ever your daughter comes home with an undesirable, take him out back to threaten and/or harm him. Leave that ugliness out-back where no one can find it. Then, when he is “convinced it won’t work”, come back inside with some sweets or pastries to help break the
good bad news to your daughter that her friend felt the need to keep his future open.
9: “The Corleone Family wants to buy me out? No, I buy you out, you don’t buy me out!” – Moe Green: Don’t let your kids think they can make the rules. You tell them what to do, they don’t tell you.
8: “In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns.” – Calo: Teach your daughter to be tough and not to take crap from anyone, especially men. As her father, you should set an example for what a man should be. Have her set her expectations high and if a guy doesn’t meet them then she should have no problem axing him.
7: “Hey, listen, I want somebody good – and I mean very good – to plant that gun. I don’t want my brother coming out of that toilet with just his dick in his hands, alright?” – Sonny: Prepare your child for life. Don’t over shelter them. Let them learn their own lessons. Don’t be afraid to punish them. Show them how great the world and life can be, but let them know the flip-side of life’s coin as well. The world can be a tough place, so they may need a little grit themselves to battle through whatever obstacles come their way. Don’t send them into the world empty-handed. Help them try to be self-sufficient, confident, and aware. A little attitude doesn’t hurt either.
6: “My father made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.” – Michael: Of course this had to be on the list. Simply put, let the boyfriends and others know you care deeply for your daughter, and that their well-being is dependent on your daughter’s well-being.
5: “If there is trouble, I stay here to help you. For your father. For your father.” – Enzo the Baker: Teach your children the importance of family, loyalty and respect. Teach them to help others and contribute to society, as there are so many that only take.
4: “It’s a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.” – Clemenza: Teach your kids that there are repercussions for their actions. They may temporarily hate you for their punishments, but it will inevitably lead to responsibility and character.
3: “I like to drink wine more than I used to…Anyway, I’m drinking more.” – Don Corleone: Kids will do that to you. Always have a bottle on hand.
2: “I never wanted this for you. I work my whole life, I don’t apologize, to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool dancing on the strings held by all of those big shots. That’s my life, I don’t apologize for that. But I always thought that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone, Governor Corleone, something.” – Don Corleone: Do whatever you need to do to support your family. Work for your children so they have what they need to be successful in life. Sacrifice and set examples. Don’t be afraid to dream big for them in hopes they achieve great things. Let them go after their dreams. You will feel rewarded in their achievements. Regardless of what they end-up being or doing in life, if they grow to be healthy, smart, responsible, caring and happy people, then you did your job.
1: “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.” – Don Corleone: No explanation needed.