Staff Editorial

April Fool’s jokes should be taken as just that: jokes

Nearly two weeks ago, The Daily Cougar ran an April Fool’s edition of sorts. In it, we told readers that we were going to end operations and disable the comment section of our Web site. Neither happened. Were The Daily Cougar to end operations, we can assure you that it would be front-page news.

Most of the feedback we received was from people who understood that it was a joke. Unfortunately, the Houston Chronicle’s readers are apparently not quite so fond of humor.

In the paper’s MomHouston blog was a list of practical jokes for parents to play on their kids for April Fool’s Day. One of the jokes suggested parents tell their children that “they were adopted and now their birth mothers want them back.”

Readers were livid. It’s as if they expect the Chronicle’s MomHouston blog to raise their children for them.

“Wait a second … you’re telling us we have to read what MomHouston tells us and then decide whether or not it’s an appropriate parenting technique, too? Oh no, that’s just too much work.”

Then perhaps you should reprioritize, or you could put your kid up for adoption. Then it wouldn’t be a joke, and you’d have more time for yourself.

“Many readers have let us know how unfunny and inappropriate that advice was,” read a follow-up story in the next day’s print edition of the Star section. But the section didn’t force any parent to tell their children this. Why didn’t anyone notice that it was April 1, laugh and then leave it alone? Are we really so sensitive?

Here’s a news flash, mothers of the greater Houston area: Not everything you read in parenting books, magazines, articles and blogs is true. In fact, most of it probably isn’t, because there is no right or wrong when it comes to parenting. Every kid is different, and it’s up to the parents to decide how to nurture their child’s skill set.

That’s not MomHouston’s job. Her job is to suggest and inform. And is it so bad for her to try and make you laugh from time to time?

Absolutely not.

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