Look, we’ve all been there. You capture your child doing something embarrassing on film, share it on the internet, and receive millions of views, likes, and followers. Maybe you shoved their head into a birthday cake. Maybe you paid a cop to arrest them and see if they’d confess to a crime they didn’t commit. Maybe you punched them in the face. All that really matters is that your child’s pain brought you a wave of validation that your own parents could never provide. For some of us, that one ride is enough. But for the truly ambitious, the real dreamers and doers, it’s only the spark. Chasing the dragon of TikTok fame isn’t easy. It may fuck your child up for the rest of their life. But it’s totally worth it. Here’s how to keep the pain train for gain rolling as your child strengthens their tolerance for easy agitation

1. Make a Part 2.

Follow-up videos rarely match their predecessor, so you really want to milk that initial incident for all it’s worth. When life gives you lemons, squeeze the juice in your son’s eyes and exploit it for views and followers. Explain to your followers how it went down, how your child is doing now, and whether your spouse has brought up divorce yet. Anything that’s remotely topical can lure in a few hundred thousand curious viewers hoping to see your kid eat more shit.

2. Toss ‘em down the stairs.

A lot of people say this method is outdated, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The same goes for your son’s nose, which now looks slightly off center and swollen. Why pay exorbitant medical fees to get that set when instead your child could grow up with cool nicknames like “The Schnoz,” “Squidward,” “That kid from the video,” or “Minor Seeking Emancipation.”

3. Dress your child in a sexy, sexy bikini.

Do you really think Charli D’Amelio, TikTok’s biggest star, got where she is by appealing to young females? That’s cute. You know what else is cute? Charlie D’Amelio in the eyes of the Male 18-45 demographic. Content catered to Creeps and Pervs (abbreviated to CP), always hits big on the internet, a surefire way to get your child in front of the eyes of a rapt and fervent audience. Not to mention, CP always draws the wealthiest advertisers.

4. Throw a dog in the mix.

Dogs are the new cats. People on the internet love dogs. Even more important, babies trust dogs. That’ll make lil Sparky’s betrayal of your son a real home run. You could start simple by mounting your child on Sparky’s back—a ride destined for a fall and hopefully a lil’ bump on the noggin. If you want something a little more advanced, you can hide Sparky’s favorite treat in your child’s onesie. Hidden well enough, Sparky will inevitably mistake human flesh for Woofer’s Organic Peanut Butter Dog Bones.

5. Poison the Kibble

Once the dog prank well has run dry, there’s only one way to guarantee views—kill Sparky! Your child will be devastated by the idea of loss, something they have never before contemplated. Make sure you don’t let their first ever cries of existential doom distract you from zooming in on their wide, teary eyes as they realize ‘ol Sparky’s never waking up from his kibble-induced nap.

6. Fuckin’ Do It Again                                                 

Trauma is like music; repetition is catchy. The internet will listen to the same thing on loop if it has a good hook. So run back the original playbook. If your kid’s reaction isn’t up to snuff the second time around (scream too quiet, eyes too dry, etc.), a great way to motivate them is with veiled and explicit threats. It’s always a bummer to give your child trauma that you can’t capture on film for self-profit, but sometimes we must shove our child five steps backwards for us to take one forward.

—W. Cramer