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Getting kids out the door for school in the morning is enough to drive any parent crazy. But Whitney Cicero, who has a 14-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son, has found a unique way to relieve the stress brought on by the morning rush using a paper lunch bag and a marker.
Cicero, who blogs and creates videos at The New Stepford, recently began writing what she calls "passive aggressive lunch bags" for her kids after her own internal dialogue seemed too funny not to share.
"Fortnite is not a career choice," reads one lunch bag.
"Just pretend it's Chipotle," says another.
Cicero says her teenage daughter encouraged her to share photos of the bags on Instagram after her high school classmates began asking to see her lunch bag every day. Since then, the Southern California mom has started selling the bags to followers on her Facebook page and website, even offering to personalize the notes if buyers tell her a bit about their own children.
"I hope everyone gets their kids a pack for their stockings," joked Cicero.
Cicero says her kids know she's mostly kidding with her lunch bag messages, and credits having a sense of humor with making parenting teens seem a bit easier.
"It's imperative to have humor with your kids," Cicero told TODAY Parents. "We joke about everything — sex, drugs, politics, their bodies — I don't want them to think anything is taboo. Humor is a great segue into having meaningful conversations and it helps break the tension of things that can be kind of awkward. And, if we don't have a sense of humor about parenting, we will literally lose our minds."