Monday, April 30, 2012

Free Range? Helicopter? Attachment?

What kind of parent am I?  I had the benefit of taking several child development classes in college after having children, so I was able to really apply what I was learning to my own life.  I know I am an authoritative parent with authoritarian tendencies.  On days when I haven't had enough sleep or work is completely overwhelming or something is keeping me from being rational (hormones, anyone?), I become my father.  It's not pretty.  (Freud would love that, eh?)  But generally I like to think I hold my own when it comes to being fair and reasonable most of the time.

So where are the fair and reasonable parents in the media?  It seems like every parent on TV is just nuts.  TV moms range from the Toddlers in Tiaras and Dance Moms types to Parenthood's hyper uptight Kristina Braverman.  Roseanne was fairly reasonable (albeit gruff) in the late 80s through most of the 90s.  So where are the normal moms who deal with laundry and bullies and don't wear make up every day (or any day, if you're me)?  Where are the moms who don't cut each other down or one up each other or any other stereotypically nasty TV mom pranks?  And please don't tell me that reality TV is the answer. Kate Gosselin certainly wasn't.  And as much as I respect Michelle Duggar, there has to be something magical in their well water because that woman is WAY too calm if you ask me.  (Okay, I really admire that about her and wish I had half her calm.)  And I've never watched those "Poorly Behaved Women of (insert state here)" shows, so I can't really comment on them.

Maybe the media doesn't notice us because we're boring.  We all struggle with the same basic issues:  How do I juggle all of my responsibilities and commitments and still get dinner on the table?  How do I keep up with the spotless house next door?  How do I get the kids to listen without yelling all the time?  And, to a certain extent, we all are guilty of listening to the parenting "experts" on various news shows and holding ourselves up to their standards.

What if we rewrote the standards?  What if we ignored the labels and stopped worrying so much about the neighbors?  What if we just focused on what our own standards are and what works for our own families instead of the families the experts expect us to have?

I might sleep better at night!

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