I was watching Supernanny the other day. Like many of you I had one primary question, “Is this Brit for real???” This question brought about many other questions in my twisted yet normal mind that begs America for a reality check concerning our children in this country. For instance, why are the parents of the children on the Disney Channel so mentally challenged and ever so absent while their children are running amuck? I don’t mean the parents of the child stars because we all know most of them are monkey stupid, but I mean the parental characters on the actually television shows. Our children are watching these shows religiously and they modeling their lives and behaviors accordingly. Right down to the idea that we parents are just as stupid as the ones on T.V. I don’t know about you but I constantly have to remind my 14 year old daughter that this life is not a sit-com, our house is not a television studio, and the cameras are not zoomed in on her for her close up. And while we are at it, since when did this generation start requesting manicures, pedicures, and facials? Our kids are out of control, and I don’t blame Disney. I’m starting with the man in the mirror…well, woman. Let me tell you a little about me. I have five children. Ages: 14, 4, 3, 1, and 2 months old. I feel like there are enough years between my oldest and my next to oldest to declare my mistakes with my oldest as learning lessons for what not to do with the rest of them. First, I’m turning off the television. Not all the time. They will have designated T.V. time, but for the most part, I want to challenge them to use their minds for creative play. For example, making mud pies in the back yard, creating forts in their bedrooms, and actually making use of theirdoll house. It’s time for us as parents to stop allowing the television not only to babysit our children, but educate them as well. We need to take back charge of what is going into the minds of our offspring and most important stop relying on cable television to aid us in raising our children. Parental instincts are a natural thing, and need not be taught and what has happened in this country is the media has made us afraid to trust in ourselves as parents by consistently telling us that our
fears of parenting wrong are right. They’re not. We are all afraid of making mistakes, and we are going to make mistakes. The first rule in parenting is there is no such thing as the perfect parent. Parenting is a day by day accomplishment. What we need in this society is to return to the idea that, “It takes a village to raise a child”. Stop wanting to fight your neighbor because she corrected your child for throwing rocks at passing cars, or cursing in the corner store. Instead, thank that neighbor for being your eyes and ears when you couldn’t be. Attend Parent/Teacher conferences and don’t blame the teacher for not teaching when little Johnny brings home an “F” on his report card. Blame yourself for not monitoring him and helping him when he does his homework. For the love of God, don’t become the news story where police have responded to a report of a two year old walking down the street in his/her diaper while mommy and daddy slept in the house. Social Services are just waiting on people like you, you sign their paychecks. I plan to discuss these topics and many more in the future and what I hope to accomplish with this column is not necessarily advice, but more so encouragement. Encouragement to stop being media controlled pod people and become the fearless parents that existed before Lindsay Lohan taught our girls to be snobs, Justin Beiber taught our boys how to toss their hair like girls, and Supernanny convinced 90 percent of America that “time-out” always works.