Raising children, some will tell you, is a tough job. I once bought a refrigerator magnet that said, "Raising teens is like nailing jell-o to a tree."
One of the hardest parts of raising children is the constant concern that our children are right: We really are the worst parents in the world.
Well, I am not one of those people who worries about that. No, sir. I KNOW I am NOT the worst parent in the world...and I have five points to prove it.
5) I don't nag about household chores.
I'm not one of those tightly wound parents who gets all wicky when their kid's room is a mess. Frankly, I just don't care...unless my in-laws are coming, and then I care just enough to say this: "Shove everything under your bed...I don't want your grandmother thinking I'm a pig."
4) We all have our seats around the coffee table at dinnertime.
Studies have shown that families that eat dinner together stay together longer. Some people were so into this whole thing that take out places went full bore on a campaign to get families to talk to each other. One pizza place actually printed topics of discussion on their pizza boxes...just so families would have something to talk about. I do not have that problem. As long as The Simpsons are on at 6 PM Central...the Bradley family will have something to discuss while they are eating.
3) I don't fear my kids' music. In fact, I sort of like it.
One of the weirdest things my parents ever did when we were teens was, at dinner...(and again, does anything good really come from a family eating a meal together without benefit of a TV?) we were required to play a record of our choosing and explain the lyrics. My brother, the sneaky one, on his nights, choose things like "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or "Disney's, The Jungle Book."
Meanwhile...I, the honest one...had to recite and explain the lyrics to "Superfreak" over my mother's burned potatoes.
That moment taught me a lesson: I am never going to completely love my kids' choice in music. But I'm certainly not going to fear it. I grew up with Alice Cooper, AC/DC, and Anthrax. And those were just the A's. Sure, I listened to more than my fair share of Barry Manilow back then, but I knew every word to "Relax" and I totally got it. And I turned out just fine...
Music is always going to be about rebellion. Hey, Bach and Beethoven where the shock rockers of their day. We just don't think that way because let's face it, the harpsichord is sort of a sissy instrument now and it's hard to feel the rage and madness in a neatly phrased 3/4 time piece entitled "Sheep may safely Graze."
So now I'm listening and screamo and Lady Gaga bleed through the walls of my house...and it's okay.
2) I've not yet been invited to be on Maury Povich.
I might seem like I'm this really repressed, ultra conservative, super religious, backward thinking Midwest mom. But nothing could be more wrong. Well, except for the repressed...conservative...religious Midwest part. Anyway, I always laugh when I see those commercials on TV telling me how to start a conversation about drugs with my kids. Here's what I tell them every day:
Don't do drugs
Keep your clothes on
And, in case that daily reminder doesn't always seem to fall on listening ears, I will, at random times offer various other tidbits of parental advice and encouragement:
Don't you make me a grandmother before you make me a mother in law.
This, right here, is a felony now. So keep it clean. (Skippy, who is 18, has a girlfriend who is a bit younger.)
No, you don't have to go to school...I'll stay home from work, and we'll watch "Master and Commander" just like we did when you faked being sick in grade school. Oh, you're feeling better?
|Go to your bloody classes!|
You think vodka tastes like nail polish remover? Well, let me tell you...all alcohol tastes like that. All of it. The only reason I drink it is to kill the pain in my back. Believe me, it's harsh to have to drink it.
1) I've never encouraged my children to endanger themselves so we could get a reality show.
Two words: Falcon Heene.
|A perfect family...and their balloon...and a hoax they planned to foist on us all. |
How did this not turn up as a TV show on ABC? I mean, they have room in their
schedule after canceling "Scoundrels" JUST AS IT WAS GETTING GOOD!