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Saturday, March 28, 2009

When I Want To Feel Better As A Parent

Every Friday night I feel like a much better parent than I do the rest of the week. Most of the week usually starting on Monday I start to question my parenting skills as we start our school week and slowly the kids start complaining, whining, and being less than pleasant. Their rooms tend to get a bit messy, the laundry and housework is piling up and attitudes are less than lovely.

By Friday I am overwhelmed and seriously question my parenting skills. But by about 10:00 pm I am feeling much better! I feel like I could get Mother of the Year or some other worthy award. Why? It is simple, I watch Wife Swap followed by Super Nanny!

Wow! Talk about inadequate parenting skills! Where do they find these people? Why are these people willing to air their dirty laundry for all to see? At least with Super Nanny there is some help and guidance and by the end some resolution to the problems the families face, but Wife Swap?? I can't see any reason a family would agree to put themselves through that, for what?

Where do they find these families? They are always extreme opposites, which I suppose is what makes it entertaining. Take last night for example: one family were super health freaks. Mom and Dad were bootcamp fitness experts. Their whole lives revolved around their fitness. The other family were obese junk food eaters who spent their leisure time doing demolition derby and video games. The younger child in this family was obnoxious, undisciplined and like his parents, severely overweight. He literally ruled the house and made his own rules.

Watching these mothers try to fit into their new environments and make some much needed changes provides for some amusement and lots of jaw dropping moments, but I really wonder why people watch these and why people sign up to do this show. Unlike Super Nanny there is no help offered, there is rarely any significant changes, it is just an hour of two extreme families battling it out. I feel for these kids who have to go to school following the airing and face the ridicule of their peers or the dads who have to go to work and face their co-workers who have just witnessed all the families dirty laundry.

What ever happened to the Brady's, Cleavers, or even the Huxtables? While slightly unrealistic, at least it gave us something to aspire for, today's TV families both fictional and these new "reality" ones do little more than make me feel like a much better parent and leave a yucky taste in my mouth! Is this what we're aspiring to these days? Are these families our new role models? Lord help us!!

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