June 21, 2004

Parenting 101

Beth and I had dinner with some friends - we'll call them Debbie and Ted - at their place Friday night. They're not married, merely live together, and both have kids by their previous marriages. Debbie's two kids, aged seven and nine, live with them. They're also an interesting couple - Debbie's from a small Southern town and Ted's a true Long Island Italian. Yet somehow it all works. Probably the most notable thing about them is the success they've had with Debbie's kids. I've never met two nicer, genuinely cool kids in my life.

What's the point of all this? Well, we assign a lot of blame to society and claim its ruining our kids. Or we fault broken homes. Or video games, movies or what's on the radio. Rarely do we actually recognize the triumph of parenting over these things. Its time we started.

Posted by Chris at June 21, 2004 2:11 PM

I agree. MrZ and I were discussing amazing parents this weekend (during my emotional meltdown at missing my own child) and how they deserve MORE praise, but we focuse on criticizing the bad parents so much we forget to praise the good ones. Good entry!

Posted by: Zoot at June 21, 2004 2:28 PM

so when are you going to have kids so we can praise you **rolls eyes**

Posted by: Lee at June 21, 2004 2:43 PM

hee hee

Posted by: laura at June 21, 2004 3:13 PM

Amen to that

Posted by: JustAgirl at June 21, 2004 3:19 PM

I couldn't agree with you more!

Posted by: Sweety at June 21, 2004 3:29 PM

I don't think it's the amount of parents or whether or not they are the originals. I truly think it's the quality of the people with whom the children live which shapes their lives.

Posted by: cassie-b at June 21, 2004 3:37 PM

You are absolutely right. Especially when the local news is filled (right at this moment) with the story of the 12 year old in PW County taking several weapons to school. And the "oh, he was a nice boy, a Boy Scout, a Christian" rhetoric that is spilling forth. Obviously, he wasn't a nice boy, I wouldn't want him as a Boy Scout, and that doesn't exactly fit in with any "Christian value" I've heard about.

Ooops. Sorry. Didn't mean to go off on a rant. There are amazing parents out there, who don't get recognition, because their kids are normal, polite, and just going about the business of being good kids.

Posted by: Lisa at June 21, 2004 4:04 PM

Hear hear! Great post--- I agree with Lisa-- the stupid ways people are typecast like the guy in the baseball park last week that took out a 4-year old boy to catch a damn ball and everyone was like, oh, but he's really a great person, you know a youth minister. Like-- what the hell does that matter-- the guy is CLEARLY a fuckhead.

Posted by: bluepoppy at June 21, 2004 5:24 PM

That's very true. Good parents CAN triumph over all those obstacles, even though it's easier for some than others (economic factors, education, etc). But there is never an excuse for bad parenting.

Posted by: Zandria at June 21, 2004 5:33 PM

Great post from an interesting view. I always love to hear when my girls behaved, used their manners, etc and equally cringe when I hear one had a problem at school or elsewhere. I hope you told them what you told us...I'm sure they'd appreciate the compliment.

Posted by: kimberlee at June 21, 2004 8:51 PM


I can count on one hand the people I know whose kids I can stand to be around.

Posted by: Iki at June 21, 2004 9:13 PM

One parent home, two parent home -- whatever. I think it all comes down to how much love and dedication towards the children is there. Although god I can't imagine being a single parent. That's a damn hard job.

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