Take My Example?
Don’t let the title there fool you. I’m not expecting you to take my example as the best and most ideal parenting situation. In fact, being a single father is not something I wish on anyone. It’s not because my kids aren’t adjusted nor is it because my kids seem well-adjusted. Nothing like that.
I keep an eye out for parenting topics making the rounds and getting attention so I can write about them. Most are normal parents, people like me (okay, I’m not particularly normal but go with me here), who are just trying to get form day to day.
In the last week, though, the celebrity parenting advice has reared its ugly head again. Just today I saw articles referencing Sarah McLachlan, Ricky Martin, Zoe Saldana (does she even have kids?!) and . . . again . . . Gwyneth Paltrow and Blake Lively. (One article is awaiting Blake’s competition to Gwyneth’s website Gloop. I won’t link to it here. I have no desire for the NSA to see it on my web history)
I don’t know these people. I have little or no desire to know them. I am sure Zoe, Gwyneth, Blake, Ricky and Sarah are all nice people.
But they have no way of relating to my situation. I have no way of relating to theirs.
This is just some of a flood of other seemingly strange advice: “A 7-year-old’s parenting advice that will blow your mind”; or “50-cent goes off on critics of his parents”; or my favorite: “pet parenting.”
I do read sites that give me worthwhile information. Products that will help and enhance:
When my boys were smaller and I was the only one with an iPhone I read about Mo Willems making an app that was an interactive version of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus.” It was amazing. Book reviews are great as my kids read. A lot. Outdoor activities without straying far from home; bike repairs for kids’ bikes; meals to make that are healthy, tasty and quick are all things I can use.
How to survive without protein, be a vegan, raise pugs, all those are outside of my interest zone.
Even more outside my zone of influence: celebrity parenting. Zoe Saldana is apparently having twins . . . okay I can relate I guess . . . and she won’t be as strict as her Mom. Hmm. No help there. I have all this information overload coming at me and none of it is actual information. It’s all fluff. What do these celebrities do . . . many may be working artists who have to make ends meet. I get that, I am the same. None of the articles reference them, though. They do reference things like people with personal chefs and pizza ovens in their bak yards and nannies that watch the kids all day while they work.
I don’t have any of those things.
Most parents don’t have any of those things.
So why do we read these articles? Where they could help – and some do, don’t get me wrong – is when they have access to products and things we don’t and can tell us the good, bad and ugly about them. They could all do that. But instead I get “Gloop” telling me to buy a $75 t-shirt that – oh, yeah – is designed by Gwyneth or endorsed by her. It might very well be free-range cotton weaved with home grown hemp and hand-picked silkworm threads. That, my friends, won’t survive the regular cycle on my washing machine.
So . . . I do what parents have done for centuries: I pay attention to the reaction of my kids. I listen to the advice of parents I know. I read the information on the very websites I write for to glean what I can about my own situation.
Celebrities are a good escape for some people, I suppose, but when My son is waiting for me at the door and gives me a huge hug every day when I get home . . . I simply cannot see how having someone else raise my kids while I galavant around is a good idea.
But that’s my example. What’s yours?