Penn and Teller's show on Showtime is one of our favorites. (that, Steven Colbert and The Soup are the only real adult TiVo staples anymore) The one we watched most recently was on "Stranger Danger". It was amazing, it said all the stuff I've been trying to say for years. I guess I'm a bad mom because:
1. I think 'playdates' are confusing. I don't get it. Who is dating? Do I have to stay and 'date' the other mom? Why can't I drop my kid off to play like my parents did? If I do a quick scan of the Megan's Law website, I can see there are no registered sex offenders listed at the house.
2. Helmets. We live in a gated community. I am the only one who has ever fell off a moving vehicle (scooter) and I didn't crack my head, just my elbow. My kids think they have to wear their helmets and pads in the backyard! I don't tell them to do that, somehow it's seeped into their minds. I tell them over and over they don't have to wear helmets unless they are riding outside the gates or on the street.
3. Walk to School Day. Really? I can see if you live in the country or over a mile to your school, but other than that, you should be walking. Your children should be walking to school, we don't need a 'special' day. We walk to school every day. Half mile round trip. When they get older they will be able to walk to and home from school together.
4. Cell phones for kids under 12. Who do they have to call? They should be too busy mowing the lawn, doing chores after school to chat on the phone. My kid will no more have a cell phone before junior high than a tv or refrigerator in her room.
5. Standardized tests. I am so over API scores and the hype of "let your child sleep well so they will do well on the test". The conferences with third grade students so they do better on tests. Bah. I don't care how they do and I don't care if they miss the day of the tests. It means nothing to their lives. And I'm a teacher! These tests have ruined education -- schools focus on test scores, thus reading and math. Science, PE, Art, Music, has been gone too long. They tried to give me a hard time for taking my children to Hawaii during testing time. I was kind and said it with a smile, but that's really not my problem.
I can go on and on. Before you think I don't care, I do. We waited 7 years to have a baby so I could stay home with them. I breastfed them on demand forever, I believed in self weaning which worked out fine. They still end up in our bed by 5 am. We read, play, cook, do chores and run errands together. I thought that was what a family did. I just don't think my kids need a security detail if they go out and get the mail. I believe it trains them to have no faith or confidence in themselves.
Anyway, check out her site. If you think I'm a horrible parent, I'm sorry. My kids are okay so far, I'll let you know how it works out for me. I DO NOT want them afraid of life. I feel that what we do in the name of 'protecting our kids' often harms them. I keep a close eye on my girls. They don't need to be aware of it though. Of course we should keep them safe from harm, but they are NOT responsible for that, WE are. They should feel carefree and happy until life hits them with a frying pan around 21.