Parenting Perception Vs Reality Essay

Mat says, "The notion of being able to "control" the 2nd list of factors is absolute bunk."

I wholeheartedly disagree. You can dramatically reduce the risk of all five, and even if one is "unlucky" and exposed to extraordinary risks, doing the right thing at the right time can and will save lives.

Car accidents: wear your seat belt; SLOW DOWN; talk to your teens about the ugly consequences of speeding, drunken driving and/or texting while driving; buy a car with air bags, buy a car with good safety features, take a defensive driving course and make your teens do the same, drive within your limits (ditto), avoid unprotected left turns across high speed traffic, know how to respond to a traffic accident, take a first aid course.

Homicide (usually committed by a person who knows the child, not a stranger): teach basic personal safety skills including situational awareness (the goal is to stay out of trouble), encourage good social skills, encourage your children to choose their friends carefully (avoid 'bad apples'), take a realistic self defense course (if you don't get to beat the snot out of an assistant instructor wearing a mugging suit, it's not realistic)

Abuse: know and apply the warning signs of potential domestic violence with respect to single parents who date; teach these signs to your teenage children; don't have children if you have a drug or alcohol addiction, and if you're a single parent, don't date anyone who does either; last but not least, any parent presently in an abusive relationship should Get Out For The Sake Of The Children.

Suicide: keep the lines of communication open between parent and child, establish from an early age that suicide is Not OK, make sure that teens know that help is out there such as prevention hotlines, parents should ask about and look into potential warning signs of depression or mood swings, establish gun safety at an early age and keep firearms secured when not in use.

Drowning: don't drink around the water, NEVER EVER DIVE except at a location where the water depth is known and adequate, know how to swim, wear a life jacket during water activities, respect even small pools of water, never drive across flooded water, know what to do (mostly not panic) if your car goes into the river

So tell me again that there is nothing that can be done to reduce a parent or teenager's risk of being killed in a car accident, murdered, committing suicide or drowning. In point of fact there's quite a lot that can be done about all these things, and the challenge is to do it without pretending that we all live in a fantasy world where there is no risk.

Parenting: Perception vs Reality

I have written about parenting perspective before. But lately I have found that I have needed another healthy dose of it. Because I beat myself up as a parent far too often, when in reality, I am an awesome mom.

My kids get treated better and have more love in their lives than 95% of society. Yet at times, I treat myself like I am the worst parent on the planet. For losing my temper. Or making a crappy dinner. Or being too tired to play Candy Land for the third time in a row.

To open a few eyes, I thought I would dispel some parenting myths and lay some cold, hard facts out there. To give a little perspective of what it is really like to be a child in today's society.

I lost my temper and yelled at my kids. I am a horrible parent.

Over 6 million children are abused every year. 

I fed my kids crap because I had a long day and was too lazy to cook. I am a horrible parent.

16.7 million children go hungry every day.

Our yard isn't big enough and we don't have a playroom for the kids. I am a horrible parent.

33% of all children are homeless.

I sent my kid to daycare even though they aren't feeling 100% today. I am a horrible parent.

1 out of every 3 kids don't have health insurance, let alone access to healthcare.

I don't spend enough quality time with my kids. I am a horrible parent.

Nearly 1 million moms and dads have been deployed overseas to fight for our country since 2001.

And we feel bad because we didn't read enough books or do enough crafts or that we fed them Goldfish crackers for dinner? Parenting in the Pinterest Generation fucks with us all, does it not?

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch (ironic, no?). I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram.
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