Thursday, January 17, 2008
Just when you think you have your kids all figured out they go and do that kid thing –grow and change. I’m sure it was last Friday when my oldest daughter was a toddler running around in diapers pretending she was Tarzan baby and today she’s instant messaging her friends. I am clueless! So I do what I always do when trying to understand my children, I get a book. It is a lie, that old saying that parenting doesn’t come with a manual. There are many manuals out there, from dealing with whining to peer pressure, you can even learn to be a ‘baby whisperer’ (what the…?). But of course there is no manual for your EXACT model. So although I’ve taken a parenting course, read lots of books, consulted the internet a gazillion times which are all helpful to a point, I’m beginning to understand that the only true consistency in parenting is ignorance.
Now that my daughter is officially a ‘tween’, I’m trying to figure out what that’s supposed to mean. Tweens, 8-12 year olds, I believe, really began as a marketing label for a lucrative demographic. Documentary junkie that I am, I must add, watch “The Corporation” to see the ‘whine’ strategy used in corporate marketing to children. You’ll feel a hefty dose of disgust (I hope). So in short, my not very helpful tween book tells me the tween years are a rehearsal for the teenage years and the teenage years, a rehearsal for adulthood. It doesn’t mention what adulthood is a rehearsal for, because that would be too depressing, it could only mean… old age and death.
I have decided to abandon all book advice for the present and simplify my parenting to one criteria – Charlie’s Angels. I’m referring to the 1970’s prime time hit show with Farrah, Kate, Jaclyn and Cheryl . It was a stupid fluffy show, with a lot of bimbo moments, it outraged feminists and I loved it as a kid. The only harm I suffered from watching it was a little fried hair as I tried in vain to hot iron my bangs to flip like Farrah Fawcett’s. When my tweener asks to watch videos, go on internet sites and listen to music that I’m not sure is age appropriate, I ask myself, is it worse than Charlie’s Angels? Anything more risqué and violent I’m going to say no to for now. Ah, parenting simplified… until tomorrow.