Superior Mothering

I feel like I have to write about this because it’s the kind of thing I usually respond to.

I mean, obviously, I am not this kind of parent.  Anyone who has seen me with Zoe for more than five seconds knows this.  And obviously, I don’t necessarily think this kind of parenting is a good idea, although also, it is none of my business how other people choose to raise their kids.  (Although maybe it’s okay to be judgmental about other people’s parenting when they write about it and call it “superior”.  But I don’t really want to.  Well, I do a little.  But I’ll try not to.)

But the main thing that’s sticking in my craw is, what does this woman have against school plays?  Being in amateur theatrics can teach you a lot about teamwork, about public speaking, about creating a public event.  I would think it’s also great for teaching kids stick-to-it-iveness – you either learn your lines on time, or you will be awfully embarrassed come opening night.  And isn’t the threat of public embarrassment just as if not more effective than your mother refusing you the use of the bathroom?  So why is she so against it?

Okay, I can’t keep this in – this is going to backfire in a major way at some point in these kids’ lives.  Either they’ll stop trying to be her perfect little success-bots and rebel in a fairly major way, or they’ll achieve and achieve at the expense of their emotional well-being.

Ooh, I almost felt bad about letting my judgment of her out like that until I remembered that she thinks I’m totally a Western moron for even caring about my child’s emotional well-being.

No, wait, I still feel a little bad.  I feel like I’m karmically ensuring that Zoe will do something of which I’d totally disapprove when she’s a teenager.

(As a side note, we watched Whip It with my s-i-l and her fiancee, and Jason was all, “How dare those awful parents try to make their daughter do pageants instead of roller derby?  I would be so proud of Zoe if she were doing something like roller derby!”  Putting aside the obvious – that in no way would Jason be okay with Zoe doing something that potentially physically dangerous – I asked, “Yes, but would you be okay with her doing beauty pageants?”  To which he replied, “No, pageants are stupid.”)

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2 thoughts on “Superior Mothering

  1. rebleah18 says:

    Wow. She says some harsh stuff, and I am actually someone who thinks we are too soft on kids sometimes. And I agree with you about the school plays. You can learn a lot from participating in a group activity that you won’t learn at the piano bench or being drilled by your mother in mathematics problems. I did a lot of “rote memorization” for theater, and I learned how to manage my time by doing my homework either before or during rehearsal (but then, I wasn’t Villager #7:).

  2. perica1981 says:

    Even if you were Villager #7, you’d learn a lot about group effort, about even the little cog needs to run smoothly, and all the rest. You’d probably be asked to sell tickets, sell ad space in the program, and those are important experiences. You’d maybe learn that you want better than Villager #7 next time, and how to get it. I think (and I’m really just surmising here; I don’t see this in the article) that she sees school plays as this silly Western thing that “boosts self esteem,” which she thinks is ridiculous. I also thinking “boosting self esteem” is sort of meaningless and therefore it’s pointless to do things just for that, but I think a lot of good can come out of being involved in amateur theatrics.

    For that matter, she’s dismissive of Western children doing sports, but there are plenty of parents who go just as nuts over their kids’ ability to throw a tight spiral as she does over her daughter’s ability to play a two-handed piano piece.

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