Educational television in primetime. Who knew?

I know when I am out-and-about I tend to notice various parenting styles. It’s so easy to quickly view a snippet of a person’s day and judge them. Screaming child: “Ugg, why doesn’t she quiet him down”. Whining child: “Why doesn’t she just tell her no and let her no mean NO!”. Child running wild: “Can’t she control her children!!” When my daughter was born, she made parenting seem really easy. My confidence as a parent was boosted and I allowed myself to believe that part of it had to do with the fact that I was just an AWESOME! MOM! and just knew how to do it right.

Last night, I was watching one of my all-time favorite shows, The Amazing Race. I am determined to race in it one day. But that is another post.

Two of the racers are a father/daughter team. They are both intelligent, hard-working professionals. But watching them race was painful to watch. I found myself wanting to shake him and hug her and then yell at him and then yell at her. He went on and on to her about her mistakes and her short-comings. His “help” was far from it. It toed the line of belittling. At one point, I was so angry at him, and thought “how dare he talk to his own flesh and blood like that!?

Then I thought, what if someone were filming me? What would they say about how I talk to my children? Would they see a snippet and judge my whole person and think I’m an awful parent?

Remember what I said about how I felt like I was AWESOME! MOM! before?

Fast forward seven years and three more kids later. I like to think that I am more realistic and less judgmental of other parents. Getting around is no simple task with children in tow. It’s hard. And parenting is hard. There are good days and not-so-good days (and the occasional flat-out horrid day).

I watched this father/daughter team as they reached the pit-stop and the love this father has for his daughter became more apparent.

I’m sure when he sees himself on tv, he will cringe and he will be hard enough on himself. He doesn’t need my input. Besides, who am I, other than a sinner who tries to raise her children and love them the best that she knows how, but who daily has to apologize to said children and my Heavenly Father for being less than encouraging and perfect.

We need to encourage our children and lift them up. Life’s hard enough.

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. Colossians 3:21

Comments

  1. I sometimes watch those shows to remind me how blessed I am.

    Mike
    http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com/

    http://www.mikeleonen.com/

  2. Megan (FriedOkra) says:

    We just saw a little snippet of the show last night and Al was commenting on it. Being on TV is probably the best thing that ever could have happened to that Dad and daughter – he expressed some remorse at the end of this segment, didn’t he? Maybe he can mend his ways and her heart in the process after he sees how truly discouraging he can be.

    That said, I sometimes hear myself and think “Wow, I am so glad no one’s recording this. I sound completely loony!” Maybe it’d help ME to be forced to witness y own mistakes over again. Ugh. Perish the thought.

  3. Mindy @ She Said says:

    I thought the same thing. That dad was so hard on his daughter. I wonder if my daughter ever feels like I am being that way to her?

  4. One of the good things about having (ahem) imperfect parents is that it makes my own efforts seem so much better, comparatively. But I do try to be kind to other parents, too.

  5. Great post & great thoughts!

    I was just telling a bloggy friend recently that I have learned so much about God and His ways through parenting, the biggest thing being that the same grace and mercy He treats me with, (He is gentle in His correction) is how I should deal with my children…He is so good!

    Thanks for the post!
    Maria

  6. I know what you mean!! I wanted to come through my tv and smack him. He was so mean!! I also think it may be a cultural thing.
    I too want to race some day. I love that show.

  7. Yes, yes, yes.

    I haven’t watched yet, but I know the team of which you speak. I think part of it is the Asian culture. They all seem to be so hard on their kids.

  8. Ms. Can't Be Wrong says:

    Amen.

    God has been dealing with me lately on how my husband and I should be raising our son.

    I have found a great book about parenting with grace. Like God parents us with His grace. It has been an eyeopener for me. Not just in the parenting area of my life, but in every relationship I have.

  9. watching that father/daughter team was painful. i love the amazing race because you see how people really are. it amazes me how some of these people who “love” each other one moment and are so mean to each other the next.

  10. I have awarded you something over at my place! Check it out when you have time!

  11. Homemaker05 says:

    Just this evening I found myself judging a father whose little girl was very whinny and annoying in the restaurant near our booth. I even made a comment to our table about how when our son is old enough to try that…. after reading your post I am feeling a little convicted and humbled! It hurts to see myself in the light that, no doubt others must have seen me (very proud and nieve) and no doubt what God sees.

    Thanks for sharing and being a tool of the Lord in my life!

  12. I know I could do this race. I want to run it with my dear friend F…..she lives in California. She says maybe one day…..I love the Amazing Race!

  13. WorksForMom says:

    VERY well said. Can you believe I have NEVER seen that show?

  14. First of all my husband and I love the Amazing Race and have dreams of being contestants someday. From the comments, it looks like many people have rhe same aspirations! :o)

    We made the same comments through the show Sunday night. It became so painful we actually started FF through their scenes.

    I LOVED your post b/c you are so right – I mess up daily with my boys (had to apologize today) and if others saw my parenting at times what would they think of me? Great insight -thank you!

  15. I’ve been watching the AR, too. (My mom and I actually auditioned!) And you’re right–parenting seemed easy before I had kids. It’s SO much different. You only want the best for them…it’s getting there that is confusing!

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