Apparently, there are 4 different styles of parenting: the Authoritarian, the Authoritative, the Permissive, and the Neglectful parent. Never mind that the Authoritarian and the Authoritative sound like they should be the exact same thing. They’re not. The Authoritarian is the Nazi Tiger Mom who always says, “Do it because I said so.” The Authoritative parent is a Democratic Leader under Marshall Law. She says, “You must do it this way AND THIS IS WHY.” The why, the explanation, is the big difference between Nazi Mom and Democratic Leader During a Riot. Then there’s Permissive Dad. This guy is the one who smokes pot with his kid and maybe gets too chummy with the kid’s girlfriends. He lets everything slide, but the kids mostly still go to him for counsel because, well, they can tell him everything. He’s more like their friend. Lastly, you have the Neglectful parent. This can vary from Highly Medicated/ Nervous Breakdown Mom to Totally Abusive Mom.
And there you have it. Supposedly, all parents fall somewhere under those parenting definitions. I think this is too stringent of a view. I believe we should add some post-millennium, newly-evolved styles. Here’s what I think is missing from our current parenting lexicon:
The Bill Cosby Parent
Bill was known to say to his kids, “I brought you into this world, I can take you out.” This sense of humor is not only pervasive through this parent’s parenting style, but it is also preventative. It prevents you from killing the child. A Bill Cosby Parent often looks at his or her child as if they are a species from another planet, brought here to do ridiculous things, and bring about torment to anyone over 35. It is through this lens that the Bill Cosby Parent disciplines and recoils in horror. If more families practiced a dose of this type of parenting, perhaps, we’d have less runaways. And by runaways, of course, I mean, runaway parents.
Video Parenting by Proxy
This parenting method has been demonized and I feel that this is wrong. Sometimes you just need to stick the kid in front of a video so you can have some goddamned peace. Now, of course, you should stick the child in front of Sesame Street and/ or Dora the Explorer and NOT Requiem for a Dream.
Gayby Group Parenting
This is somewhat similar to the hippie parenting of the 60’s. You remember that child who grew up on a commune, which often doubled as a nudist colony? He ran around dirty and naked suckling on whichever breast was jammed in his face, but damn it, he was happy. He also later became a voting member of the Green Party. Gayby Group Parenting is like this in its free thinking, but different in that it involves more clothes and usually only 4 breasts and 2-4 balls.
The Cyber Parent is ultra-plugged in and yet, ultra-wireless. Everyone in the family blogs. Little Jimmy has been building websites since he was 7. Little Suzie runs around with a plastic cellphone like some kind of miniature, corporate, a-hole. The family often comes together around electronic devices whether they are gathering around a Skype call – as they watch daddy at a tech conference – or standing in the Brookstones Store trying on Google’s new internet glasses. Yep, they’ll be the very first family to try out that prototype like a high-tech Loud family. Each member in his or her own internet glasses that allow you to take your laptop screen literally everywhere with you, about a centimeter from your face, as they blissfully bump into every last goddamned thing. Bruised, but updated and happy. The Cyber family led by Cyber parents can often be overhead repeating the same mantra again and again, “Oh, that’s so cool, that’s so cool, that’s so cool.”
Hyper Physical Activity Parents
The Hyper Physical Activity Parents are usually parents who were fat children themselves. As a result of this horror, they went right into the nutrition and physical fitness fields. They usually train their children to be Olympic athletes or calorie restrictive, rock climbing, eagle scout, freaks-of-nature. The Hyper Physical Activity Parent is fine in moderation, but when not watched it can go to extremes, resulting in this little Frankenstein…
The Biggest Loser Family
Biggest Loser parents put WAY too much importance on high caloric family meals. If you try to stop them, they say things like, “But, it’s our heritage…LATINOS/ ITALIANS/ NATIVE AMERICANS/ AFRICAN AMERICANS/ WASPS are culturally supposed to eat wheelbarrows full of pasta, fried foods, breads, rice, and lard.” Then Julian Michaels comes along and slaps them all in the face. Soon after the slapping, there is a realization that the Biggest Loser Parents had a stillbirth that no one knew about, and no one talks about, but they did go so far as to name him — For a minute, he was called Enrique. Enrique is buried in the backyard because the family didn’t want their personal pain to become public. Enrique is the reason everyone in this family is fat, even the 9 year old. The 9 year old who never even knew Enrique existed, but just ate what Mommy and Daddy gave him.
The Professor Parent
I use this example of parenting, constantly with the Wifesy. You see, Wifesy is from the boondocks, just east of Redneck-Ville, north of Hillbilly, Horse Farm. Wifesy is always thinking she’s not smart enough. This is not true. It’s that her parents were not only residents of Redneck-Ville/ Hillbilly-Horse Farm, it’s that they drank the koolaid and walked the walk. They also talked the talk, which means they say things like, “Sumin’a bitch” when what they actually mean is, “Son of a bitch.” As a result, Wifesy has had to work twice as hard for her education. The kids who get the head-start are the children of Professors and Teachers or wannabe Professors and Teachers – The Professor Parents. Professor Parents drill their kids vocabulary and geography at every meal. They have high fallutin’ dinner debates on geophysics. They have square rooting contests for sh*ts and giggles. Everyone knows what an anagram is and they think only lazy people are bilingual. The Professor Parent thinks being a true polyglot is what everyone should strive for.
If you have Professor Parents you eventually become Barack Obama or an extremely eloquent crack whore because even when you parent with the best of intentions, a lot of this sh*t is way out of your control. Sometimes the best you can do is rule with an iron fist wrapped in soft bunny fur and then sit back and pray. That’s my childless theory anyway, so what the hell do I know?
Enjoy Bill at his finest…
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