Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Do Parents Know Best?

In September, TodayMoms had a parenting expert on their show.  Her premise was that Parents Do Not Know Best when it comes to raising their children.

From the article, "Clinical psychologist Belisa Vranich sat down with Ann Curry and author and comedian Finesse Mitchell this morning to discuss the question and offered an unconventional opinion: Vranich asserted that parents aren't always the best equipped to advise the kids effectively."

The interactive poll of viewers found that 64% of them agree with Vranich's theory that parents do not always know best.


I guess times have changed from when Father Knows Best.

For those of us that are devoted moms, who eat, breathe and (rarely) sleep our children, how we can be better moms, how we can instruct our children better, love them more deeply, guide them more spiritually,

them's fighting words. 

Watch the video clip first.

I checked the "professionals" criteria online.  She's well educated,  but lives with her boyfriend and their dogs.  We all thought we knew a lot about parenting until we actually became parents. The comedian, who loves and admires his parents, actually gave better advice.

Is she serious that coaches and peers may know children better and give better advice?   Non-homeschooled kids may spend more time  with their peers, but that doesn't mean their advice is going to be sound.  She also has obviously never had a child in a sport.  My kids may spend hours with their coaches, but the coaches don't know much more than my kids' name, jersey number, the position they play and random trivial details.  Not a whole lot of influence happening while my son is guarding second base and the coach is in the baseline.

Being together for hours without talking intimately, cannot even begin to weigh against those amazing 10-15 minute conversations we may have with a child, where hearts are open, advice, comfort or encouragement is accepted and the relationship is bonded.

The clip they used, from a sitcom, I guess, to prove their point was ridiculous.  Who asks kids to blindly  obey all spoken words, especially to the point of endangering lives?  Get real!  Since our job is preparing them to live on their own, we  know we are working ourselves out a job, we understand that letting them make decisions is a huge part of their lives.

I agree that parents need advice sometimes and not all parents in the US are doing a great job. But for me, advice has to come from someone who has survived the teenage years and really has something for me to go on, versus someone who just has only studied what it's like to parent. 

I know her advice would change if she actually had teenage offspring in her life, challenging and breaking rules, not studying or studying too much, dating losers or losing the nice guy,  trying to make friends, crying over a broken heart or an empty heart, agonizing over career  and marriage decisions, suffering loneliness, zits, car accidents, speeding tickets, lying, confiding, and all the other real life situations we parents face.
She also will never know the joy of a heart to heart conversations when a child trusts you enough to confide their struggles, joys and trials.  She will never know the feeling when a child rebels, but later admits you were right and you kept them from a worse path. She'll never know the amount of love a parent can have for a child, that will drive them to say NO when they should say NO, even when they want to say YES. She'll never know the joy of watching a child succeed in life, because they made great decisions, based on your advice.  She'll never know  the joy and love of parenting  that outweighs all the trials.

She'll never know - but I am sure she can read about it.

And while she's reading about parenting, I'm going to prepare a video on how to best take care of dogs.  I've never owned one, I don't even really like them, but I'm pretty sure that I can come up with a few pointers for her because I am emphatic that a Dog Owner Doesn't Know Best when it comes to their dogs. 

So, I'm gunna' go to the library, check out a few books, become an expert and make a video.

Free dog advice, coming soon.


  1. Wow! You get 'em MommaMindy! :)

    The Comedian was definitely on the right track. He had parents who he had a relationship with FROM THE START. They taught him respect. He had rules and boundaries from that start because "they didn't just pop in when I was an early adult at 15..."

    I'm still reeling at the "peers & coaches" comment. Yikes!!!!! I'm sorry for the relationship she missed with her parents.

    Sadly she and obviously the 64% of her listening crowd are in sad parenting times. Parents have lost all confidence in their abilities. The first problem is that they are lost to God. God wrote a perfectly great rule book for parenting. We shouldn't need any other set of instructions except for Grandma's and Grandpa's who've done it all before us.
    "Take 'em out to the woodshed!"

  2. Wow. I don't have children and I totally agree with you. As a teacher I try to learn from the parents.

    I have two, going on three protection dogs in training. Any advice on how to get them not to bite the UPS guy? JK. They are really good dogs. ;)


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