The never-ending, ever-changing quest for consistent parenting


First, click this link:

The Onion: Dad’s been on a parenting kick lately

Did you click it?  You didn’t click it did you.  Nobody ever listens to me.  Alright, fine.  It’s an article from The Onion that describes an area dad who’s been on a parenting kick.  They interview his daughter who confirms that he’s really been into the parenting stuff for the last week.  But seriously, just click it.  It’s better when you read it.

Next, please tell me I’m not alone in going on various parenting kicks.  (This is called “upping the ask”.)  I mean, I know as much as anyone else that being consistent is an important part of being a good parent.  Kids should probably have some idea of what to expect from the people who feed them.  When a child asks for help with homework they should have some inkling of how their parents will react.  For example, it’s likely to just be confusing if the parent responds with, “Homework, eh?  Here.  This is a string, I’m going to sob loudly in the corner now.”

But even when my parenting ideas are better than strings and sobbing I can’t really be expected to actually follow through on every little idea I get, right?

Like, the whole I’m-gonna-start-cooking-with-the-kids thing?  Turns out what I interpreted as an interest in the culinary arts had nothing to do with cooking at all!  They just wanted to eat cookie dough!  How was I supposed to be able to predict that one?  And don’t even get me started on the kids-are-gonna-have-to-keep-their-room-clean fiasco.  Let’s just say that they preferred keeping their room clean-ish and leave it at that.  Sometimes being consistent just means everyone gets to be consistently miserable.

Here’s the god’s-honest truth: if I don’t go on parenting kicks that fail then it means I’ve just given up.  So, sure, I may try to initiate a new and innovative 5-point plan involving the kids folding and putting away their clothes, but that’s probably just pillow talk.  That doesn’t mean I can’t keep on trying to come up with ways to improve my parenting and the general flow of our home.  I just can’t let myself get too bogged down in the initiatives that aren’t possible to consistently implement.  Given how tough it was to finally get daily showers solidly in place, I figure my only chance at gradual parenting improvement is to stay in a permanent state of parenting research and development and expect to get maybe 3 items out of 10 from initial concept to regular, sustained routine.

So don’t feel too alone fictional, satirized area dad.  I’m right there with you and I have some ideas we can maybe use to help the kids get a solid flossing habit started.