Sitcoms are to Parenting What Chemical Additives are to Food

Parenting in real life isn’t as tidy as it appears in the sitcoms. Sitcom parents can generally solve any problem within half an hour. When the episode ends in “To Be Continued”, you can generally count on the resolution by the end of the next episode. Oh, that it were that easy in real life!

Reality is sometimes hard. We have no writers, no script, nobody whispering from the wings and telling us what to say next. And that’s a very good thing. Real parenting requires thought. And time. And frustration. Challenge and defeat. Celebration and triumph. Mistakes. More mistakes.

Here at the "Spin-Doctor", we know that the challenge is what makes the parent…and the child…as they co-create their own reality. Their lives intermingle and the parent encourages the child to keep reaching for more and to become more. Hopefully, the parent is motivated to do the same she asks of her child. Growth can be painful. It requires change. It can also move us towards more joy, understanding and hope.

As parents we take the good with the bad. We rejoice in our successes and discover what we are really made of when the chips are down. We never give up. We believe in the best about our child and ourselves. We are in this for the long haul. We live life. We feel real emotion.

Those sitcoms that make it all look so easy and effortless aren’t the real deal. They lack one fundamental element: Real relationships based on real love. While sitcoms come and go, and get cancelled based on ratings, real parents survive the test of time. Challenge, defeat, mistakes and all.

So soak it all in, eat it all up…and breathe in the reality that is your life. Sitcoms are to parenting what chemical additives are to food. False. Fake. Non-nutritive. Non-substantive. Lacking in organic qualities and the ability to create true wellness. To be enjoyed in moderation, for sure…but there is no substitute for the “real deal”.

Happy parenting in 2011 from Kidlutions and the Kidlutions Preferred Product Award for Social-Emotional Development.

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Marlise said…
I have enjoyed all of your posts, but this truly hit home. I teach Prek-12 ELL and high-school at-risk. I, also, am the mother a teenager. So many times it seems that I am great, but only with other people's kids. I adore my daughter, but some of the choices she makes leave me fearful.
Thank you for this piece.

Thanks for stopping by! Aren't teens interesting? (I have two...and almost 3 at my house!) Life is never boring. "Talking Teenage" can befuddle parents, even parents who have it all together and feel pretty confident in their parenting skills!

Teen brains are still under construction...their cognitive skills are expanding, but their judgment doesn't always keep pace.

Want to boost your ability to navigate those teen years with your kid? I highly recommend "Teenage as a Second Language: A Parent's Guide to Becoming Bilingual." You can find out more about it at

Happy trails,
Wendy =)

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