By Phyllis Rosen Before writing this last article on parenting, I want to state something for the record: I HAVE SIX WONDERFUL CHILDREN! But I didn’t always know that. There were times during their upbringing when I wasn’t convinced they were all that […]
Thanksgiving is coming up and FOOD is the word. When thinking about Thanksgiving, many of us number turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pie among the many things that we are grateful for. Many of the memories that I personally have surrounding this time of year […]
I had so much fun analyzing parenting styles in “Arthur” last week that I decided to do another cartoon animal related post. Although the Crosswires and the Barneses are a little bit more dysfunctional than the Reads, the Baxters, and the Frenskys, they still pass parenting muster.
The Crosswire family:
The Crosswires are Elwood City’s equivalent of the Rockefellers and they very much fit into the rich parent stereotype. You know the one—whenever their daughter needs quality time, the parents buy her a new toy and leave her with the butler. Mr. Crosswire gets very little screen time and Mrs. Crosswire gets even less. As such, Muffy is quite spoiled and frequently relies on whining and wheedling to get her way, rather than actually thinking about the problem she needs to solve.
However, things aren’t all bad in the Crosswire household. True, Muffy’s mother is rarely seen and when she is she never says anything. She gets a line in the head lice episode where she reminisces on her own experience with lice, but it’s the nanny (who only appears once or twice) who’s actually washing Muffy’s hair. But Bailey, Muffy’s butler/mentor, is a wise character who helps acquaint her with opera and get a book club started. And Mr. Crosswire himself isn’t all that bad. He takes Muffy to the opera and to art exhibits. He also takes over coaching the soccer team when none of the other parents will step up. Mr. Crosswire enables Muffy’s spoiled lifestyle, but he genuinely seems to care about his daughter and just wants what’s best for her.
The Barnes family:
Binky is first introduced to the audience as a bully in a gang called the Tough Customers, and his parents are apparently unaware of his bullying tendencies. However, as the series goes on, Binky sheds the stereotype more and more as it’s revealed that he likes ballet and catching butterflies, both hobbies that his parents fully support.
Binky, like Buster, seems to be a victim of helicopter parenting—there’s an episode where he finds out that he has a peanut allergy and his mom kicks into High Mom Mode, trying to protect him. As a result, Binky sometimes acts out to assert his own independence. At the end of the aforementioned episode, though, because he tells his mom how he feels, she agrees to be a little less involved and he agrees to check in with her a little more often. The fact that they communicate and continually reassess their standing is the signal of a healthier relationship to come.
Both the Crosswires and the Barnses want what’s best for their kids, but that’s not enough—they have to communicate with them. The best parents tell their kids their reasoning for rules that seem arbitrary, but they also listen to feedback and adjust accordingly.
You don’t have to be perfect to be a good parent. Just listen to your heart*.
*listen to the beat, listen to the rhythm, the rhythm of the street…
—Becca Barrus, Stance
*This article contains spoilers for the musical “Into the Woods.” Since I’ve joined the Stance crew, I’ve become hyperaware of family relationships in everything I read and watch. So it’s no surprise that I had family on the brain when I watched the movie version […]
“I thought it was all post-partum symptoms,” Heather said about her cancer signs. Three months after giving birth to her daughter, Lily, Heather Von St. James was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a relatively rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Heather’s exposure came from the […]
The last two years of my college life I have spent living at home with my parents and three younger siblings. I moved home after I spent some time—and most of my money—on a study abroad in the British Isles. The thought of moving back home after being on my own was frustrating, but the last two years have been much different than I expected. Here are four things I learned about what college kids and their families can do to make living together a good experience.
- Space is blessed. I am gone at school and work nearly all day, and when I am home, I’m usually doing homework. I need a sanctuary where I know I can take time for myself to get things done or just veg out. Families, remember that your stay-at-home college students are still adults with their own busy schedules. Help them by giving them physical and mental space to breathe.
- Family is an investment. Speaking of a busy schedule, there just never seems to be enough time for everything! However, even though I have my own agenda, I have found it’s important to make time for the people who not only house and feed me, but the people who also love me. I’ve grown closer to my parents and siblings in ways that I never could have had if I didn’t live at home. If you give them time, they will give you time. It’s a win-win.
- Save that dough! If you’re like me, chances are your family isn’t making you pay for everything—utilities, garbage, insurance, mortgage, etc. And with all that extra money, it’s way easier to feel like I have more to spend. But don’t get caught in a trap. Some months I have actually saved less money living at home than I did living on my own. I’ve found that maintaining some form of responsible adult spending habits (like keeping a budget and pitching in on groceries or rent) keeps me from overspending.
- Remember to stay socially healthy. Between school and work, I don’t always have the energy (or the desire) to go out at the end of the day. But even though spending time with family is important, participating in activities with my friends and peers is also important. It actually gives me more energy, reinforces my networking, and helps me find new cultural experiences.
—Sarah Perkins, Senior Managing Editor, Stance
President’s Day has come and gone. Maybe you roasted hot dogs on the grill with your family? Maybe you lit a few sparklers? You probably didn’t sit in the library for hours researching why you were celebrating. But learning can actually be fun and can […]
There are many types of family traditions. There are religious traditions, seasonal traditions, celebratory traditions or just plain fun traditions. Whatever kind they are, all family traditions have one thing in common—they unite us. The best way to strengthen family relationships is by spending time together, and traditions can play an important role by helping families remember to take time to appreciate one another.
Most of my family’s traditions revolve around two things: outdoor activities and food. In the part of Oregon where we live we have the sweetest berries. Every summer we make a point of going berry picking, taking advantage of a beautiful day, and then going home and enjoying the deliciousness together. Another annual tradition we have is on the day after Thanksgiving we go to the Christmas tree farm to chop down our tree. No matter what the weather is like, we go traipsing all over the farm looking for that perfect tree. It’s always a fun and sometimes muddy outing that ends with stuffing a giant tree through the front door and warming up with steaming cups of hot chocolate.
Taking the time to do these things together has strengthened our family relationships. We laugh and joke together and cherish these fun moments. Families can also develop weekly and daily traditions. Whether it’s family prayer or game night, children remember and are shaped by these wholesome activities.
Elder L. Tom Perry said, “If we will build righteous traditions in our families, the light of the gospel can grow ever brighter in the lives of our children from generation to generation.”
When we prioritize family traditions, we are prioritizing each other and the treasured relationships we have. It’s never too late to start a new family tradition or rekindle old ones. Take some time today for family and traditions.
—Allie Hamilton, Stance
In a little more than a week, it’s St. Valentine’s Day. 😉 Okay, so I’m sorry for the reminder. I think this holiday is a little overrated. But here are some not terrible ideas to celebrate this holiday with a little more style Coffee Filters. So you […]