I have a secret new guilty pleasure: I am now hooked on the show Bubble Wrap Kids. Most of you will remember the host, Lenore Skenazy, as the mom who made headlines and quite the career out of letting her 9-year-old take the subway, ALONE. She has since penned a best-selling book, Free Range Kids.
I had heard about this through the news, but was not very well-informed on what the actual brouhaha was about. After reading a bit of her work, I really enjoyed the way she wrote—the woman is funny. I found myself laughing out loud, so I new I had to watch the show.
Not even five minutes into the intro of the episode—where they set-up the back story of the parents Lenore coaches—and I had had a revelation: were there times I had been a little too over-protective of my own kids and far too paranoid about what could happen to them?
However, a mere 300 seconds into Bubble Wrap Kids and that feeling went straight out the window! I was literally gobsmacked at watching this mother break down into a nervous wreck about letting her 11-year-old young man do… well… anything.
In comparison to her it felt like I let my kids walk around smoking cigars and tossing hand grenades.
I sat entranced, ignoring my own children, trying really hard not to judge this woman for her choices (we all have a little Simon Cowell in us). I found myself feeling more for the mother than the young boy. She was putting so much extra pressure and stress on herself; so worried and NEEDING to be a part of his every waking breath. I was honestly feeling tired for her.
Then comes Lenore’s balls-to-the-wall approach for helping the parents; it’s a must-see moment. The woman leaves no room to debate, make excuses, or even think about her requests on you—it’s brilliant. She has talked you into letting your child… well, let’s say smoke cigars and toss hand grenades… before you have a clue what is going on. I am being extreme, of course, but the path she takes these parents down is a great ride. Common sense for some, but scary as hell for others.
Although, we all know there is no right or wrong way to parent (extreme tanning mom and balloon boy’s dad being the exceptions–they are dead WRONG). We all just try our best to raise good human beings.
However, as mothers we sure have no qualms about telling other mothers what WE feel is the “right” way, do we? There seems to be a not-so-nice trend of finger pointing going on right now leading to full out “Mommy Wars.” Mothers getting down right nasty at other mothers for the way they raise their kids. We are all guilty of this to one extreme or another.
There is a quote from the not-so-great movie Enough with Jennifer Lopez that has stuck in my mind since the first time I heard it:
“You have a divine animal right to protect your own life and the life of your offspring.”
This is how every mother feels, so why do we get so passionate about all topics mother related?
Have you watched Bubble Wrap Kids? Are you raising children that are bubble wrapped? Have you witnessed or been part of any “Mommy Wars”?
Dee Brun is the award-winning author of Libations of Life: A Girl’s Guide to Life One Cocktail at a Time, a cocktail chef and stylist, TV personality, home entertaining guru, writer, humorist, wife, mother of 4, TV Junkie, shoe-aholic, and borderline George Clooney stalker. Read her column, Isn’t it Deelightful, every Friday on Slice.ca.