Bad parents tell all

Self-proclaimed bad parents are sharing their worst moments — and cashing in, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Now some parents, hoping to quiet the chorus of opinions, judgments and criticism, are defiantly confessing to their own “bad parenting” moments. They say that sharing their foibles helps relieve the pressure to be a perfect parent — and pokes fun at a culture where arguments over sleep-training methods and organic baby foods rage on. Critics say it’s the latest form of oversharing online — the equivalent of posting your every move on Twitter or Facebook — and only reinforces parents’ worst habits.

One mother on admits to allowing her toddler to watch as much as six hours of TV a day. Another worries she’s raising a bigoted baby. A third admits to hating her daughter’s friend, who is 3 years old.

It’s a short step from tweeting about screaming at your toddler to writing a book about it. There are several bad parent confessionals heading for the book stores.

Via Instapundit, here’s the perfect gift for bad parents to buy their toddlers: The Playmobil wine bar.  Really.

Update: Not really. The Playmobil wine bar was an April Fool’s Day spoof.

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  1. Hey JJ. Love your stuff, but I’m pretty sure that Playmobil thing is/was an April Fools joke.

  2. And the fruits of “bad parents” eventually show up in the classes I substitute for.

    “What do you do when the police pull you over for a traffic stop?” the teacher asks.

    “RUN!”, the kid responds, “That’s that my dad and uncle do!”
    (…leaving the 3rd grader in the backseat)

  3. I personally think it’s a good antidote for all the media attention paid to “uberparents” like the Duggars.

  4. There’s “bad parents” and bad parents.

    I think most of the self-described “bad” parents here are ones who haven’t bought into the “children over all!” mentality that some self-described “good” parents have – the “good” parents being the ones lobbying for things like getting all movies that contain depictions of cigarette smoking rated “R” to “protect the children.” Or who go to extreme lengths re: food purity, so much so that they will harass relatives for having white sugar in the house when their precious kids are visiting.

    The self-described “bad” parents are more like “non-neurotic” parents. REAL bad parents would not care enough to write ironic columns or books about their mess-ups.

    My parents were, by the extremist modern standards, kind of bad – we were allowed to eat Hostess cakes, watch television, and probably had toys full of BPA and phthalates. But my brother and I turned out OK.. maybe even better than OK, because we don’t preface our acceptance of a dinner-party invitation with a three foot long list of foods we can’t/won’t eat.

  5. All the media attention to the Duggars? I think more people read Dooce than watch the Duggars in a week.

  6. Who are the Duggars?

    I have a good, common-sense reason for not allowing my six month old to watch TV (as my mother suggested I do): his father and I are both prone to attention problems. I want to limit early exposure to commercial breaks (and I also hope to limit his exposure to commercialism and toys based on popular programs). Not neurotic–he’s allowed to watch movies and anime with his father and me on the computer. Since those are without commercials, I don’t mind, and he seems to like sitting with Daddy and playing “Baby copies Daddy” (look up at Daddy, then stare at the screen, then look up at Daddy and smile).

    I don’t know what I’m doing that’s “bad”–I don’t read parenting advice. I figured it’d make me neurotic. ;P

  7. what ricki said!

    My wife and I often joke that we’re “bad parents”. But we are joking. We are just acknowledging that we are humanly fallible and not always the perfect parents that we might like to be, if real life didn’t have multiple priority disorder.

    On the bright side, we take pride in the fact that our child is superior enough to overcome our bad parenting.


  8. Speak for yourself, I never even heard of the Dooce blog until Ms. Armstrong’s book came out and she was interviewed in Time magazine. Whereas the Duggars have been on the Discovery channel for years (since back when they only had 15 kids).

    I think if you polled average American moms (not yuppie Internet addict ones), far more would’ve heard of the Duggars than Ms. Armstrong.