ParentMap, July 2010

Published on: July 01, 2010

July ParentMap  

You slacker!

Back away from the Cheez Doodles; we're onto you! This month, we look at the top 10 slacker-parenting moves that many of us make. How bad are they really for your kids?

While we're at it, here's a handy guide to cleaning up your language — before your toddler starts swearing!

And — what do do when one child decides to become a vegetarian.

Plus, Kris knocks it outta the park again! Read her fab guide to (mostly free) outdoor summer fun.

Subscribe Now!Read the entire issue online, or scroll down for links and cool online only content.

Ages & Stages:

Getting School Ready: Coping with divorce, part #2

Out & About:

Feature: Confessions of a slacker parent!


Online only! Click here for this month's special "online only" content.

About this issue

Going slack

I have always taken a good deal of pride in my slackerhood — even well before I became a parent. I was raised by the consummate anti-slacker mother (“Guilty secrets of slacker parents”), who did not know how to cut a corner, ever!

Slow, methodical, steady, precise and often infuriated by her speedier brood, my dear mother was unflappable in her ways. She did not model the slacker role in any way, whether grading her students’ illegible math papers until the wee hours of the morning, balancing her check book to the penny and arguing endlessly with my father for his inaccurate record-keeping (it was always the $34.45 instead of $34.54 that did him in) or taking a full year to prepare for her one annual dinner with guests.

Call it youthful rebellion that lasted: I may have let the pendulum swing to the other extreme. I’ve never balanced a checkbook and, thankfully, married a chronic non-balancer. (Banks are surely better at math than me, right?) I regularly entertain 15-plus guests on a near-weekly basis for Friday-night dinner. A frighteningly predictable menu to be sure, but it’s getting our loved ones together that matters.

So find your place as a parent on our slack-o-meters! I assure you that, in this contest — from occasional lapses in booster-seat behavior to an absence of phobia over the academic pedigree — I win!

My well-educated, highly cultured Auntie Frieda can’t put together a sentence without dropping an “F-bomb.” She gives the phrase “potty mouth” new meaning, and it took me years to embrace the language that fell on my babes’ innocent ears (Ages & Stages). “Auntie Fritzle-bomb,” as we call her, made it to the top tiers of the Chicago Board of Education that way, but how? Well, it’s Chicago, for one thing! My kids seem to know what to say, or, as Dr. Ben Danielson, medical director of Odessa Brown at Seattle Children’s, suggests, a quiet “We don’t say that” often does the trick. When someone in our family wants to drop the “F-bomb,” we just say, “Well, Fritzle that!”

Uplifted by “Show thing,” I am going to try to grab kids and friends and hit a few outdoor concerts and a Shakespeare in the Park show. Clearly, our group needs some refinement (but, given my slacker ways, the beach will be our most frequented destination).

Enjoy the summer downtime!

— Alayne Sulkin, Publisher/Editor

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