Thursday, October 21, 2010
Good Night Moon
I first heard about Bedtimes are for Suckers from a colleague who posted a link on Facebook. She asked what people thought of this blog, which is billed as “a preschooler fed up with being exploited by her mom’s ‘mommy blog’ tells her side of the story.” The responses on Facebook were almost evenly split between people who thought the blog was hysterically funny or a reflection of their world and others who thought it was at best crude and at worst horribly wrong.
The first photograph you see at the site is a preschooler in large sunglasses with her arms folded across her chest and her feet firmly planted. She emanates the classic power struggle response, “I don’t want to and you can’t make me” or “just try and make me.” The next photo is the same young child holding up her left hand with the middle finger extended under the post entitled “5 Reasons I Don’t Want to Go to Bed (So Get Off my Ass)”. It is explained elsewhere that the gesture was photoshopped. Other posts include the following phrases in the titles: “Idiotic Parents,” “WTF is that on My Plate,” and “Mommy Put Down the Goddamn iPhone.”
Here is what I like about Bedtimes are for Suckers – The piece about moms and iPhones from the perspective of a child is brilliant in concept.
Here is what I don’t like about Bedtimes are for Suckers:
• The tone is hostile, sarcastic and manipulative. The language is crude. The purpose of the blog is to fight, so it does not create closeness or connection.
• If a parent envisions his child thinking or behaving like this, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
• Thinking of children in these terms is not in the best interest of your relationship with your child.
• Children do not think like this. This is adult language, beliefs and attitudes being attributed to a child.
• Karen Deerwester, author of The Entitlement-Free Child and owner of Family Time Inc, said the blog is “a celebration of a precocious attitude that a child has learned.” The child has learned this behavior, and adults have permitted the behavior to persist.
• The blog feels pornographic to me in that a child is exploited even as the blog claims to be fighting exploitation. The child is not a fully consenting participant in this endeavor even though thoughts, behaviors, beliefs and attitudes are attributed to the child.
• There are no solutions to problems or improvements in the relationships. There is no desire for solutions or improvements in the relationships.
• Our children do what works, and mom does not take responsibility for her child’s behavior. The sarcasm is actually blaming the child for mom’s lack of leadership.
• Family life does not have to be this way.
I checked out if I had somehow left my sense of humor aside when reading the blog. A few lines did make me laugh. The presentation of a child and the relationship between a parent and child in such a corrupt light simply did not hold any humor for me and I’m OK with that.
Personally, I think bedtime is for everybody.
Goodnight room. Goodnight red ballon. Goodnight moon. Sleep tight.