I hang around some very advanced parents. Their parenting skills are at the Grand Prix level (to use a dressage analogy) and they get scores of 93.976 on their Parenting Freestyles and set world records.
I am still at Intro A (walk trot), though I am about to move myself up to Training Level 1. That may be a mistake considering I am still getting 4s (“Marginal”) at Intro A. Sometimes I get a 2 when I throw a big tantrum instead of moving forward.
My major fails include everything from Santa Claus to my inability to convey the inherent unfairness of life to a pre-teen. If I were a Grand Prix parent, my kids would realize that if another child uses up the eraser on their pencil, they can just get another pencil out and use up that eraser as an act of revenge. Oops, major parenting fail there. Revenge is not good. Back to Intro A.
If I were a Grand Prix parent, the kids would not spend lots of work getting out of less work. They would willingly do their chores and even sing while they did them, like Fraulein Maria in the Sound of Music. A Grand Prix parent would have a nice teaching story for the kids. They hate my teaching stories. Mine usually involve, “When I was your age…” This type of teaching story gets a 1. Or a zero.
If I were a Grand Prix parent, my kids would smile and hold the doors for each other instead of holding the door shut and not letting the other kid in. They would eat stir-fried bok choy.
Yes, sometimes they can be sweet and loving. That’s when I take pictures and post them on FaceBook so it looks like I am a Grand Prix parent. Actually, I don’t. Because I would have to use photoshop. If I did that, I would just photoshop myself on the beach with a cool drink.
I would also not say things like, “I am not trimming a chicken’s beak!” when they ask if Henny’s beak is too long. I would say, “Let me look, dear. Oh, yes, that beak is looking in need of a trim. Let me get my dremmel.”
The real problem with my parenting is the same problem most dressage riders have. I just don’t have the right horse. I have a miniature horse with no work ethic named Katie and need a large, well-trained horse. One at least 13.3 hands tall. I would be a great parent if someone would buy me a nice horse. Then I would ride off into the sunset. I would be a Grand Prix parent.