Be prepared for controversy today. I know some of you may have strong opinions on this one, but hear me out...
I was listening to a really crappy morning radio show the other day during the daily kid shuttle, only because every other station was on commercial break. I was also curious as to what was so great about this morning crew of which people raved. The answer was: nothing. But I can now give an educated opinion that they suck. I digress. They were talking about a guy who had been shot in the city in front of some kids, which lead to why were the kids out with no supervision anyway? (which I didn't see how that had anything to do with the murder, the guy was down the street and someone shot him) So the clueless hosts started to rant about the lack of good parenting in urban homes. Oy, why not just pull out some racial slurs while you're at it? So the insipid male host went into full on rant mode emphatically stating that all children would be best raised by 2 parents. That would be a Mom and a Dad.
He ranted on and on that there would be less crime if there were two parents and more supervision in the home. Let me just point out one small detail that Insipid Host Guy missed - if said supervision is a moron, it won't necessarily produce better behaved offspring.
Let me present a few different scenarios. Now, this isn't a big ole pro-gay parenting rant, don't get your pre-conceived panties in a bunch, I'm just pro-good parenting... just let me present these facts....
* Lyle and Erik Menendez were raised by two wealthy suburban married hetero parents. (For those too young for the reference, these fine boys were convicted of murdering their parents in 1989)
* I have 3 children and they have a lot of friends and know who does what at school. Most of the kids that are perpetually in trouble at school come from two parent hetereo homes.
* My older daughter has a classmate who is a boy raised by two moms. He's 15, star athlete, A student, well mannered, very masculine and dates girls. I guess the gay agenda to raise a new generation of all gay, all the time failed there, huh?
* I know some single hetero moms that are raising kids that haved dropped out of high school and are doing nothing but smoking pot and playing video games. (the kid, not the mom)
* I know two parent hetero homes that have perfectly nice, smart children, but wouldn't know how to withstand a crisis or make a decision if their life depended on it.
* George Washington, first president, Founding Father, highly revered symbol of this country... was raised by a single mother. (his Father died when he was 11)
* Oprah Winfrey, the most successful and wealthiest female media mogul ever, was raised by several different people. First by her single teen Mother, then her Mother and Grandmother, then just her Grandmother, then by the man she thought was her biological Father, then she ran away from home for a while, then moved back with Mom.
* I know a local kid who was raised by two Moms (one Mom was biological via sperm donor), but by junior high the Moms seperated. Both Moms are attorneys. So then that made him a child of gay divorced parents, living between two homes. He was a nice smart kid when he was little, now he's a slacker pothead hanging around with the kind of dirtbag crowd, who I'm not sure is even going to college.
* A friend had a child with her first husband, he ran off and later she remarried. The child has been raised by Step-Dad as if it was his own. The child is well mannered, successful college graduate living in NYC.
* Shania Twain, a perfectly nice successful country singer was physically abused by her Step-Father.
* President Bill Clinton was first raised by two parents, then Father died so it became a single parent home, then mother remarried and he was beaten up often by his Step-Father. Although his treatment of females is questionable, he did become POTUS.
*Charles Manson was born to an unwed 16 year old runaway sometimes prostitute who kept trying to pawn him off to orphanages, relatives or other random people, having once traded him to a childless waitress for a pitcher of beer. And we all know what happened to him...
* Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who committed the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999 were both raised in suburban hetero two parent homes.
* And finally... me. I have 3 children, got divorced when they were all under 7. Later Dad disappeared completely, and left us destitute. I didn't have any romantic relationships the first 9 years of being divorced. I work full time but still qualify for food and medical aid. My oldest is graduating from a top all boys prep school and going to NYU next year. My girls are both A students, good athletes, well mannered and go to a good all girls school.
My point? Not sure, I started off thinking good parenting was the key, but some of my scenarios have proven otherwise. There is no perfect formula for raising non-troubled children. I'm not married but I'd say my kids are pretty good so far, but should I run out and get married just because Bristol Palin said my kids should have a Mom and Dad? Which we all know is idiotic because she was an unwed teen mom who pushed her baby-daddy out of the picture. WTF?
And that whole sanctity of marriage thing? With people choosing purposely to have babies out of wedlock, the divorce rate for first marriages is (approx.) 50%, second marriages 67%, and third marriages 75%, I'd say that sanctity was shot to hell along time ago.
At first I thought the only thing to ensure decent kids is to not be an idiot, but I've seen offspring of idiots turn out well. And I've seen children of nice people become deeply troubled. However, I still don't recommend being an idiot parent like, oh say, the "Tan Mom" Patricia Krentcil. But who knows her kids could turn out to be rocket scientists. Not likely, but ya' never know.
Well hell, now I'm more confused than when I started this blog. Is parenting just luck or chance? Nah. Um... maybe? However I'd say it's safer to be a good parent than not. All I know is that there is no magic formula like some would have you believe of having a two parent hetero home. I am certain that the family dynamic does not pre-determine the success of the child. Neither terrible parenting nor problematic children are exclusive of any one race, socio-economic group, sexual orientation, or living situation. So... good luck with that.
Let me know what you think, is there a formula for parenting?
More from parenting