Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The 2009 Best Parenting Prize: The First Annual Awards for Extraordinary Parenting News and Advice
Something particularly enlightening or competent?
The kids back in school, the holiday trimmings almost all crammed back in the closet, my annual post-holiday virus nearly run its course, I got to to thinking about the upcoming award shows as I added a few potential Oscars winners to my Netflix queue. Reading up on some of the critic's favorites I couldn't help but wonder why we don't honor the efforts of folks toiling in the parenting biz. It's not like there aren't heaps of parenting material out there, so many individuals making parenting news, giving advice, making discoveries about children. Journalists, academic researchers, government officials, the ocassional celebrity mom. Mommy bloggers.
Do we know what the best parenting knowledge and news has been? Do we track it? Do we publicize it?
Now I don't expect to don a designer gown and walk a red carpet ...though I do own a couple boas....but....
It's time we come to terms with our national parenting information overload and make an effort to separate the good from the bad, the nuanced from the simplistic, the crappy discoveries from the conclusive. The objective reports from the biased ones. The real experts from the Jewish Studies majors (see my previous post).
Tending to growing minds and bodies is not glamorous. Not even in the Brangelina household where who knows how many extra paid hands are available to feed, clothe, bathe and otherwise manage the more mundane aspects of raising kids. God knows celebrities don't often qualify as parenting role model nor authorities. But maybe we should take a clue from the self-reverential Hollywood crowd and take time to reflect on the year in the parenting business.
And another thing about the film industry. At least they regularly review and rate their output. It's maddening, really, that I can instantaneously check out the latest movie but the latest advice or information about kids? Forget it. How do you find out how reliable, how knowledgable it is?
Forgive me for suspecting we care more about who's directed the best movie, who's wearing the most Spanx under their gowns, who's sleeping with whom, shall I go on??? than who's making the most efforts at doling out clear, accurate information about children's health and well-being.
So I'm on it, perusing the last year of parenting lit, choosing my faves and my not so faves. And because the Academy has until March to announce the winners, I guess we can linger too. Unlike Brad and Angie, it's me playing the drill sargeant here.
Also, I'd love to hear your ideas.