'World's Worst Mom' Could Make Us All Better Parents

Lenore Skenazy

The TV show World's Worst Mom premiered on the Discovery Life Channel last night, and wow! However bad you thought your motherly hangups were, they don't hold a candle to the train wreck we saw on screen. The show stars parenting expert Lenore Skenazy -- who attained her own "worst mom" title after letting her 9-year-old son ride the subway alone. She's also founder of the "free range kids" movement, which urges parents to stop helicoptering around their offspring. And the mom she helps this episode? Bonkers. Long overdue for an intervention.

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The problem in a nutshell: Paulina treats her 10-year-old son Sam like a toddler -- she feeds him, bathes him, won't let him ride a bike. How mortifying for him! So, Skenazy encourages the son to take on various challenges that escalate in how nervous they make his mom, from cutting his own food to spending the night at summer camp.

Throughout these challenges, Paulina is clearly a wreck. But with Skenazy gently laying down the law, Paulina learns to let go of her son and give him the freedom he craves.

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Even if you're not a helicopter parent, the show is still riveting to watch, and has a take-home message we all could stand to hear more often: kids are more resilient than we think.

At one point when Sam is attempting to ride a bike, for instance, Paulina asks her son, "What if you fall? Will you cry?" To which Skenazy points out, "So WHAT if he cries?"

So true. No matter how much parents try to protect their kids, sooner or later, they're all bound to encounter adversity -- and the only way they become adults is by learning how to overcome these hurdles on their own. So if you need a gentle reminder of this fact, consider tuning in to this show. It will also remind you that, hey, even if you do baby your kids a bit, you're not THAT bad off. In other words, stop worrying so much!

In what ways do you "baby" your kids?

 

Image via Discovery Life

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