Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 01-10-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 AT HOME JANUARY 10-16, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE LIVING EDITION Less micromanaging equals happier parents "So, anyway, after they take show- ers I lay out their school clothes for the next day. And then…." "Hold on right there," "How old are your girls again?" "Um, they're 7 and 5," she answered, being the thirty-something mother of the girls in question. "Why?" "I guess I need you to explain to me why you're doing that." "You mean laying out their clothes the night before?" "Yes. Why are you doing that?" "Well, I, well, if I didn't, I don't know, they might pick out something inappropriate." "Like what? T-shirts with satanic messages on them?" (Laughing) "Oh, no, not that! I mean like tops and bottoms that don't match." "Like stripes and polka dots togeth- er? Or two shades of orange that clash?" "Yes, something like that." "That's…you used the word inap- propriate…that's inappropriate? I thought inappropriate was like punching someone in the face for no reason. Wearing stripes and polka dots is inappropriate?" "Well, I mean, the other kids might laugh at them." "Okay, so here's my very impor- tant question: I seriously doubt that kids this age have a developed fash- ion sense, but that aside, so what if some other kid or kids did laugh?" (Long pause) "Well, I don't want my daughters to be made fun of." At this point, I had to suppress the almost irrepressible urge to tell this mother that I hadn't been born yes- terday; that I knew the real reason she picked out her daughters' clothes every evening. The real reason is that with rare exception, today's moms personalize everything – and I do mean everything – that happens to their children or that their children do. So, if a 5-year-old managed, some- how, to get by her "Designated Micromanager" and wore to school an outfit consisting of stripes and polka dots (I'm having memories of when I was a hippie), her DM, when she found out, would be concerned, convinced even, that people might have been talking about and laugh- ing at her by proxy. Furthermore, even if the child in question came home and did not complain of being mocked, mom would still be certain that someone out there is thinking that she's one of the Bad Mommies you hear about. Choosing and laying out a 7-year- old child's clothes – something my Traditional Parenting JOHN ROSEMOND Continues on next page

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