The other night, I was stuck on the endless cycle of scrolling through shows (i.e. trying to find something my husband and I could both agree on) when I came across a new one on Hulu called “The Parent Test.” Basically, they take different parenting styles and put them to the “test” in challenges… all while filming it for our viewing pleasure.
In the first couple of episodes, we watched different parenting styles go head-to-head in challenges like taking their kids to a fancy meal (ummm… nightmare fuel am I right?!?) and to a high-dive at the swimming pool. Some of our favorites to observe in-action have been helicopter parenting, high-achievement based parenting, and “free-range” parenting. The show does a really good job of representing different types of families and different ethnic backgrounds. Watching “The Parent Test” has actually changed several of my opinions. It has helped me to notice some of my biases about which parenting styles that I think are “the best.” Perhaps most importantly, has made me realize that none of them are inherently “bad.”
I had a very nontraditional childhood. As a result, my “idea” of parenting tends to be different from my husband’s (who has a very traditional background). These days, you don’t really get the chance to observe how different family units operate. That’s what makes this show so cool! Watching “The Parent Test” is like having a little window into the lives of other families.
“The Parent Test” is a unique learning opportunity for new parents such as my husband and I. It has sparked important conversations about how we will handle different future situations. For example, will we force our child to try everything on their plate? How do we plan to encourage our children to accomplish something that scares them? How are we going to handle our own parenting anxieties?
Watching “The Parent Test” has inspired useful conversations between my husband and I. The convos that I think are the most beneficial are the ones about how to handle different parenting situations, before we are “in the trenches”, so-to-speak. We have picked out different parenting techniques from the show, and want to apply the ones that we think would work best for us to our own lives. I believe that parenting is an opportunity to learn and grow for both parents and children. To be good at it, you just have to WANT to be good at it. We are only a couple episodes in (and only a year and a half into the thrill-ride of being parents), but I think that having thoughtful conversations like the ones inspired by “The Parent Test” can only help us on our journey.
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