The Therapist Test

I’ve noticed that several of my posts lately have been about stepmonstering.  Sorry about that.  Did you think this was a blog about baking?  I promise to get back to the baking posts soon, if that’s why you’re here, but in the meantime, can we talk about stepmonstering one more time?

Sometimes I worry that I’m a bad parent.  I know I know, this isn’t Facebook, get on with it.

No seriously, I worry that I’m screwing them up.

Food is always a major issue at our house (as you may have noticed from my multitude of sneaky vegetable posts) and every night at dinnertime, I can guarantee you there will be a fight, some yelling, and (lately, now that we’re 14) slamming doors.  And there are other disagreements.  You know, about everyday stuff, like not having a sleepover on a school night, or asking someone to take their feet off the table.  Whatever, kids are kids.  If I didn’t tell them what to do and what not to do, how would they know?  The fact that I have to tell them more than once, is a little annoying, but that’s what parenting is.

The problem, and for the most part, the reason for my paranoia about my parenting skills, is because I am not the only mother in this scenario.  So…for you bio parents out there, if you can’t figure this one out – imagine if every time your child was unhappy with you for something (be it reasonable or not) they had an ombudsparent to call to complain about you.  Yeah.  That.

Now do you see?

So when the celery hit the fan the other day over not being able to watch a movie (on a school night) on the living room tv (which is the adult’s TV in this house and which was in the middle of an episode of Top Chef and being watched by one of said adults – and not me) and the door slamming and mom-phoning happened, I thought to myself, KK, what do you have to be afraid of?  Nothing.  Why?  Because I employ what I like to call “the therapist test“.   Here’s how it goes:

I imagine the offending little monster man sitting in his therapist’s office, and in the same whiny voice that I just heard him complain to me about what I did, said, was doing, I imagine him telling the same story, at some date in the future, to his (for now imaginary) therapist:  “and then she put mushrooms in the lasagna…” or “she wouldn’t let us have a sleepover on a school night!” or “she doesn’t let us put our feet on the table”.  Yeah, see?  Nothing that I can’t back up with good solid “parenting”.  I’m not just being mean.  I’m being a parent.  And nothing in any of those three scenarios is enough to warrant child and family services paying us a visit (unless they’ve really changed the rules since I was a kid).

If you’re ever doubting your ability to parent, try it, you’ll see what I mean.

An important post-script: the ombudsparent, in my case, bio-mom, has been a big supporter of my efforts.   She backs me up and I am thankful for that.

Another important post-script: they have three other TVs to watch in the house.   They just can’t watch the Top Chef’s TV.

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