Nothing makes me feel better about my parenting skills than watching television. Sure, my kid doesn’t like to put away his toys, but he’s nothing like those brats on Nanny 911. And yes, I do think my child is talented and special, but I haven’t become a crazy stage mother like those ladies on Toddlers and Tiaras. I’m not a perfect parent, but compared to the moms on reality shows, I’m doing alright.
Lifetime’s new show Dance Moms takes crazy parenting to a whole new level. Dance Moms is like Jerry Springer with sequins. A group of talented young dancers is shuttled off to competitions every week, while their mothers and dance teacher Abby Lee fight, drink, scream, and throw hissy fits. The parents truly don’t seem to care that their children are watching, as they yell, complain, and call each other names. They also don’t seem to care that their daughters have done some fairly risqué dance numbers in skimpy costumes. For these moms, it’s all about the drama, and whose daughter is the “best.”
In some of the internet chatter about Dance Moms, I have seen people say things like, “I would never put my daughter in dance classes after watching this show!” or “This is exactly why my child is not allowed to dance.” Seeing these comments made me sad. You see, I spent the majority of my free time as a child in the dance studio. My mother wasn’t pushing me into it for her own sake; I simply loved to dance, and had dreams of being a ballerina one day. I encountered a few stage moms in my time as a dancer, but overall my teachers, fellow dancers, and their families were loving and supportive. My experience was wildly different from what is shown on Dance Moms.
Is it fair to rule out a sport or activity for your child based on a few parents behaving badly? It seems that no matter what it is your child is involved in, you can always find a parent who takes things to the extreme. In 2000, a father beat another man to death at his son’s hockey after an argument over rough play, of all things. Does this mean kids shouldn’t play hockey? And who can forget Wanda Holloway, better known as the Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom? Holloway became the subject of many a made-for-tv movie when she hired a hitman to kill the mother of a girl who was trying out for the cheer squad, in the hopes of eliminating the competition for her own daughter. While this situation was certainly tragic, it doesn’t mean we should get rid of cheerleading all together. As my friend Donny Osmond would say, one bad apple don’t spoil the whole darn bunch. The bad behavior of a few out of control parents shouldn’t determine what activities we allow our children to pursue.
What we parents have to remember is that our children’s activities are for our children. They aren’t a way for us to relive our youth, or compete with other parents. So if your son or daughter wants to dance, but watching Dance Moms has you skeptical, remember that you as the parent play a huge role in determining what kind of experience your child will have. There are crazy parents in every activity out there; that doesn’t mean you have to be one!
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[author_info]About the Author
Crystal Paschal is our regular Entertainment Contributor bringing you all the juicy celeb gossip and TV/movie info that you love. When she’s not watching TV (most often of cartoon nature because of her kids), she writes on her blog at MomForLess.com.