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Published On: Wed, Sep 26th, 2012

Keeping up with the (Insert over-functioning parents’ surname here)

By Sam Tsosie

Yes, I get that the title may offend some people or even make them angry. But I’ve been noticing a trend that has become hard to ignore, over-functioning parents. We’ve all seen this, a mom or dad doing EVERYTHING for their child, running around like a chicken with their head cut off. Everything is a special occasion to these parents, every milestone is celebrated, no matter how normal or mundane. Remember “The Incredibles”? Mr. Incredible (Bob Parr) has a great line in that movie:
Helen Parr tells her husband Bob that he cannot miss their son, Dashiell “Dash” Parr’s graduation.
Bob Parr: It’s not a graduation. He’s moving from the 4th grade to the 5th grade.
Helen Parr: It’s a ceremony.
Bob Parr: It’s psychotic! They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity.
I totally agree with this. And I only bring this up because I coach U6 soccer and I am trying to find a way to reward the kids for participating. In the past, when my kids participated in non-competitive sports they received trophies. While well-intended, I think that is ridiculous. I was planning on just handing out certificates and pizzas. But, some parents expect more and so I opted for medals with the child and team name. Ugh.
My approach to parenting is similar to working for a company. I do what’s needed and get the job done so I can enjoy my time. I also try to NOT get yelled at by my wife.
”You didn’t brush her hair? And you took her out like that?”
”Those clothes don’t match!”
and my personal favorite
“Stop sneezing!”
Yes I am guilty to being a bit sloppy and a tad lazy, but being home with the kids is challenging.
I am active in both my kids’ activities; I even take my daughter to ballet class and commiserate with the other moms. Sometimes I feel like Steve Carrell’s character in the movie “Despicable Me,” when he attends his adopted daughters’ ballet class. Is it obvious that I watch too many kids’ movies?


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Keeping up with the (Insert over-functioning parents’ surname here)