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About a month ago, a news story broke in Philly about of group of ten-year-olds who were involved in the home invasion and violent assault on a mentally challenged adult woman. I couldn’t help but wonder, “Where the hell were those kids’ parents?” I mean it’s one thing if your 17-year-old breaks curfew after a night of partying, but you have to wonder what went wrong in the short ten years of a child’s life when he’s facing criminal charges in elementary school. I can’t help but think that situations like this can be avoided by a little pro-active parenting.

When I refer to “lazy parenting” I’m not talking about the methods of co-sleeping, baby wearing and cloth diapers of attachment parenting that has recently become a trend in celebrity motherhood. I’m talking about the failure to realize that parenting is work and continuing to live a lifestyle that is most convenient for you after choosing to become a parent.  Parenting is kind of like IKEA furniture: It looks great on the outside, but actually getting it together is time-consuming, makes you instantly feel like an idiot and even though you may have directions, they aren’t very useful.  Every parent has a bad day where Lucky Charms is the main course or you forget it’s your turn to pick them up from soccer practice until they’re left stranded for hours…in the rain.  But lazy parenting is a completely different animal and chances are you already know if you’re a lazy parent without having to read the 11 traits listed below:

1.  Not visiting school unless your child is in trouble.

Report card conferences and a call home from the principal shouldn’t be the only reasons you make an appearance where your child spends 7-8 hours of his or her day.  As a parent you should be familiar with the school staff, have a decent idea of the school calendar and knowledge of the rules and policies.  You can’t advocate for your child or monitor their school performance if they know more about the system than you do.

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