I spend about 98% of my time thinking like a mom – trying to do the best thing for The Bean and trying to make decisions for myself and my husband in light of doing the best thing for The Bean.  I didn’t realize until recently that this thinking has affected my ability to enjoy pop culture until I was mindlessly watching a new show on MTV called Sex… with Mom and Dad.

It’s a terrible reality show that I can guarantee is at least part-scripted.  It has to be.  The premise is that a “real” family meets with Dr. Drew to talk about their attitudes about sex, which seemed to me to devolve into a screaming match about whether the teenager should be screwing engaging in sexual intercourse with multiple partners.  It was an awful show, I can’t even begin to describe it, but like the proverbial train wreck, I couldn’t tear my eyes from the screen.

During the second round of commercials for Clearasil and free ring tones, it hit me.  I wasn’t bothered by the show because of the idiots that were on it, or because of the screaming, or because of the horrendous acting…I was bothered because I would hate it if my Bean turned out like that girl.  She was promiscuous, disrespectful to everyone, and rebellious in the way that is guaranteed to get her an overnight in jail (if we’re talking about the best case scenario).

I don’t want to sit here and judge this girl’s mother, although there were some issues present in this particular family that I can be fairly certain will not impact The Bean.  I think, to some extent, that we as parents do the best we can and sometimes kids can still turn out this way.  It’s a crap shoot, and the thought of it terrifies me to the core.

We talk a lot about parenting skills, values, and our collective desire to do the right thing by our kids, but at the end of the day, they are their own people.  I know it’s important for them to be able to make their own mistakes, but will all of our hearts break as they do it?  How do you handle it when it does?  How do you help them turn the corner when they have taken the wrong exit off of the highway of their lives?

I’m hoping that as a family, we can keep The Bean on a productive path while still letting her have the freedom to be her own person and learn from her mistakes.  I just hope that her dad and I can survive it – without being on MTV.

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