You know when you’re watching a movie or a TV show and you can’t help shouting, “COME ON! As if parents do that!”
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Here are six of the most unrealistic parenting moments on the small and big screens.
1. Neglecting your baby to become a drug lord
Any mum who binge-watched all eight seasons of Weeds wanted to be Nancy Botwin at some stage. A hot-suburban-housewife-come-drug-kingpin – what’s not to love? Well, if you think back on every single one of her parenting decisions, you’ll conclude that she wasn’t such a hot mama after all.
Not only did she royally eff up her two existing sons’ lives and turn them both into hardened criminals, but she had an ill-advised third son with the head of a Mexican drug cartel and immediately neglected him too. She returned to her regular drug-dealing schedule mere seconds after having the kid. She never seemed to breastfeed him or give him a bottle or wake up at night because he was crying or have to deal with him in any way whatsoever. He was only ever portrayed a few times sleeping peacefully in his car seat as Nance careened around town selling weed. Bad Nancy.
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2. Separating twins immediately after birth
There are many things wrong and creepy about the plot of The Parent Trap, but by far the most disturbing is the notion that you can split identical twins apart right after they’re born and raise them at opposite ends of the world without ever planning to tell them about the other’s existence.
I haven’t read the actual law, but I’m pretty sure no judge would allow that. Also, any parent who dreams up a plan like that is seriously messed up. But noooo … The Parent Trap portrays them as brilliant bazillionaires whose daughters go to great lengths to bring them back together *facepalm*
3. Locking your child in a room and telling her to be anything but herself
I vote that the opening scene of Frozen 2 should be Elsa sobbing in her therapist’s chair. I know there are bad parents out there, but Elsa’s parents take the cake. They locked her up in a dark room for ten years and told her to “conceal, don’t feel” and “be a good girl”. All this to protect her sister.
Then one day, they told her they were going overseas without her. When she expressed concern about her ability to hide her deadly ice powers in their absence, they said, “You’ll be FINE, Elsa” in a tone that meant, “Stop being such a snivelling baby.” Then they went and died in a tragic boating accident. That poor girl is definitely effed up for life.
4. Going out with your friends every night when you have two kids
Is it just me or did Sex and the City’s Charlotte not even slow down her Cosmo consumption a smidge when she had her kids? Between adopting Lily from China and giving birth to Rose, she never let a single hair stray from her perfectly coiffed head nor did she allow a flat shoe anywhere near her impeccably manicured foot. She was always ready to pop out for a last-minute girls’ brunch or an impromptu alcohol-fuelled soiree.
What a horrible mother! How dare she neglect her children like that after going to such great lengths to have them? Riiiiight. If we’re honest, we’re all super-jealous right now.
5. Forgetting your kid at home when you fly to Paris for Christmas
Let’s talk about Home Alone. What kind of parents forget a child at home when they’re heading to the airport for an overseas trip? Maybe you could get to the street corner before realising your mistake, but all the way to the airport, through security, into the plane and up in the air? Sheesh. I get that five kids are a lot to keep track of, but maybe you should’ve stopped at two if it was too much for you.
Then, a year later, Kevin’s ‘rents stuff up again. They somehow lose him at the airport and board a flight to Florida while poor Kevin ends up on a plane to New York all by his lonesome. Thankfully, Kev ends up with his dumb dad’s wallet stuffed with cash and lives it up in NYC. Attaboy.
6. Not inviting one of your kids to your wedding and not caring your baby is moving to Paris
Ah, Friends. Who doesn’t miss that show? It was so darn funny! And completely unrealistic on so many levels. Let’s look at Ross’s parenting skills as an example. The guy had a kid with his ex-girlfriend Carol, but he was quick to agree that he would only ‘babysit’ Ben occasionally while Carol and her lesbian partner Susan raised him. As time wore on, Ross saw less and less of Ben and forgot to invite him to his wedding. Yikes.
Then, Ross had a second child with Rachel. When Rachel announced she was moving to Paris and taking baby Emma with her, Ross’s focus was squarely on losing Rachel. What about your adorable infant, Ross?! And we thought you were a good guy.