Sweeping Generalizations of Parenting Styles

I am new to the “Twitter World”, and to be honest, I don’t really like it.  99.9% of the people who follow @SmartassMommies look normal enough on my iPhone, but when I get to my laptop to check them out, they all have www.xxx-_______________-.com as their profile address.  Sorry.  Not interested.  For now.

However, I’m always insanely curious about topics that are “trending” and am fascinated at the concept of how a seemingly random subject matter gets started.

While playing around, I noticed that two recent “trends” were:  #BlackMomsCatchPhrase and #WhiteMomsCatchPhrase.

Now . . . . I could get into a whole dissertation about how blatantly racist/sexist/‘momist’ these hashtags are.  But I will save that for later.  And by “later” I mean “never”.  I think all of these posts were made with absolutely no ill intent so let’s just ignore any collective panty wading and admit that some of these are funny as hell.

So I have collected a handful of my favorite from each of these categories and have added a third – the Jewish mother response.  Amazingly, this is not a trending topic on Twitter.  I would think that half of the population of Manhattan could add something new to this conversation.  But since they didn’t, I will do it myself.

(Author’s note:  I have a Southern, White, Jewish, Mother.  I live(d) in fear of her.  Her parenting style is a combination of all three in roughly equal parts.  I love her dearly, but pretty much everybody I know is scared of her).

GENERALLY speaking, the breakdown to describe each ethnically different set of parenting styles can be summarized:

  • White - Over indulgent coddling
  • Black - Threatened acts of physical violence
  • Jewish - Guilt, and lots of it.  Capable of convincing their children that they are personally responsible for the genocide in Darfur. A child’s ill advised actions usually result in the hypothetical death of the mother.

Knowing this, we thought we would provide a list of common parenting themes and a typical response by each type of mother:

Subject White Black Jewish
Punishment You go to your room right now! Stop crying before I give you something to cry about! Let’s talk about it.
Talking Back I don't appreciate the way you're speaking to me! Say it again and I will slap the taste out of your mouth! I'M YOUR MOTHER! YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY!!
Timeouts Go sit in your timeout corner! Go get your dad's belt! I'M YOUR MOTHER! YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY!!
Warnings I'm going to count to three . . . Do it again and see what happens . . . I'M YOUR MOTHER!! Are you trying to kill me??
Food What do you want for dinner? You are going to eat what I cook!! Of COURSE my children love my cooking and eat everything I make for them.
Public Humiliation Sweetie, please stop embarrassing us in the store. Don't make me embarrass you in the store! Oy vey. I could just DIE right now!
Fighting You embarrassed our whole family by fighting today. Who won? N/A
Decibel Levels Don't yell at me. I'm your mother! Hello 911. There's going to be a body waiting. *Click.* I'M YOUR MOTHER!! ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME??
Potty Mouths Go wash your mouth out with soap! You sit there while I knock you into next week! If the Rabbi heard you right now . . .
Friendships I'm just trying to be your friend! I'm not one of your friends!! You're too good for your friends.
Timeliness Good morning! It's time to get ready for school. You better not miss the damn bus! Your father will drive you on his way into the office.
Sports Doing your best is what's most important. Who won? A Bar Mitzvah is definded as the day when a Jewish boy realizes that he is far more likely to own a professional sports team than play for one.
Career Aspirations You can be whatever you want to be when you grow up. Let me explain reality to you. My son is going to be a doctor.
Emotions Baby, what's wrong? Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about. Let's make an appointment with Dr. Goldstein.
Weather It's cold out, go get your Uggs. It's cold out, better put on a coat. PUT ON A SWEATER!! YOU'LL CATCH A COLD!!

© Two too smart, smartass mommies 2011