MomsOnMonday: Prep for Parenting Your Modern Family

Posted on July 1st, 2013, 0 Comments

With One Snip Claire Makes Alex’s Friend Disappear

Season 4, Episode 3

If you’ve got a teen, you know that parenting comes in phases. This episode dealt with some of those phases as well as the choices and the fears that accompany them.

Claire and Phil have a plan: In five years all kids will be out of the house. And Phil is going to get the snip to ensure the plan’s success. Cam is at loose ends now that Lily is in kindergarten. As proof, for the last eight weeks he’s been hand-stitching a mermaid costume for their new pet cat. Meanwhile, Gloria, who is in her sixth month of pregnancy, finds that her regular clothes “can’t take it anymore,” and Jay starts to worry about the bigger changes that having a baby will bring.

The storyline that caught and held my attention, though, was the one involving Claire’s fears about Skylar – a gothy girl that Alex has been hanging out with lately. It began with a conversation about Alex’s new look – a conversation that took place in the early morning in the Dunphy kitchen with Haley participating via laptop from her college dorm room.

Haley: Oh my God [Alex}! What is that outfit?! Are you going goth?! You still sleep with a stuffed panda.
Claire: What is this [Alex]? Is this because of your new friend Skylar? … I don’t like this Skylar! You don’t need to change who you are to fit in with the cool kids!

Claire sees Skylar as nothing but bad news. Have you ever looked at one (or more) or your teen’s friends and felt the same way?

Without batting an eye, Claire lets Alex know what she thinks about Skylar. Do you think that was a smart move on Claire’s part?

Later that afternoon Claire comes home unexpectedly and is surprised to hear the buzz of electric clippers coming from Alex’s bedroom. Claire walks in to find Alex and Skylar about to nape shave.

Alex: Okay. Wait. Wait. I’m not sure about this.
Skylar: Don’t be a baby. It’s going to look cool. Just hold still.
Claire (walking in on the girls): Ohhhhh!
Alex: Mom, what are you doing here?!
Claire: Why aren’t you at school?
Skylar: Mrs. Dunphy, we…
Claire: Oh, no. You don’t get to talk, Morticia.
Alex: Okay, we cut last period. Big deal. Because we’re shaving the backs of our necks – which is totally a style. But, of course, now you’re going to freak out – like you always do about every little thing!
Claire (grabbing the clippers): Let’s do it.
Skylar: Like what?
Claire: Yeah. Yeah. Let’s shave off some heads! Come on, who’s first?
Alex: Uhhh, Okay. Okay. Mom! We don’t need you to do that.
Claire: Are you afraid?
Alex: I’m not afraid!
Claire: Then let’s do this. It’s shaving time. Shavey gravy. Shave by the bell.
Alex: Why are you talking like Dad?
Claire (wildly waving clippers around): Hair up, girls! Let’s see some napes!! Come on! (And then catching a large chunk of Skylar’s hair in the clippers) Oh, God! No!
Alex: Oh my God! Oh my God!
Claire: What did you do?
Skylar (before stomping out): What did you do?! I have my sister’s wedding on Saturday!
Alex: Skylar, wait!
Skylar: Stay away from me! Both of you!!
Alex (to Claire): Uhhh! You ruined my life!! … Skylar!

Claire walked through the bedroom door and immediately lost control of her emotions. And she was so focused on taking control of the clippers that she completely overlooked the fact that Alex had skipped school. What do you think you would have done if you were in Claire’s shoes?

And then there’s this final back and forth between Alex and Haley:

Haley: Mom shaved Skylar’s head?! That’s hilarious!
Alex: It’s not going to be so fun the next time she bothers to show up for school.
Haley: What do you care? You know you don’t even like her.
Alex: I don’t. Skylar is awful. Mom actually did me a huge favor.

It’s a happy ending. But is it believable? Do you think your teen would have made such a quick and positive turnabout?

Next week we’ll take a look at the poll results and talk about what to do if our real-life teens start hanging out with friends we don’t like.

See you next Monday!

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