MomsOnMonday: Prep for Parenting a Modern Family

Posted on November 8th, 2012, 5 Comments

Making kids is the easy part. The hard part is everything that comes after.
– Gloria, Modern Family (Season 4; Episode 7)

I love Modern Family. It’s so fully packed with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it comedy from three different households that I watch (and sometimes watch again) purely for the fun of it. That is until last night. While watching last night’s episode, I realized that the cameras in these households are capturing much more than comedic gold. Mixed in with the footage of clever punch lines and belly laughs there are wonderful teachable moments about modern family-ness. I picked up a pencil and began to take notes.

I scribbled down Gloria’s line: Making kids is the easy part. The hard part is everything that comes after. And the words rang true. I know both personally and professionally just how hard and humbling parenting can be. Especially when it comes to raising a teen. Today’s teens are bolder and less obedient than ever before. They say and do things that we never would have said or done, requiring that parents take a different approach than our own parents did.

But as unsettling as these changes in today’s teens may be, they do not affect the reality of being a parent on a deeper level. The best parenting has always contained love, laughter, and learning. It still does. And, of course, we love our teens. We’re committed to them. It’s just that sometimes the laughter and learning can be in short supply. So to keep our sanity, we modern moms have to look for synergies – ways to band together and merge our efforts to bring about the best parenting results.

But where to start? How about in your own family room?

Here’s how:

• You watch Modern Family (Wednesday nights, ABC, 8:00 central time). Sit back and enjoy this very, very funny show.

• Every Monday I’ll blog about parenting insights and strategies based on my notes from the most recent episode. The posts will share with you what I’ve learned about raising today’s teens from research, from my practice as a psychologist and coach for parents of teens, and from my life as a parent.

• Then, I hope you’ll comment on the posts, sharing related parenting experiences and quandaries from your life.

When you add this regular mix of laughter and learning to your love for your teen, I think you’ll notice a change. Inexplicable teen scenes that used to drive you crazy and drag you down will be less bewildering and more manageable. You’ll be able to love and guide your teen without losing your mind – even on the days when you wonder how they can possibly be related to you.

So, come on, ladies! Let’s band together and get some synergy going: You bring the love. Modern Family will supply the laughter. And I’ll add some learning.

See you next Monday!

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  • What a great idea, Roxane! I am going to pass this on to my girls and friends that have teenagers. Thanks for sharing.

  • What a great idea about using a show that is both intelligently entertaining and insightful about the dynamics of today’s families.

  • I love the format and content, Roxane! I know it will be a valuable site for my friends with teenagers.

  • What a great idea to use a widely-watched show and do some needed teaching! Am excited for your posts Dr. Lehmann!

  • Love this show & this idea. Often as I have watched the episodes I have marvled at the different, sometimes adequate and often not so much, parenting skills displayed. Look forward to more blogs.

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