Do you need a parent-nanny? Not a nanny for your child, mind you, but one for YOU!
I recently introduced my readers to what I call “upside-down, inside-out and turned around backwards parent-view disorder” (the column in question is currently posted on johnrosemond.com). The symptoms of this ubiquitous malady include pervasive and persistent parenting stress, worry, anxiety, guilt, anger, resentment, and then, more guilt. When all is said and done, these poor souls are in never-ending confusion over “Who’s in charge around here?”
Many of the folks who suffer from UDIOTABPVD are in denial — clueless, in the vernacular. So, to help these suffering souls self-identify, I am rolling out the “Am I Or Am I Not a Raving Parenting Lunatic Scientific Rating Scale.” Here’s how it works: Simply write T (for True) or F (for False) to the left of each of the following 20 questions. Don’t think too much about any answer. Go with your initial inclination.
1. I think more about my children than I think about anything else.
2. I believe parents should pay as much attention to their children as they possibly can.
3. I want to be involved in every aspect of my kids’ lives.
4. My relationships with my children are the most important relationships in my life.
5. I want my children to like me.
6. When a decision of mine upsets one of my children, I usually second-guess myself.
7. It’s a parent’s responsibility to help a child get good grades in school.
8. Bullying is anything done to my child by another child that upsets my child.
9. Other adults often fail to understand and treat my child properly.
10. When my child feels upset, I feel upset as well.
11. I usually finish an instruction to my child with the word “OK?”
12. One of my children is very argumentative.
13. One of my children seems to be very needy of my attention.
14. One of my children often interrupts me when I’m talking to someone else.
15. Raising a child (or children) is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
16. Worrying about one or another of my kids causes me frequent sleep deprivation.
17. One of my children is very demanding and disrespectful.
18. One of my children cannot take “no” for an answer.
19. I feel guilty about sometimes wanting my children to leave me alone.
20. I must be doing something wrong.
If you answered True to between zero and 5 questions, inclusive of 5, you’re OK. Remain calm and stay the course. If you answered True to between 6 and 10 questions, inclusive, you are shaky but hanging in there. If you answered True to between 11 and 15 questions, your parenting mental health is over the edge. If you answered True to more than 15 questions, you are a certified parenting wreck. You need a live-in parenting expert — a parent-nanny, if you will. Call me. Anything is negotiable.
Family psychologist John Rosemond: johnrosemond.com, parentguru.com.