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Thursday, June 5, 2008


I recently came across a website that had parenting quizzes posted on the home page. I suppose these quizzes are intended to provide a bit of humor to your day. However, I couldn't help but wonder why a parent might be inclined to take one of these quizzes.

The quiz that caught my eye was titled "Are you a great Mom?" For the sake of being able to discuss this rationally, I took the time to take the quiz. The picture of the insanely smiling woman that followed each new question was enough to wrangle my already raw nerves, yet I continued my quest to see just what this quiz would have to say about me and my parenting skills.

The questions are relatively annoying because they give the impression that there is a right choice and if you make the wrong choice - well then, whatever were you thinking when you decided you might be worthy of raising future adults? I happen to think that choices are based entirely on the needs of the family and the concept of right vs. wrong just does not work well when dealing with parenting decisions, so this was quite irritating to me.

After taking my quiz, the computer deemed me to be a great mom. (See my results below...) Come to think of it, I seriously doubt this type of quiz would ever rank anyone to be a non-great mom. After all, the entire goal here is to convince me to buy whatever products are being advertised underneath all those pretty little keyword links. Indeed, I took the quiz again and chose answers that were clearly inconsistent with my idea of what parenting should be about. Imagine my [lack of] surprise when the computer generated results were exactly the same as before.

I suppose the reason I'm going on about this is because while I see that the quiz might be considered entertaining for some, I also know many people who take these types of things quite seriously when seeking self-affirmation. This type of marketing ruse is used to prey on the insecurities of parents world wide, insinuating that perhaps if you use this product or that company then you would be a better parent.

It seems to me that the greatest proof of my amazing parenting skills can not be found on the computer, disguised as the results of a meaningless quiz. Instead, my proof lies in the giggles and smiles that reward me each day; the often repeated "I love you, Mom!" that is passed around my house; the smiles that show just how appreciated my efforts really are; and even the tears that send a heart broken little person running directly to me instead of stopping half way for comfort from some other person (can you say Daddy just isn't good enough for this one...).

I can clearly see my parenting success in these small gestures. I suppose if you stop and look around, you too will see your success and be assured that you are a great parent. You don't need a computer generated quiz to tell you that you are a great parent. I suppose you might find the quizzes to be amusing or entertaining, but if you do happen to be entertained by these quizzes then you already know just how irrelevant the results are.

Today, I declare you to be a great mom (or dad). Pat yourself on the back. Go hug your kids. Teach your child to tell you that you are amazing. It is one of the most wonderful phrases that you can ever teach your child. (Kira tells me quite frequently that I'm amazing, particularly when she wants something fixed and daddy wasn't able to fix it.) Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Waste five minutes kissing and hugging and tickling your babies instead of taking some silly Internet quiz. After all, I've already told you what you already knew and it took less than five minutes.


My Quiz Results

You sure are a great mom!The truth is, whether you choose co-sleep, use disposable diapers, stay at home, only buy specific toys for baby … or any one of a million other decisions, there have long been children who turned out A-OK on account (and in spite!) of similar ones made for them. Parenting is a subjective series of actions and reactions,and is looks like you’re being proactive about your child’s health, development, and overall happiness just by being here at BabyZone.

And while it may feel impossible to resist the temptation to compare yourself to other mothers, you need to take stock in the smart decisions you make every day on behalf of your family. Read more about why competitive parenting just isn’t worth it.


LisaPetrarcaBlog said...

We often get so wrapped up in the everyday "mundane" duties of motherhood that we forget to stop and enjoy the little things that make it all worthwhile.

Thank you for reminding us how SPECIAL our job is! Once've shared AMAZING advice!

Petula Wright said...

This is so true (and beautifully worded too!)... a few minutes ago before I started reading this I was kissing the children good night. I said, "Come give me hugs & kisses." And the baby came toward me making the kiss sound "mmwa." It was so adorable and gave me much joy because that's how I kiss her. I always say to her give me a kiss, give me a kiss and she usually smiles and turns her head. Today, she's decided to start giving me kisses and it's oh so sweet. You're right, that's better than taking that computer quiz!

Mom said...

Risa has starting giving me a kiss first thing in the morning. I absolutely LOVE it when she does that. It starts my day off on such a happy note.