Is Real Housewives a Real Guide to OC-Style Parenting?

Ginia Bellafante writes in today's New York Times that The Real Housewives of Orange County reveals much about Orange County-style parenting.

Parenthood supplies a strange and fascinating dimension of The Real
Housewives of Orange County, which increasingly feels like Mildred
Pierce: the habit of indulging children materially, instead of making
them go to the library or disciplining them, backfires with a
spectacular regularity.


The women have
very little idea of how most of their children got so messed up or
unambitious or, in the case of Jeana's son, Shane, verbally abusive.
When Jeana showed up uninvited at one of Shane's minor league baseball
games, Shane told her she was lucky he didn't hit her with a bat. He
then chastises her for being loud and even for talking too much

So how to cope with mommy's little monsters? Lynne–whose teenage daughter wasn't in school, wasn't working, had no interests and had no plans for college–supplied some tough love by buying the girl a $22,000 BMW for her birthday. Hey, it was used.

This is the parenthood-as-friendship model taken to the most
pernicious extreme. Most of the mothers can't seem to differentiate
between their own needs and desires and those of their children.
Lynne's daughter showed up at her birthday party in a dress the size of
a doorknob and was hurt to hear her boyfriend tell her, not
enthusiastically, that she looked like a stripper. “I can't believe
Randy said that about the dress at the party,” Lynne told the camera
later, “because it was my dress.”

The Real Housewives of Orange
County is, in the end, the brilliant, frightening, bizarre Cosmo guide
to child rearing: 101 Ways to Have a Lazy Kid.

You're welcome, Orange County chamber of commerce!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *