REWIND TAPE: December 2012
World famous skate board champion Tony Hawk puts photos up on Instagram showing him with his daughter on his skateboard riding in a skate-park he built-in his backyard. She is not wearing a helmet, nor is he. She has the BIGGEST smile on her face.
VIRAL: Social Media Meltdown
From mainstream media outlets and television talk shows, news aggregate websites and online magazine, to social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, the world is a buzz with other parents, and my guess, non-parenting types criticising “The Birdman” and calling him a bad parent.
The following day the man himself responded with another picture Instagram;
“One more from yesterday. For those that say I endanger my child: it’s more likely that you will fall while walking on the sidewalk than I will while skating with my daughter.”
The onslaught of criticism continues even though the world’s greatest skateboarder is more than likely right about his abilities of skateboarding versus the average person’s ability to walk. I would trust him to take either of our boys with him for a ride around his skate-park. Why did I put that in italics and underline it? Keep reading…
On a scale of one to ten of being a good parent with ten being “the greatest parent ever” and one being “the worst parent ever,” on this day Mr Hawk is a zero.
FAST-FORWARD: March 2013
Tony Hawk posts another photo of himself spending quality time with his daughter. This time he is photographed with his daughter wearing pink nail polish.
Social media posts and comments on news aggregators are mixed between those praising him for being the sort of dad that puts his kid first and isn’t embarrassed to play girly games with his daughter, and those who are once again questioning his parenting skills because he is allowing his 4-year-old daughter to wear make-up.
On that scale of one to ten, at this moment in time the scales would have to show him being a five, maybe a six.
FAST-FORWARD…Again: June 2013
This time, his little girl has just turned five and is having a birthday party. Like many 5-year-old girls, she wants a fairy party.
Another photo gets uploaded to his Instagram account of Tony wearing fairy wings and the caption reads “When your daughter asks you to be a fairy for her 5th birthday party, you better be a dammed fairy.” (sic)
There’s no scale needed this time. The dude is a hero to everyone.
We Are All Heroes Until We Become Villains…
There are plenty of times that I have written in the comments section of an online magazine or forum in regards to some parenting advice and have received praise for this. Whether it is a thumbs up, a “like” or a comment of encouragement or the person agreeing with me, I have had plenty of them. Sometimes and individual comment I have made has 50+ likes and it sometimes the comment that gets the most praise. Sometimes…
And then there’s the times that you agree with the person who has written a controversial article that goes against the mainstream thoughts on parenting. Sometimes the person is the subject of an article that is attacking them and you come to their defence. And then there’s the times that you write something that is controversial about your own parenting style or you are the subject of a news article that again sparks some controversy.
I have wanted to write this post for a while. I was looking for the exact angle to go for. You see, besides me and Tony Hawk, I wanted to point out other (blogging) parents that have been heroes one week and zeros the next. But short of waiting for a list to form that’s as long as my arm, I decided to write this after reading a discussion that was being had in our Dad Blogger’s group yesterday.
A mother wrote a somewhat controversial blog for Huffington Post and a fiery debate happened within the group of blogging dads. She is not abusing her child by any means, quite the opposite (which may make you question why it’s “controversial”) but what she talked about sparked much debate about her parenting ability which was debated down to this particular aspect of her parenting based on her other blogs where she seems to be quite a good mum.
As parents we make hundreds of decisions each week. Hopefully we get most of them right, but it is inevitable that we’ll get some wrong. Likewise, as bloggers we will write hundreds – and thousands, collectively – of blogs about things that we have been through and how we reacted, or things that we suggest as good ideas for ALL parents. And some of these blogs hit the mark. Some of these blogs are asked to hit the road.
Some days we will make comments that are well received, and other days we are so far off the mark that people who follow our blogs or comment after us wonder why DOCs or Child Services haven’t taken our kids away.
No parent should be judged solely on one action unless that action harms the child; I’m looking at you child abusers and murderers. And whilst you cannot know everything about the writer based on one blog, action, comment or article, when we put ourselves out there to showcase our wares, we are open for criticism. I am fine with that.
Look, if I put something out there and I am way of the mark and it is pointed out that this is the case, I would be the first to reconsider my action and educate myself so that I am the best parent I can be. Until then, I will just keep trying and writing about my efforts and sticking my nose into other people’s business when they put themselves out there.
When have you been judged as a parent or blogger? Make a comment or post a link to your controversial blog below.