A few days ago, while my daughter was watching my very favorite television show consisting of an annoying little girl with a boot-wearing monkey and a talking backpack, she asked me, "Mom, What do you do if it's your very special day?"
"I don't know." (As I'm thinking to myself, "Huh? I'm in the middle of changing your sister's diaper; Where did this come from?")
"Can you do anything you want?" she inquired.
Just then the TV chimed in, "It's Boot's very special day! Boots, you get to do whatever you want!"
"Mom, Dora says you get to do whatever you want."
"Well," I said, "if you wanted to steal a car or throw mud in your sister's face, would you be able to do that?"
"No. That's not nice, Mom."
"So, Dora is a big loser and she's WRONG!"
Ok, I didn't say that, but seriously? Do the writers of this absolutely brilliant show think that children are inherently kind-hearted with a bent toward sharing? "Do whatever you want."? Give me a break. Did they not read Lord of the Flies?
Though I have yet to experience it myself, one of my closest friends told me of her child attending a birthday party where the birthday boy's parent subscribes to this nonsense. "It's your day; you can do whatever you want and you don't have to do anything you don't want to do." So the kid says that he doesn't want to share any of his new toys with his friends at the party. "OK, you don't have to, son!"
I'm sorry, WHAT?! You're not going to teach your child that no one wants to be friends with selfish little boys who don't share? Why are the other kids even at your party if you're not going to be kind to them? I get that you want to make your child feel special, but that doesn't mean he gets to eat as much junk as he wants or not brush his teeth or have no manners.
I shall step off my soapbox now and return to being the perfect mother...Thanks for the life lesson, Dora!