As in, please see nearly all articles published on the Internet about parenting. Your daily dosage, from Babble, in this article on “one mom’s refusal to lie about vegetables.”
Apparently, if this article is to be believed, my son JP hates vegetables because I didn’t convince him that the amusing phonics of the word “rutabaga” correlate with an advanced state of deliciousness. Doesn’t rutabaga sound yummier than chocolate, chum? It sure does!
Along with not lying, I was supposed to start him on vegetables at a young age (did that); cook with him (did that; still do); garden with him (don’t do that, but fuck you; oh wait, I reread that—I can just take him to the farmer’s market; check!); and last, “practice what I preach,” as in, eat my rutabagas as well (check, check!).
Hmm. I did all all or most of these things, still do, and yet—shockingly!—JP still doesn’t like his spinach.
Here’s a bit more from the article:
My 2.5 year old happily eats Brussels sprouts, beets, kale, peppers, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, asparagus, cabbage, artichokes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, tomatoes, onions, and a whole lot more. I know, you parents with picky eaters think I’m just lucky. But I like to think I have something to do with my son’s garden-greedy palate. I’ve worked hard to make it easy for him to love vegetables.
Bully for you, lady. And I don’t doubt you worked hard. But then again, I don’t really care. The mere fact that your little monster eats his/her greens doesn’t necessarily entitle you to offer advice to other people, does it?
Which gets to the heart of my complaint about this prevailing genre of parenting article: you take a normal person who succeeds at a normal thing via normal methods (in this case, please see above brain-dead tips for getting children to eat vegetables); dismiss obvious random factors such as luck, genetics, the personalities of specific children, etc.; present your fairly normal success as remarkable (we’re talking about eating vegetables at 2.5 years, not changing the oil on the hybrid); imply that anyone could repeat your normal success via normal methods, which may or may not be true depending on the factors already dismissed; logically extend to the notion that anyone not able to achieve this perfectly normal success through the normal means has either failed to make a good faith effort, is a bad parent, or has an evil, spirit-sucking child destined for Super Max prison; congratulate yourself for your normal, unremarkable success; concede that either way none of this is very important (“I’m confident that he will not be an adult who subsists solely on pizza pockets. And that’s really what I’m concerned with — not how many peas he ate last Tuesday.”); use the terms quinoa and chard in your conclusion, thereby confirming the fact that you are, to use some of the language found in our comments, a fucktard; and finally, earn the disapproval of lazy bloggers who were pleased that their children didn’t spit out the lasagna last week even though there was spinach in it and considered that a major victory but didn’t share it with people as it was a normal victory via normal means.