I love The Walking Dead, as many of you know. Last year when I was in Boston and shared a brief moment on the elevator with “Shane” from the Walking dead, I nearly fainted and I don’t do fan girl moments. Well, unless you count that time I made a complete fool of myself in front of the Pioneer Woman at BlogHer.
Anyways, last night, I was watching the Walking Dead Season finale and spoiler alert, Carol is badass! In fact, as I started thinking about it there are a lot of parenting lessons to be learned from Rick, Carol, Michon, Daryl and the crew.
First and foremost, kids are a liability in the zombie apocalypse. If they’re not killing you during birth, they are crying to attract zombies but then again, they also get your back. I mean how many times has Carl stabbed a walker in the head to save his dad? Now, that folks, is love in the time of the Walking Dead. My kids have never stabbed a zombie in the head to save my life, but when my back was out last month, they made me a PB& J and really, isn’t it the same thing?
But seriously, I have learned the most from Carol. I’m talking lessons that can actually make me be a better, more effective mom. Here are my Carol-isms or
Top parenting lessons that I’ve learned from the Walking Dead.
Make sure that children respect your personal space
Carol literally threatened to hurt a child if he didn’t stop trying to hang around her. I think she may have gone overboard but he knew that she was serious as a heart attack when he looked up and saw those dead eyes looking back at him. She made her boundaries crystal clear and that is something that I could use some help with.
Don’t make idle threats and always follow through
If you want children to learn to finish what they start and to respect your time and you as a person, you have to hold up your end of the bargain. Never make idle threats because you will undermine your own authority and never( ever,ever,ever) break a promise because then you lose the child’s trust.
Actions speak louder than words
Don’t talk it to death, just do it! When Carol thought 2 members of the new group were sick and could hurt her family, she thought they were a threat. She didn’t discuss it or take a vote. It wasn’t a democracy. She did what she thought was best and simply took them from their beds, killed them and then burned their bodies. I’m not saying to hurt your children but parenthood is not a democracy and sometimes the right choice is not the popular one.
Let it Go
When Carol’s daughter turned, as much as she hated it, she had to let her go. Her daughter turned into a walker and she knew she had to let Rick shoot her in the head. She couldn’t change her back. She had to make the merciful, loving decision. She put her child first.
“That’s not my little girl. It’s some other…thing. My Sophia was alone in the woods. All this time, I thought. She didn’t cry herself to sleep. She didn’t go hungry. She didn’t try to find her way back. Sophia died a long time ago.”
Whispering is Way Scarier than Yelling
When the little boy, Sam, in Alexandria makes a pest of himself asking Carol to make him cookies. She never yells, though she is clearly annoyed, she simply whispers her threats to him and that was scarier than anything she could have yelled. I’ve realized if I whisper, calmly when disappointed or upset, my children are terrified.
Always make them feel safe with you, even when you have your doubts
Remember season 4 of the Walking Dead when Carol took Lizzie out to the flower patch and shot her dead? What were her choices? The kid murdered her sister and liked to play with dead things. She was an apocalyptic sociopath. It was just a matter of time before that crazy little bish was killing all living people to make them her undead pets.
Look at the pretty flowers…it’s going to be all right….Bang, bang…. you’re dead.
At least Carol did the kind thing and didn’t scare her before she did it. (I told you kids were a liability.)
Prepare them for the “Real” World
There is no way Carol would ever let her kid play on a no winner or loser soccer team. Life is hard and you need to know that it will let you down. Things don’t always work out the way you planned it and sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to like eat dog or shoot the walker that used to be your neighbor. That’s why she taught the kids at the prison to use guns and knives to survive the zombie apocalypse. In the end, it’s every man, woman and child for themselves.
And my husband says that television rots your brain. I’d say that these parenting tips could make me a better parent….now, or in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
What parenting survival tips have you learned from the Walking Dead?
Photos via Walking Dead