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walking dead, the walking dead, Carol, parenting, parenting tips

Parenting Survival Tips from the Walking Dead

by Deborah Cruz

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.

walking dead, the walking dead, Carol, parenting, parenting tips

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.

walking dead, the walking dead, Carol, parenting, parenting tips

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

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Claudya 2015/03/30 - 3:46 pm

I don’t even watch the show and I found this hilarious!

The Cubicle Chick 2015/03/30 - 8:37 pm

I feel so uncool because I don’t watch the show. But I love these Parenting Survival Tips, especially the one about preparing them for the real world. I think a lot of parents work so hard to shield their kids, that when its time for them to out out into the world, they end up being clueless. Perhaps I should binge watch and get into the show.

Toddlers are A**holes and Other Parenting Misconceptions - The TRUTH About Motherhood 2015/06/30 - 1:52 pm

[…] was filled with kicks to the face and head butts and all day long I was to dance monkey dance. I was the walking dead. I remember their favorite word was, “NO!” The saving grace for them was that they were so damn […]

Heather @ Country Life, City Wife 2017/01/31 - 9:43 pm

I don’t watch much TV and I’ve never seen the Walking Dead, so I can’t really take any parenting tips from it, but interesting take! My husband just says to his girls, “Do it again and see what happens.” LOL I asked him, “What happens if they do it again?” His reply, “I don’t know. They’ve never done it again!”

kristi@ishouldbemoppingthefloor 2017/02/01 - 1:40 am

I’ve honestly never seen an episode, but this was really entertaining! Some “practical” tips we can all use for sure, right? Loving the whole “Whispering is Way Scarier than Yelling” point…I think that’s true even outside of the show! Great list that made me laugh. Thanks for sharing.

Melissa Dixon 2017/02/01 - 9:46 am

I have never seen the show and may be the only person left on the planet who has not watched it. My husband and I have a list of things that if they show up in a show or movie we turn it off and zombies are one of them. At this point after having the list for so long it just makes us giggle when something from it pops up on tv but because of it we just never watch the popular stuff it seems. This is a funny take on it though eventhough I have never seen it.

Bites for Foodies 2017/02/01 - 9:15 pm

I’ve never watched the Walking Dead but these still all apply to me! #1 really resonated with me…I’m constantly reminding my kids about personal space!

Stephanie JEannot 2017/02/02 - 10:40 am

Okay. I dam not a watcher of the “Walking Dead” though I have seen a few episodes of it with someone who really loves the show so I can see how you may get tips on protecting kids from a chaotic event. This was very interesting to read.

lynzy 2017/02/06 - 11:34 pm

Isn’t it amazing how television shows can teach such important lessons?! This was such a great read! I haven’t watched The Walking Dead but these are all great points. I love this – thanks for sharing!


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