Danny Tanner is a Fraud

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Danny Tanner is a Fraud

  Wanna know something crazy? Full House is now on Nick at Night.   Re-enter sappy synthesizer music, “live” studio audience laughter, and Uncle Jesse’s hair.   I love the kitsch of it all and despite the unfamiliar 80s references, my young kids actually get a kick out of watching it too. And while I’m sure they miss much of the heavy “family values” overtones, it’s nice to see it on TV again.   I’ll say it- they just don’t make ’em like they used to (OMGosh, when did I turn into THAT lady?).   But in all my reminiscing over re-runs, there’s just one thing that has unsettled me about the pattern of parenting on my once favorite sit-com.   For about twenty-two minutes or so, each episode of Full House depicts the misadventures of the coming of age kids on the show. Inevitably, Danny (et al) have to swoop in and administer a dose of discipline that the child readily (!) accepts the first time around. The behavior is instantly corrected, never to be repeated again on a future episode (bad for ratings, I’m sure).   Danny Tanner is apparently one REALLY skilled parent.   And a complete fraud.   Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Of course he is, he’s a fictional character!” But how many times have you endlessly disciplined your child for the same behavior, only to feel like you must be doing something wrong?   We tend to build up these scenarios for ourselves- that if we say and do the right things, our kids will simply snap out of it. But when it doesn’t work out that way, we often get down on ourselves for failing to meet this unreasonable “one-and-done” Danny Tanner parenting standard.   Come on, you know you’ve wished for a Danny Tanner moment more than once in your parenting career.   The truth is, yours aren’t the only kids who have ever disrespected their parents. Broken rules. Made bad choices. And you are not the only parent who has ever felt like you’re at your wits end trying to get a reluctant child to cooperate.   Danny Tanner just makes it seem that way.   But take heart- if you find yourself in the midst of a grand parenting dilemma, remember that training up a child isn’t full of “single dose” Full House style parenting sessions. Rather, it’s a series of constant and consistent dialogues (which may or may not require you to lock yourself in the bathroom while you calm down and figure out what to say).   Have you experienced doubt in your parenting abilities? How do you get through it?    

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