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The Walking Dead: Ultimate Parenting Fail

Am I the only one who, while watching AMC’s TV series The Walking Dead, finds himself screaming at the TV, “Get back in the freaking house, Carl!” Yes, I know it’s just a TV show and not real life. I’m not insane; well, not much. But the “parents” of this kid may well drive me nuts.

For the uninitiated, here’s a very tiny bit of background on the character Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) on The Walking Dead. The inevitable zombie apocalypse happens (don’t ask why), and Carl’s dad is left for dead in a hospital. His dad’s best friend beds his mom and tries to be a surrogate dad to Carl.

The Walking Dead's Carl - The Ultimate Parenting Fail

But wait there’s more: Carl’s “dead” dad turns up very much alive. Fast forward to the close of Season 2 a couple nights ago [SPOILER ALERT], Carls dad kills his best friend the surrogate dad, and moments later the boy Carl kills said surrogate dad when he turns into a zombie and tries to eat them.

Clearly if there is a therapist still alive in this post apocalyptic world, Carl is going to need to book a daily standing appointment for the next 20 years or so. But all of that isn’t even what most bothers me while watching the show, as if it wasn’t enough of a parenting fail. Here’s what REALLY bugs me:

The mom, dad and surrogate-dad Shane (pre-zombification) just let this boy wander around on his own in a forest full of zombies. On top of that, at different times both “dads” tell him it’s okay to keep the gun he stole from one of the other survivors. I guess under the circumstances, maybe that’s smart?

Why do we can so much, mommy? Because zombies are coming, dear.

Now I understand that too many modern parents fall into the so called “helicopter” style of parenting and don’t let their kids learn by allowing them to make their own mistakes. BUT these parents all but tie a pork-chop around this kid’s neck and send him out to play with the zombies!

Am I being a Helicopter Dad? 😉

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  1. Azmomofmanyhats

    I chuckled at this! I agree….sending your kid out into zombie infested woods was definitely a laps in parental judgement…not to mention the fire arms and fire…

    However…on the bright side, we can rest assured In our own parenting. I can say with a total honesty that I have never let my child out of my sight in a zombie apocalypse !

    1. Michael @ adaddyblog.com

      LOL! I’ll seek small solace in the fact we are at least better parents in this small way. 😉

  2. Shannon

    Haha – I have so thought that! Though it makes me laugh that we were BOTH thinking it while 2 feet away from eachother;)

    1. Michael @ adaddyblog.com

      We’re frighteningly perfect for each other… and I do mean “frighteningly!” :)

  3. Bruno

    You made me smile over the idea of a therapist in the post apocalyptic world. In my opinion, the therapist is no longer needed since the people who will survive at the very end might have different views on psychology; after all, they have very though experiences.

    On the parenting issue, I guess the parents should do everything in their power to keep the kids within eyesight. Come to think of it, once the zombies got a kid, there’s no more lesson to learn from.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thanks for taking this so seriously, Bruno. You are quite correct, the traditional psychiatry couch my be a thing of the past in the post zombie infested world. I’d expect therapy sessions might need to be conducted on the run? :)

  4. Pierre D. Richardson

    Parents play a great role in developing their children into a profitable citizen soon in their lifetime. What they do today reflects what they could be in the future so it’s better to raise them under an environment that will teach them become productive rather than engaging them to zombies.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Oh my God, it had never occurred to me my daughter might marry a zombie. It’s not that I have a problem with zombies. Some of my best friends are zombies. Oh no, am I a bigot?

  5. Kay

    lol…too funny. i was watching it thinking, “phew…good thing Carl still had that gun on him.” 😉 i guess i’m one that figures at the point in which you are surviving in a post-apocalyptic zombie ridden society (if you can call it that anymore), all bets are off. kids are going to have to grow up fast…and be ready to defend themselves and survive. HOWEVER, i agree that he’s still their child and needs to have an eye kept on him! lol the image of a psychologist in that type of situation made me chuckle, too, thanks :)

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you. I’m glad that made you smile, Kay! As I said to someone when discussing this recently, I wouldn’t be a Helicopter Parent in this situation… I’d be a Blackhawk Gunship. 😉

  6. Lawrence

    I am watching this series, I laughed a lot.

    1. Michael Schmid

      You laugh a lot while watching this series? Or you laughed a lot reading my post? I’m seriously hoping it’s the latter. 😉

  7. Richard Hubley

    A lot of interesting points about parenting in the age of zombies. But never loose sight of what’s really important.

    Michael, repeat after me: “It’s only a TV show. It’s only for entertainment. I will not use characters in zombie shows as role models.”

    lol

    1. Michael Schmid

      Wait, so Shane (before he started craving a smorgasbord of human brains) wasn’t a good parenting role model? Thanks, Richard. It’s only a TV show, it’s only a TV show, it’s only a TV show. Okay, got it. Now, what about the Hunger Games?

  8. Ivy

    I am hearing about this show everywhere! I have got to find last season and catch up!

    I’ve noticed that my movie-watching abilities have changed dramatically since becoming a parent. I yell at the TV all the time.

    “Who let’s their kid do that?”

    “Where is his mother?”

    “Oh come on!! Pay attention dad!”

    Lol… my husband laughs at me, but I guess parenting, even virtually so through the screen, stays in your blood no matter what the setting. Lol.

    1. Michael Schmid

      LOL, Ivy. Yeah, since having a child my focus and reactions to things have changed, too.

      You can stream the full first season on Netflix. I think their base rate is $7.99/mo if you don’t.

      Our TVs have that (and things like YouTube and wireless) built in, so we love it!

  9. Julie

    I totally agree with you, parent should leave their kids to do their own mistakes to be able to turn them into benefits while learning from them.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Right, though if there were ravenous zombies in the woods I don’t think I’d send my child out to play among the trees. That would be a lesson hard learned. 😉

  10. Cathy

    Carl needs a serious time out! I have screamed at him more than once during the seasons. Kid is a menace to their safety. If this makes you a helicopter parent then so am I. Get back in the house Carl!

    1. Michael Schmid

      LOL. Yes, I’m thinking we need to hand-cuff Carl to that naughty bench! :)

  11. Jess

    I am waiting for the day that kid gets eaten by a zombie. He drives me NUTS!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Right? It’s the parents that drive me the most nuts. At least he’s a kid and using poor judgement. What’s their excuse?

  12. Michael Schmid

    Did you hear this one?

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