Merit Badge Parenting

Last week, I wrote about the “merit badge mindset” — how we could give ourselves the satisfaction of external rewards and validation for things that we’re largely doing for ourselves. This is why I sign up for races and track my runs in a log. I’m doing the same with book promotion, logging my progress as I commit to doing multiple things each day on that project.

The more I think about it, though, the more I realize how perfect parenting is for merit badges. Talk about something that requires lots of small projects, day after day, for little external validation. There’s no pay and no promotions. But why not merit badges? I could see stitching some of these myself (or posting them on Facebook in e-patch form, I suppose). A few I’d like to see:

* A badge for getting my kids to school on time on the days both boys have pre-school. After making pancakes.  And feeding a baby.

* A badge for getting my kids to sit still at the table for an entire 10 minutes at meal time and eat something from the vegetable food group

* A badge for filling the freezer with pumped milk. That definitely deserves a merit badge.

* A badge for reading “Madeline’s Rescue” for the 10th time and still reading it with feeling

What would you like to get a parenting merit badge for?

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7 thoughts on “Merit Badge Parenting

  1. Definitely a badge for getting my son to sleep before 9pm and extra honours for managing it without it ending in tears for one or both or us!

  2. OMG I love that website. Thanks for sharing it.
    I’m very glad to see that I deserve most of them (although not going to spend $55!)

  3. I’m not a parent, but I’d give a merit badge to any parent who can get through the week without buying a child something he or she saw advertised on television, including food items.

  4. 1. I want a badge for every time I let my 3 and 5 yr old “help” me make dinner, doubling both the prep time and the mess.

    2. I want a badge for every time I have gotten up at night to calm a crying child whilst my apparently deaf husbands snores on.

    3. A badge for learning how to make pretty cute children’s birthday cakes.

    1. @Sarah- oh yes, the helping in the kitchen one. That’s always a little angel vs. devil argument for me too. The good mom wants to produce industrious children who feel competent at trying new things, la la la. The “devil” as it were is like, sheesh, it’s tough enough to cook for all of you with your random toddler preferences. Do we have to make it harder?

  5. This one doesn’t resonate with me- I was always internally motivated and selfish, so I identify with my selfish children. 🙂

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