Parenting Reflections from this weeks "Grey's Anatomy" Episode (Spoiler Alert)
This week on "Grey’s Anatomy," one of my absolute favorite shows, Moms Callie and Arizona faced off in a brutal custody battle over their daughter Sofia. This episode highlighted several issues that are relevant and controversial today, but I won’t get into those. Instead, I have chosen to take away what I think are some important lessons for me as a mom and for all parents.
It was a heart-wrenching episode that was difficult to watch. I certainly could not imagine ever being in their shoes. If this was a real case, it would be one for the books. It was a challenging decision made even more complicated by the mud-slinging that is probably common in these kinds of cases. Underneath all of the fingers pointed and “trumped up” accusations it was clear to see that both parties were exceptionally good parents that love their child deeply. I’m sure many viewers were shocked by the outcome as Arizona, who is not the biological mother of the child, walked away with custody. What may have made this even more alarming is the fact that she chose to leave the trial mid-testimony to attend to the needs of a patient in crisis, seemingly putting aside her own child for her job.
While I would not want to be in this judge’s position, I definitely see her point in choosing Arizona over Callie. It seems that she chose Arizona not in spite of her decision to leave the courtroom, but largely because of it. Motherhood requires us to make tough decisions. Sometimes those decisions are not popular ones, especially when the people in our lives have their own opinions on how we should parent. Arizona’s decision to leave the courtroom in that moment demonstrated an enormous amount of strength of character and reminded me of these important life lessons that we should be modeling for our kids…
We should do what is right, even when its hard
When faced with the option to stay in court and fight for the right to keep her adopted child or go to the hospital and save the life of another child, Arizona chose to go save the other child. She could have selfishly stayed and fought for her daughter. But in her heart, she knew that regardless of the custody outcome, her daughter would be safe and loved by a competent and caring parent. However, if she did not go to the hospital there was a large probability that the baby in question would not survive. This was an incredibly difficult situation to be in, and to be honest I’m not sure I myself would be that strong if put in the same shoes. But in my opinion, she did what was right! Doing what is right is often a hard path to take, but it’s something that we should aspire to and model for our children. It may not be such a gut-wrenching scenario. It may be as simple as taking the five dollar bill you found on the floor to lost and found rather than pocketing it. But we should teach our kids to always do what is right, by our words and actions.
How to make decisions
Decision making is a skill that is highly valuable not only personally but on the job market as well. As a former teacher and Business Manager I know firsthand that this is something that many people struggle with. It’s difficult to strip away the noise of emotions, anxieties and others’ opinions and expectations, to make rational decisions. In this episode Arizona was able to clear the fog of emotion in her head to quickly make a rational decision and then acted without regret. As parents we are faced with hundreds of decisions a day, some harder than others. We should take the opportunity sometimes to model that process for our kids. We should involve them by speaking the reasoning process aloud, going over the pros and cons and asking them to weigh in as well. As a highly emotional person myself, I sometimes struggle with indecision and getting clarity, but it’s definitely something I want to work on and teach my children.
It’s not always all about you
In today’s “selfie loving” world, it’s easy to get wrapped up in yourself. Narcissism is all the rage nowadays and it starts from early on. More and more parents are laser focused on their kids and spend too much time padding self-esteem and not enough time keeping feet grounded. I myself am totally guilty of this as I tell my 2.5 year old son one hundred times a day that he is the most handsome boy in the universe, and trust me… he is soaking it in (side note: he is the most handsome boy in the universe). By choosing her patient over her own personal situation, Arizona shockingly reminded everyone that “it’s not always about you.” Sometimes we have to look at the bigger picture and how our actions affect our community as a whole. Sometimes our view gets very narrow and we only see what affects our little corner of the world. I want to teach my kids to see the bigger picture. I want my son to know that while he tantrums over first world kid problems, like the color of his cup, there are kids out there who don’t have cups or anything to put in them for that matter. Let’s teach our kids to step away from the selfies once in a while and do something nice for someone else. Take them to a volunteer event or to help a family in need. I want my kids to befriend the child that sits alone at lunch or is looking left out at the playground.
Yes, yes I know these are all very deep things to take away from a fictional television show, but hey if you’re going to have a guilty tv pleasure, you might as well get something out of it! What did you think of this week’s Grey’s episode? Leave us a comment to let us know if you were #teamcallie or #teamarizona and why! Don’t forget to sign up here so you can get ispeakmom.com updates straight to your inbox!
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