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How “Orange is the New Black” Can Teach a Teen

Photo credit:  Netflix

Photo credit: Netflix

I just found out that Diva, my 16-year-old daughter (not her real name), watches “Orange is the New Black”.  I’m sure  you have heard of this superb Netflix drama.  The basic premise of the show is life in a woman’s prison.  The main character is taken from a middle/upper class environment and thrown in prison for a crime she committed several years ago.  The writing is excellent and the acting is great.  You get to know all of these women and their back stories make for interesting watching.  “Orange” gives you everything from drama to comedy to tragedy.  I binged watched the entire first season over three days.  I was hyped about watching the second season.

And then Diva dropped an OITNB reference and I froze.  My first thought was to cancel the Netflix subscription.  This show has language, violence and nudity.  And sex.  It is not suitable for children.  Is it appropriate for a teenager?  No. I was going to cancel Netflix.  (Right after I watched Season 2, of course.  Priorities, people.)

Then I decided to do something revolutionary.  I talked to my daughter to see what it was she was getting from the show.  She was getting an in your face manual of what happens when you make wrong decisions and follow the wrong people.  She was getting an illustration of every lesson I have been preaching/teaching.  OITNB was acting as a teaching tool for some serious decisions.

Netflix stays.  My season 2 viewing is saved.  And I have a better understanding of the way my daughter thinks about life.  Thanks to OITNB.   Or I could be a really bad parent.  Who knows.  Diva just wants me to catch up on the season so we can discuss.


Parenting Sucks (Sometimes)!

Being a parent is ……

Laying awake listening for the door to open

Knowing you can’t truly rest until the other part of your heart returns

Being a parent is ……

Setting a curfew for your teenager

Knowing at some point that your child will test the limit and forget how to tell time

Being a parent is ……

Allowing your child to mess up

In the safe cocoon of your home

Hoping they learn how to be a responsible adult

By enforcing consequences for their actions

Being a parent is ……

Having faith in a higher being to protect your heart

And releasing the breath you didn’t know you were holding

When you hear, “Mom, I’m home.”


2014 Michelle Rayford


Favorite Child – Do You Have One?

favorite things

Today my daughter’s,  Princess and Diva, had an argument over who was the favorite. 

Princess: “I’m the favorite. Mom knows she likes me the best. ”

Diva: “No she doesn’t.  I’m the favorite.”

Princess: “She’s known me longer.  I have to be the favorite.  It’s okay to admit it, Mom.”

Me: “I don’t have a favorite.  I love you both the same.”

They went back to eating cereal and all was well for the moment.  But I was left with a thought.  Do you have a favorite Child and is it okay to every admit it?

I think as a parent you love your children equally. You just like different things about them.

As for the favorite argument, I think I am the only winner. They only have one mom. I know that I am their favorite.

Back to School – Let’s Get It Started

Back to it .........


It’s that time of year again.  Time to get those kids out of the house and back into the classroom.  Parents everywhere, rejoice.

This year is special for me because I have a Senior and a Freshman in high school this year.  Two  milestone moments.  A beginning and an end.

This should be fun!

Prom Night – A Mother’s Thoughts

prom night

My daughter, Princess (not her real name), went to the prom list night. These are the thoughts t hat ran through my mind as I waited up.

  • My daughter is growing into a beautiful young lady
  • I hope she has a good time
  • I hope she is safe
  • Did I set her curfew too early or too late?
  • How in the world am I going to stay awake that long?
  • Who am I kidding?  Sleep won’t happen until I hear the garage open.
  • Say a prayer that she makes it back home safe.  Add a prayer for everyone else’s kid as well.
  • Realize that late night television programming is the worst
  • I should have rented a movie from Redbox
  • What am I going to cook for dinner tomorrow?
  • Did I cover everything in the “Don’t Drink or Do Drugs” speech?
  • What if there is an accident?
  • I don’t need to think about any accidents.

I finally had to call my sister on the West Coast to take my mind off all the things that could happen.  I am an admitted “worrier” but my imagination takes me places I don’t need to go.

In the end, Princess made it back on safely and on time.  No need to worry.  Until next year.

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