The Huxtables

January 13, 2012 at 5:20 am Leave a comment

My family is fun. We laughed a lot at home. Home was a safe place, and every memory of my childhood and adolescence is happy. My parents were creative and hilarious, but guided us with a firm hand and there were consequences for breaking the rules. We learned to love one another, and how to be a team. We also learned that what Mom and Dad said, they meant. Discipline was mandatory, and administered out of love. My parents went the extra mile to understand us. They made sure we knew that our home life did not revolve around us, but that our whole family worked according to what God wanted us to do.

Now that I’m a parent, especially in today’s world, I realize how very, very different their parenting approach is compared to so many. I had friends who had much more freedom, but never the complete and total assurance that home would always be the most loving, accepting place to be. I had friends who rarely received punishment for their actions, and as a result never learned personal responsibility. I’m not saying that we always got it right, but I do feel like my parents had a pretty good grip on godly parenting and we had an understanding that they were acting based on love for us. Nobody was looking out for themselves, we were members of a unit, and we strived to work together as a family.

So when I saw the Cosby Show for the first time in my life, I was thrilled. Here was a family that worked hard at being a family. The parents disciplined out of love, and taught their children responsibility, respect and hard work. And they had more fun than anyone I’d ever seen. I felt so connected to the Huxtables on so many levels, but mostly because they represented what we were trying to achieve in our own home. And it worked, both on television and in real life.

Now that I’m a mother, I LOVE watching Claire Huxtable relate to her kids. She knows them. She shoots straight, and doesn’t coddle them. She isn’t afraid to be the only mom standing up for what she thinks is right. She loves them fiercely and protects them, while also teaching them to take care of themselves. She is my “mom hero”. For example:

Theo understands that you can’t treat your family badly just because you feel badly. I work with teenagers every week, and this is not a lesson they are learning. Your actions are not dependent on your feelings. Your actions, and how you treat people should be based on what you know is right, not how you feel. Claire tells him to get over himself, and he does. And his family is ready to forgive and restore the relationship. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

So for eight years, every Thursday night this family influenced me. And they’re still doing it, thanks to Netflix. It’s encouraging to see what I’m trying to do as a parent played out on the screen. I know they’re working from a script, but the writers got it right. And I will appreciate Bill Cosby and his influence on the show for the rest of my life. He’s a true comedic genius, as well as a great man.

This has been a fun week for me. I have one more person to write about tomorrow, and I’m working on it. I am sure that I come across as an eternal optimist with a childlike perception of life…and to that I say, “Good.”



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