The Little Couple
- TV Series
- 2009– 2009–
The lives of a pair of little people as they continue through their marriage, careers, and starting a family.The lives of a pair of little people as they continue through their marriage, careers, and starting a family.The lives of a pair of little people as they continue through their marriage, careers, and starting a family.
The test of the Stein/Arnold parenting strategy will not be available for 20 years or so. We have no idea if cute little Will, and tiny adorable Zoey, will develop the character necessary to be happy, well-adjusted, productive human beings, given their unusual histories.
Both Will and Zoey were plucked from desperately poor situations (Will in China; Zoey in India) in crowded orphanages. With their physical limitations, it would be fair to assume their futures were not terribly bright in their native countries, and that they were probably headed toward very limited outcomes. But, with their being "chosen" by the adoption services that recommended them to Bill and Jen, the children can certainly be included in the (often times trite) adage of "winning life's lottery!" They are certainly extremely fortunate!
The heavily edited episodes of reality TV do not tell us what we are actually seeing; normal life for them, or just "cute" moments. Bill and Jen seem to PUSH their children into doing things they are not nearly old enough to do, so episodes may come across as trite, shallow, or just obnoxiously spoiled.
Example, banging away on piano keys as a 3 year old gives zero indication of interest; Jen should have waited until the children are at least 7 or so, with greater finger strength, and more verbal ability to understand and question what they are doing. Who can forget their TERRIBLE behavior at the Legoland New York display. (Just because Bill is "from there" does not give their family complete freedom to damage the exhibit! Millions of people are from New York City (including my own grandparents) but most do not claim special privileges at New York exhibits.)
Another example is that Bill should NOT have given Will access to a museum quality Scottish cannon to "knock around." Instead of being concerned about damaging the brass and copper plating on the historic cannon, Bill ONLY voiced concern that the cannon barrel didn't "land on Will's foot" and send him to an infirmary. (At that point, I would have welcomed ANY discipline toward Will, but there was none coming. Just the poor beleaguered Scottish guide imploring Will to "come over here.") Bill and his father were useless in minding Will's destructive behavior (or the obvious delight he takes in being destructive, which is certainly problematic).
The family went to lunch in Scotland and spent an inordinate amount of time insulting "haggis," as disgusting and Jen wouldn't even try it. Bill bragged about being "sophisticated" but still condemned it before tasting. (FYI, haggis tastes very much like our holiday stuffing, since it contains most of the same ingredients, but adds oatmeal as a filler instead of dried bread cubes.) It is usually served as a "side dish" to another "main" protein, such as baked chicken or turkey. It is delicious; I order it every time I'm in Scotland. Also, it will be a bit different wherever you order it since recipes vary. Just as your mother's stuffing is different than your MIL's, which is different from your neighbor's, which is different from a restaurant version! In fact, Bill told his dad it was much like liverwurst, which means his order had a lot of liver; some has more heart; while another has more onion, or celery; but it is ALL good.) They couldn't even be fair; they condemned it before they tried it, which is not a good lesson for the children. (Since Will eats like a garbage scow, I don't know why they didn't give it to him. He would have acknowledged that it tasted good.)
The "opportunities" that Will and Zoey engage in, remind me of our first "reality show" with Prince William and Prince Harry being allowed to do things that were not age appropriate because Lady Diana was able to arrange outings for her sons that other children would never be allowed to do. Did those "amazing opportunities" cause William and Harry to develop any happier or better off? Certainly they did nothing for William's bed wetting and nail chewing, or Harry's inappropriate behavior, ability to focus, or make sound decisions. Being treated "as more entitled" than other children is a mixed blessing.
Being allowed to do things that are not age appropriate can result in destructive behavior, which should be embarrassing to Bill and Jen, but she just gives a horse laugh and he says, "they're kids, what do you expect." (What we expect are for the adults to behave responsibly; to monitor and direct their children. Bill saying, "they're too fast for me" is a poor excuse for lazy (or absent) parenting.
The Stein/Arnold family will be able to give their children amazing opportunities; the world will be their oyster; I can't imagine any college turning them down, or any roadblocks or challenges not overcome. As far as their self-confidence, ability to self-motivate, or feel compassion for others . . . . that is the test.
- Oct 7, 2017