I’ve loved Gilmore Girls from the very first episode I ever watched many, many years ago and even now I can watch the whole series through and not get bored of it. I’ve always loved the relationship between Lorelai and Rory and watching the show now as a mum, I find myself aspiring to be a Lorelai Gilmore kind of mum. For anyone who has never seen Gilmore Girls this post could be totally lost on you and for anyone who isn’t a fan of the show, well, I’m not even sure we can be friends anymore. If you are still with me, however, here is my top list of parenting lessons we can learn from Lorelai Gilmore.
It’s okay to be friends with your kid
A lot of parents get totally caught up in ‘I’m a parent, not a friend’ and while I can see that it is occasionally necessary to enforce that, I think it is also so important to be friends with your child. Being friends with your kid means they are so much more likely to open up to you and keep you in the loop with important things happening in their lives which in turn means you can be there to support them and help them through life.
Sometimes you do have to lay down the law
No matter how chilled out Lorelai generally is when it comes to parenting, there are still times when no means no and her word is final. You can see that Rory respects her for this as much as she loves her for being a friend. It’s great to be friends with your kid but it is also necessary to have that balance and you need to be able to pull out the mum card occasionally.
You can give your child an upbringing that is different to what you had
Lorelai’s strict and formal upbringing is what inspired her to make totally different life decisions for her and Rory. The apple can actually fall along way from the tree and just because you were raised a certain way doesn’t mean you have to follow suit and do the same for your child.
You can change your life
Following on from the last point, you can build a life that you love for you and your family. Lorelai took a difficult situation of getting pregnant at sixteen and turned it into a huge positive. She is successful in her career and has dreams for the future, all while totally rocking motherhood.
Support your kid with their dreams
There’s no denying that Lorelai and Rory are polar opposites in many ways and one of those ways is Rory’s academic success and ambitions to go to Harvard. Lorelai always supports her in this dream, even when it means Rory ends up in some ways being a part of the life that Lorelai left behind. Going to black tie events, her debutante ball, and actually having a lot in common with her Grandfather to name just a few. Lorelai always supports her and helps her in any way she can.
Lead by example
Lorelai has plenty of her own dreams and throughout the series we see her achieving many of them. The best way to show your child that they can achieve their dreams is to actually go out and achieve your own.
Let them make their own mistakes
There are many times throughout the show that Lorelai can see Rory heading for disaster and usually this takes the form of a boy. Even though she can see this happening, she knows that Rory has to make her own mistakes and learn some lessons the hard way. As much as I’m sure every inch of her wants to step in and protect Rory from the world, she manages to stay strong and is there waiting with a shoulder to cry on, a black and white movie and a pizza when Rory needs her.
Sometimes your child will want space
We don’t really like to dwell on the six month separation of the dream team but it happened, and we all need to come to terms with it. Rory needed space and Lorelai stepped back and gave her what she needed, even though it must have been heartbreaking (I do know it’s only a TV show really!). In the end they were stronger for having that time apart.
Don’t take life too seriously
Even for any Gilmore Girls haters that are still reading, there is one thing that you can’t deny, and that is that they know how to have fun. When they are together everything is fun, everything is an inside joke or an excuse to make fun of each other. Show your kid that they can wear what they want, laugh at what they want and always to find the fun in life. I don’t want to be the boring parent, the rule maker and the bedtime enforcer, there is so much more to being a parent than that.
If there is one thing Lorelai Gilmore knows how to do, it is talking (and drinking coffee). They fight often, usually over little things, but they always talk through it. No matter how they are feeling they let the other one know and then they can deal with it however it needs to be dealt with. Communication is key, and if you’re not talking to each other then what even is the relationship?
The importance of quality time
Although Lorelai and Rory live together and spend most of their time together, they also make sure to spend quality time together too. Whether that be going window shopping or having an evening at the Black-White-Read Bookstore together, they always make time for each other.
Be their number one fan
There are so many times throughout the many hundred hours of Gilmore Girls when Lorelai makes it clear just how freaking proud she is that Rory is her daughter. You can’t miss it and we should all make it this clear for our kids too. Even on the worst day there will be something to be proud of, a quality that you love or a trait that makes you smile. Don’t ever forget to celebrate these things. If your kid does something that you think is amazing, let them know. If they make you proud, tell them. We’re here to build our children up so that they can go out and take on the world.
I could go on forever I’m sure but I think that’s quite enough of a Gilmore Girls ramble for a Sunday morning. Do you have any that you would add to the list?