The role of a parent is often stereotyped. You have a baby, raise that baby to adulthood, and enjoy your life until they have grandchildren. As Leave It To Beaver as that sounds, parenthood is just as complex as String Theory or the rules of Dungeon Dice Monsters. So, no one gets 200 HP when they pass go? There is no pass go?
As a parent, you’ll find that just being Mom, Dad, or whatever your little one refers to you as is not all that you are. You wear many hats for the variety of roles you will play in your child’s life. Those roles don’t end when they are 18. They just change in frequency.
With this in mind, we will talk about some of the most common hats we wear as parents. These anime series have characters who are proficient in these roles. Think of them as your “avatars.”
Taxi Driver – ODDTAXI
In fairness to our children, they can’t drive until they are 16 — or older, depending on where you live. Your role as a taxi driver is a necessity for your kids. Odokawa is an apomorphic Walrus who is a taxi driver in a fictional version of Tokyo, Japan. Odokawa doesn’t just drive his clients to their destination, he offers them counsel and kindness.
Yes, that does eventually get him in trouble. As a parent, can you honestly say you haven’t gotten in trouble while shuttling your children around? No judgment here. While driving our kids around doesn’t seem like the most rewarding job, just like in ODDTAXI, it does create a safe space to talk, sing, or just enjoy each other's silent company. One day, they will be driving themselves around and you may miss that quality time.
Tutor – The Royal Tutor
Here is a role many parents dread: the role of the tutor. When you have school-aged children, you hope to retain everything they need to succeed in class. Especially when it comes to homework. For various reasons, children don’t always sponge up the information. That’s when it’s your job to provide some supplemental teaching. This can be a fun and easy task under certain conditions, like if you didn’t have a rough day at work, got stuck in traffic, bought the wrong kind of coffee creamer, or found out your package says it was delivered but it wasn’t. This can create an atmosphere that isn’t very conducive to learning.
Heine Wittgenstein from The Royal Tutor is a brilliant scholar tasked with tutoring four princesses. Wittgenstein was confident in his ability to turn them into capable ladies of culture. He didn’t realize the students in his charge were experts at making tutors quit. Parents will have to take note from Heine Wittgenstein, which is to be patient and persistent. We know it’s easier said than done. We’ve all had that “If Jimmy ate FOUR APPLES” moment. It’s also important to know that you may not be the best candidate for this role. Do what the king did and find the best tutor for your child.
Chef – True Cooking Master Boy
This is another time I have to give the kids some credit. Some dangers are associated with cooking and small children are not equipped to handle them. For safety reasons, parents, you are the head chef at home. This is a critical role to have. Children need food to receive nourishment so they can grow and be healthy. However, there are things about this job that will make you toss your chef hat in the fire.
What parent hasn’t dealt with a picky or indecisive child? I recall my son at three wanting chicken nuggets but not regular nuggets, dinosaur nuggets, but not all the dinosaurs, just T-Rex. The container only had four of those and the tantrum that followed was INTENSE. Liu Maoxing doesn’t have to deal with dinosaur nuggets, but he knows what it’s like when you want people to enjoy your food. Maoxing was the youngest chef in history to be titled “Super Chef!” That’s like winning Master Chef Junior!
As Lui Maoxing went out into the world to learn different kinds of cuisines, he learned he’s not always going to please everyone. He had to humble himself to appreciate his cooking and the cuisine his foodies wanted. As parents, we have to allow our children to try all kinds of foods and develop their palettes. Yes, it’s going to get stressful at times, but the more they experiment with food when they are younger, the better eaters they will be in the future.
Butler – Pretear
Image via Funimation
Mr.Tanaka in Pretear is one adorable Butler. He has the dubious task of taking care of Himeno and her family, living in their huge mansion. Tanaka does the gardening, the dry cleaning, the dusting, and helps with Himeno's pretear duties. How are they rich again? Back to being a butler, as a parent, you will spend a lot of time cleaning up after your little ones. There are plenty of spills to clean up, laundry to fold, teddy bears that need to be repaired, and pieces of gum to take out of hair. Yes, our work is never done when we wear the hat or apron of the maid. As taxing as this job can be, there are ways to integrate your child into this one. Have them help with simple tasks like picking up their toys, matching socks, or sorting the recycling. As they get older, you can give them other age-appropriate chores.
Hype Man – My Dress-Up Darling
Many of the hats you wear involve a lot of manual labor, but some of the hats are much more fun. Take the anime My Dress-Up Darling, Marin and Gojo play essential roles in each others’ lives. Marin acts as Gojo’s hype woman. She boosts his self-esteem and allows him to see the very best in himself and his work. Gojo is Marin’s hype man as he supports Marin’s dream without judgment and does champion her when it comes true. The world isn’t always going to be kind to our kids, but we as parents can do our part to make THEIR world great. Like Gojo and Marin, we get to be their hype man and remind them how funny, talented, intelligent, good-looking, athletic, creative, and generous they are. Celebrate their achievements, praise their efforts when they fall, and encourage them to never give up.
No matter how many hats you wear, they are all essential. And as your roles transition, as they grow, you’ll find that it all equals a lifetime full of memories and love.
You’re doing a great job as a parent, and when in doubt, there is an anime for that, and there is me.