Bush, sec. 024
Parenting on Malcolm in the Middle
To understand the parenting on Malcolm in the Middle, one has to understand Lois. Lois has no reservations with showing her feelings. If she has an opinion, she will always share it with whoever happens to be in her vicinity. Her most commonly seen style of parenting is yelling. Lois rules with fear. She is very clever and always knows when something in the house is not right. The boys know this and are therefore very wary of her. They know that if they are unfortunate enough to have Lois catch them causing problems, the consequences will be severe. Lois uses any method possible to catch the culprit and deliver punishment. She has played brother against brother, claimed false knowledge, and just stared silently at them until one of the children snapped. She is manipulative, but she gets what she wants and always seems to know everything that is going on (Boomer).
This exemplifies the personality and typical parenting of Lois and Hal. Lois’s habitual reaction is yelling. In this episode, she yelled so loud that she threw out her back (Malcolm in the Middle Quotes). Hal is there to bring humor into the situation. He tends to sometimes side with the boys and see Lois’s occasional insanity (Boomer).
Lois: What? I sent your father...
Lois: Oh, Francis, I'm sorry. He's battling his arch enemy.
Francis: The squirrel is back? (Malcolm in the Middle Quotes)
Hal is often distracted from his parental duties. In this episode, a squirrel detains him from picking up Francis from the bus station (Malcolm in the Middle Quotes). As much as Hal would like to be a good parent and as much as he loves his family, sometimes he just cannot get everything together (Boomer).
The second category of parents in Darling’s article is the “authoritarian parents” (1). These parents are not as responsive and are highly demanding. “They are...