It may be the Christmas season for some of you, but it’s Home Alone season for all of us. Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York should air at least ten times each during the month of December. It’s an entertaining and fun movie that five-year-olds and fifty-five-year-olds will both enjoy.
Last year, I wrote about which film is better, Home Alone or Home Alone 2. (Home Alone 2 is slightly better than the original.) In the article, I discussed the poor parenting shown by Kevin’s parents, Peter and Kate McCallister. This year, I wanted to expand on their parenting technique and rank every bad decision they made in each film.
I will be grading the McCallister’s actions on the Bad Parenting Scale, 1-10, with 1 representing a great parent and 10 being the absolute worst parent. Were Kevin’s parents worse in Home Alone or Home Alone 2?
Blaming Kevin For The Pizza Debacle
As a middle child (Out of six children in my family, I’m third in the pecking order), I’ve experienced what it’s like to be the younger sibling and the older sibling. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that blame will fall on the older sibling nine times out of ten. It doesn’t matter what the younger sibling does. If an older sibling is involved, the blame will predominantly fall on their shoulders because they’re supposed to be “mature” and “responsible.”
Peter and Kate throw conventional wisdom out the door in the opening scene. Buzz, who is probably eight to ten years older than Kevin, antagonizes Kevin with his disgusting eating habits. As a man who despises olives, Kevin has every right to be upset that Buzz ate his cheese pizza. Kevin retaliates by tackling Buzz in the stomach, causing a chain reaction that leads to spilled milk and soda all over the family and their flight tickets.
Does Mr. or Mrs. McCallister question Buzz as to why Kevin would tackle him in the stomach? No. They let the entire family stare him down, forcing him to apologize for his actions. Then, Mrs. McCallister drags Kevin out of the room by his arm like a ragdoll. Kevin is not innocent, but his parents never gave him a chance to explain.
Bad Parenting Scale: 7.8
Allowing Uncle Frank To Call Kevin A “Little Jerk”
How did the McCallister parents let this slide? Uncle Frank is an asshole, and yet, Peter and Kate let him berate their child in front of the entire family. Stick up for your son!
Bad Parenting Scale: 8.5
As the parents of the family, Peter and Kate are in charge of the wake-up. That’s their responsibility. To rely solely on an alarm clock the night before an international trip is foolish. I’m setting multiple alarm clocks including one that has batteries just in case the power goes out. Side note, not one person woke up early? Not one person went to the bathroom and noticed the power went out? Oversleeping is not a huge crime, but blood is still on the parents’ hands.
Bad Parenting Scale: 7.3
Forgetting Kevin At Home
Before I destroy the parents, Heather needs to take a lot of the blame for how she counted the children. She taps Mitch Murphy on the head, thinking it’s Kevin. How do you not ask the kid to turn around and face forward? Awful job by Heather.
Now, do I have any sympathy for Peter and Kate? Not one ounce. This is an egregious mistake. The duo banished their youngest son to the attic the night before and did not realize they forgot him until they were sitting in their first-class seats. Not only did they entrust a teenager with attendance, but failed to double-check for themselves to see if everyone made the trip. All Peter and Kate cared about were sipping orange juice out of a champagne glass.
Bad Parenting Scale: 9.8
Calling The Police And Only The Police To Check On Kevin
I don’t have a child so take this criticism with a grain of salt. If I was Kate McCallister, my first call would not be to the police. My first call would be to a family member in the area. From there, then I would try a friend, a neighbor, or a babysitter. If all else fails, then I would call the police. Clearly, the police were not interested in babysitting children in 1990s Chicago. While I don’t fault Kate for calling the police, I do criticize her for only making one call to the police. I find it hard to believe that the other children and Leslie could not get in touch with anyone. I refuse to believe it.
Bad Parenting Scale: 8.4
Home Alone 2
Punishing Kevin For The School Concert Fiasco
Beat that you little trout sniffer. Kevin sabotaging the concert is more egregious than spilling milk over the plane tickets. Public embarrassment is a hell of a lot worse than private embarrassment. Kevin’s hands are not clean, that’s for sure. However, how can Kate and Peter be so naive when it comes to Buzz and his antics? Buzz humiliated Kevin in front of the entire audience. His punishment? Apologize to the entire family. That’s it. Clearly, Buzz can get away with murder. Everyone can see through Buzz’s bullshit except Kate and Peter. To punish Kevin and only Kevin is bad, but not a sin.
Bad Parenting Scale: 7.5
Kate Taunting Kevin In The Attic
“You got your wish last year. Maybe you’ll get it again this year.” Excuse me, but is Kate the mother or a middle school bully? Why would you taunt your kid after FORGETTING HIM AT HOME THE YEAR PRIOR? Immature behavior from Mrs. McCallister.
Bad Parenting Scale: 8.9
Losing Kevin At The Airport
I don’t want to cut Peter and Kate any slack, but I think that’s about to happen. I will cut them the smallest slice of slack, similar to the size of Squidward’s first bite of a Krabby Patty.
Unlike the previous year, Kevin makes it to the airport. Kevin hangs with Peter until he made the costly mistake of switching the batteries in his recorder. That mistake is on Kevin. Running after the wrong man in the brown coat is on Kevin. Not confirming the face of the man with the brown jacket on the plane is on Kevin.
In spite of this, Kevin is a 10-year-old kid. The parents need to act like adults and take some responsibility. Kate did not double-check on her kids at the airport and Peter ran the 40-yard dash in the terminal of hanging behind with Kevin. Bad parenting to lose Kevin, but not as bad as the first film.
Bad Parenting Scale: 9.1
Realizing Kevin Was Missing At The Miami Airport
Even if the flight attendants assured Kate they would make sure everyone got on the flight, Kate should have stood her ground and counted the kids herself. Peter also outran Kevin in the terminal and never turned around to check on him. Just turn your head to the door once you get on the plane to make sure your family boards. Stop flying first class and start sitting with your family.
Bad Parenting Scale: 9.0
Poking Fun At The McCallister Family Travel Tradition
If you constantly spill coffee on your shit, it’s ok to poke fun of yourself. When you lose your child in an airport, I wouldn’t be laughing at my mistake. If I was the cop, I would’ve thrown Kate and Peter right out of the office. This behavior is more infuriating than forgetting Kevin at the airport.
Bad Parenting Scale: 9.4
Final Score On The Bad Parenting Scale (Average Of 5 Scores)
Home Alone – 8.4
Home Alone 2: Lost In New York – 8.8
Peter and Kate were worse parents in Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. Despite reuniting with their son in both movies, they won’t be winning any “Parent of the Year” awards anytime soon.
Were Kevin’s parents worse in Home Alone or Home Alone 2? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow.