Tragedy, Triumph and Scandal: Top Parenting Stories of 2012

In between reading about how French parents do it so much better or how we aren’t mom enough if we aren’t breastfeeding our toddlers, it’s been a difficult year for moms and dads.

From the nanny killings in New York City to the Sandy Hook shootings we’re all still reeling from, 2012 seems, at least to me, to have been a year filled with stories of parental suffering.

But there have been some bright spots: Target gets a big thumbs up from millions of parents and some much anticipated pregnancies and births have been announced.

Here are the top parenting stories of 2012. Do you agree? Which stories do you feel deserve to be on the list that you don’t see here?

  • Sandy Hook Shootings 1 of 19
    Sandy Hook Shootings
    20 children and 6 teachers, shot dead in their elementary school. 20 parents grieving the loss of 6 and 7-year-olds. It is unfathomable. The tragedy has ignited an outpouring of grief from around the globe.
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  • Nanny Kills Two Children In NYC 2 of 19
    Nanny Kills Two Children In NYC
    The story horrified parents everywhere. Yoselyn Ortega, 50, stabbed to death the two little children left in her care. After killing Lucia and Leo Krim, Ortega waited for their mother to arrive home and then began stabbing herself. She survived and now faces charges of murder.
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  • Jay Z and Beyonce Welcome Blue Ivy Carter 3 of 19
    Jay Z and Beyonce Welcome Blue Ivy Carter
    On January 7 Beyoncé and Jay-Z welcomed their first child, daughter Blue Ivy Carter, to the world. Within hours of the announcement the baby girl was already a top trending topic on the web.
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  • Time Breastfeeding Cover 4 of 19
    Time Breastfeeding Cover
    If you aren't skinny as hell and still breastfeeding your toddler, you aren't mom enough. At least that's what the provocative cover story of Time, called Are You Mom Enough? implies. The cover, which seemed purposely divisive, was in connection with an article on attachment parenting guru, William Sears.
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  • Target Features Model With Down Syndrome 5 of 19
    Target Features Model With Down Syndrome
    In a move that other companies would do well to imitate, Target used, Ryan, a boy with Down syndrome, in an ad. Not only that, but they didn't make a big deal about it. No press release, nothing. The boy is just another kid in the ad. Awesome.
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  • Tan Mom 6 of 19
    Tan Mom
    Oh my. Who doesn't remember the first time they saw a photo of Patricia Krentcil AKA Tan Mom. Prosecutors charged her with child endangerment for allegedly allowing her daughter, 6, to get a sunburn at a tanning salon in April. And yet I don't even know that trying to tan her daughter is the most eyebrow-raising thing about this case... I mean, did you see the photo of her?
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  • Mom Calls Daughter Fat In Vogue 7 of 19
    Mom Calls Daughter Fat In Vogue
    In a pretty crappy example of parenting, if you ask me, Dara-Lynn Weiss forced her 7-year-old daughter to lose weight and then wrote a horrible article in Vogue which basically amounts to fat-shaming her daughter in the world-famous magazine. Weiss detailed how she once threw her daughter's hot chocolate in the trash because a Starbucks barista didn't report the correct calorie count and how she freaked out when a parent offered her daughter a salad. The article is a self-absorbed, narcissistic rant from a "socialite" who seemingly shouldn't be raising a daughter.
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  • Here Comes Honey Boo Boo 8 of 19
    Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
    Honey Boo Boo, 7-year-old Alana Thompson formerly of Toddlers & Tiaras, exploded onto the scene in 2012 and quickly became a household name. She's popular, yes, but as the world got to know Alana Thompson's entire family, questions arose. There are hundreds of articles online debating the parenting skills, or lack thereof, of Mama June Shannon. Some people were alarmed she has children and others tout her as a loving mother. What do you think?
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  • Potty Training In A Restaurant 9 of 19
    Potty Training In A Restaurant
    It might be one of the most viral parenting-related photos of the year. A woman was snapped potty-training her twins AT THE TABLE of a Utah restaurant.
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  • The Voice of Elmo Retires Amid Scandal 10 of 19
    The Voice of Elmo Retires Amid Scandal
  • Big Bird Stars In The Election 11 of 19
    Big Bird Stars In The Election
    2012 was a big year for Sesame Street. Forget President Obama and Mitt Romney, Big Bird was the star of the first presidential debate in Denver after Romney said he would cut public funding for PBS.
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  • Royal Expectations 12 of 19
    Royal Expectations
    It's almost like she's the first person to expect a child. At least that's what you'd think after watching all the coverage of the news that Prince William and Kate Middleton are expecting their first child. I can't imagine what coverage of the birth in 2013 will be like. Yeesh.
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  • Bringing Up Bebe 13 of 19
    Bringing Up Bebe
    Hey, American Moms: YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG. At least that's what author Pamela Druckerman implies in her popular book, Bringing Up Bébé. The book hit shelves this year. Druckerman, an American living in Paris, compared the differences between American and French parents and says Americans are raising spoiled brats who are picky eaters and bad sleepers. She touts the French way which is basically to not cater to children and treat them like little adults.
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  • Dad Shoots Up Computer 14 of 19
    Dad Shoots Up Computer
    In February Tommy Jordan's teenaged daughter wrote a snotty post about her parents on Facebook. His response? An angry video during which he reprimands her and shoots up her computer. Some hailed him a hero and others called him unhinged. Me? I'm still crushing on him.
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  • Dad Wears Skirt To Support His Son 15 of 19
    Dad Wears Skirt To Support His Son
    Another dad made headlines for his touching tribute to his son. Nils Pickert's 5 year old son likes wearing dresses. So Nil sports one too and wrote about the experience for a German feminist magazine called Emma. A week later the story was translated to English and went viral
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  • Why Women Still Can’t Have It All 16 of 19
    Why Women Still Can't Have It All
    Hey, Moms! You can't have it all. Feminism is a load of crap. At least that's what Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote in her controversial Atlantic article called Why Women Still Can't Have it All. Slaughter, who once worked for Hilary Clinton as the director of policy planning for the State Department, argued that it's impossible to balance a career and motherhood and blamed feminism for telling women they could. What do you think? Is she right?
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  • Sandusky Child Abuse Scandal 17 of 19
    Sandusky Child Abuse Scandal
    News of ex-Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky's arrest shocked the country and forced parents everywhere to take a hard look at who their children spend time with. Sandusky was ultimately convicted of 45 counts related to the sexual abuse of young boys.
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  • Viral Videos Showcasing Pregnancy 18 of 19
    Viral Videos Showcasing Pregnancy
    2012 was the year of the creative pregnancy videos. To date nearly 10 million people have watched the video called "Introducing" featuring a couple's pregnancy and their take on the birth of their daughter.
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  • Pregnant At The Olympics 19 of 19
    Pregnant At The Olympics
    Kerri Walsh Jennings took home a gold at the London Olympics for volleyball. Oh and hey. She was pregnant. 5 weeks along with her third kid. Are you seeing those abs? Daaayumn.
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You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.

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