Being a parent does in some senses give you a kind of affinity with other parents. You can exchange sympathetic looks when someone elses child throws a strop in Sainsburys, whilst the inner you is secretly relieved it’s not your offspring demanding Dairy Lea Dunkers like they’re going out of fashion.
But more often than not, it gives me a full on case of seething anger when I get lumped in with those parents who do that sort of stuff.
What kind of things? This is a mere sample of some of the stupidity that can and does happen.
Allowing your child to use a scooter in a shop
For the love of sanity! Even shopping precincts and centres have signs up saying no biking or roller skating; are you dense enough to not consider whether this applies to your child bombing it around between food isles on a sodding scooter?
Ever wondered what those numbers of the front of a game box in a little logo thing are? They’re age certifications that stop little Johnny murdering prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto 4 at the age of 9. I’ve actually seen staff in GAME get a torrent of abuse from parents trying to buy 18 rated games for ten year olds when they’ve been refused. It’s not rocket science, the small child passes the game to the parent AT THE TILL and the parent tries to buy it, you know who the game is for and a shop can (and should) be prosecuted for doing this.
Letting your child watch age inappropriate films*
As above really but with added stupidity. The act is bad but the justification you often hear is as bad. Quentin is very mature for his age. Apparently that means watching Predator at 11 is fine. Yes, it won’t do him any long term harm at all. No. Idiot.
Look, Jocasta is expressing herself!
Your child is just that: a child. They are, compared to an adult, emotionally and rationally immature. So when your precious is destroying the point of sale display in IKEA, they’re not expressing themselves, you shouldn’t stand there with a self serving grin hanging at the corners of your mouth because this isn’t some great developmental leap, they’re just being a little sod because they’re never disciplined properly.
Yes, Ruben slept through the night at 3 weeks
The best we managed with our 3 was the boy sleeping through the night at about 8 months. Parents pointing out that their offspring slept through from a mere few weeks is irritating on so many levels but predominantly because they seem to assume it’s down to something they did. Believe me, with 3 kids we’ve had ample opportunity to try absolutely every strategy known to man. Some kids just sleep through, some won’t. Yes, there are things you can try, and if they work great, but if they don’t you’re stuffed. The only redeeming point on this one is these smug parents often get the shock of their lives when their winning strategy completely fails to work with child number 2. Not so smug now eh?
Never teaching your child not to lie outrageously
I keep on having the most bizarre arguments with the boy, and it’s all down to one little lad in his class who is either a liar of political ability or a bona fide 5 year old psychotic**. Variously I’ve had to talk the boy out of; leaving the house at midnight to dig a tunnel to the museum with this boy; convince the boy that I’m not boring because I’m not a secret agent/scientist/spaceman, like this other boys parents are; correct fundamental untruths that apparently must be true because his parents are scientists. The boy is gullible and it’s beginning to drive me up the wall.
I could go on but I’d probably just seem more bitter and twisted than I already am, so I shall stop. Have you got any you’d like to add to the comments or am I alone in my gentle seething?
*these both allow your child to bait my child in school at what they’re allowed to watch and play. I then get my child moaning at me that I’m a terrible parent and never let them do anything. Thanks a bunch.
**in the strict definition of someone who suffers an inability to distinguish reality from fiction.