Monday 19 March 2018

There's no set rule to apply to determine good/bad kids

Justine O'Mahony

IOVERHEARD a conversation the other day when a gaggle of women, having coffee were discussing parenting, specifically bad parenting. One of them admitted unabashed to having very strict rules for her kids and said she often tutted when she saw the neighbour's children going off to school with sweets in their lunchbox, 'No wonder they're at the dentist every week,' she sniffed.

Oh and by the way her kids don't get sweets. OBVIOUSLY. Nor are they allowed watch TV during the week as, apparently it's been proven that kids who watch TV are less intelligent than those who don't.

I'm not a violent person, but I really would have loved to hit this woman a smack in the chops or at least pull her perfectly coiffed hair so hard she yelled.

Who is she to judge anybody else's parenting skills? Her neighbour may have to cough up for a few fillings for her sins, but I bet you her kids will still want to live with her when they're fifteen unlike Nazi Mommy's offspring.

The reality of the situation is we're all just trying to do the best we can with the aim of bringing our children up to be good people.

Will giving them taytos and curley wurleys once a week turn them into psychopaths? It's doubtful. Will allowing them to watch Nick Junior make them bank robbers? I don't think so. So why do so many parents spent so much time sweating the small stuff and casting aspersions on others for not following suit.

I like to think my kids are good kids. They're not angels, in fact they can be right little feckers when they want to be but by and large, we've brought them up to be kind and wellmannered and to treat others as they would like to be treated.

Yet I've managed to commit a host of Parenting Faux Pas in bringing them up such as giving them chocolate (shock horror!), allowing to watch TV on a regular basis and buying them Nintendos. Some of our friends are so up their own backsides when it comes to these parental crimes that they probably think we should receive a prison sentence for child negligence.

One such acquaintance recently commented on The Smallest playing with her Nintendo. 'Oh we don't allow 'Sophie' to have one. They're really bad for their hand eye co-ordination.' So little 'Sophie resorts to physically wrestling same Nintendo off my child for a sneaky play when mammy's not looking.

If the worst thing I ever do as a parent is let them play Nintendo or watch a bit of Ben & Holly, I'm not doing too badly. And if they're still talking to me when they're 18 then I reckon I can say my job as a mother has been a success!