Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t going to be a post telling you all about the wonderful beings that are my children, in comparison to other people’s children, thus highlighting my far superior parenting skills. Oh no, I’m much more clever than that. I’m going to tell you instead about my experiences of other children and let you make up your own minds. Its a bit like child-led teaching and learning, except, well… you know. Other teachers will get it.
So, before I start I need to tell you that generally I have no problem with other people’s children. In fact, I make my living out of caring for them and when those 30 terrors are in my classroom they transform from being other people’s and become mine, for six and three quarter hours. I’m fiercely protective of them and I will defend them in most situations, as if they are my own. That’s my job. Likewise, when other children come to my house to play I will care for them, carry them up rocky slopes when on reservoir walks, hold their hands when a big dog comes to close, put plasters on their knees when they fall and laugh at all of their jokes if I am required to. I like kids. Its just that some of them, belonging to other people, are a little, well…
We went to the seaside yesterday. I saw four separate children screaming blue murder because they wanted more sweets. I saw tantrums when parents ran out of money for the penny machines. I saw little chubby hands snatch crisps from bags and icecream from poor, unsuspecting icecream men. But that’s not really what I want to tell you.
If I am to secretly judge these children and thank my lucky stars that they do not belong to me, then I need to really be looking at the adults which are bringing them up. I saw adults blowing cigarette smoke into their children’s faces, swearing at them and telling them to take a fiver and bugger off. I saw old men sprawling out on deckchairs beside their cars, facing away from the sea towards the concrete jungle, ignoring the kids who were forced to play by the road instead of by the sea. (I have to add that they did pay the kids attention when they knocked over a can of beer though.).
I saw adults who dragged their children kicking and screaming from the amusement arcades because they had had ‘enough fun now’ and that was that.
So, yes I’m being judgemental. But, goodness- we saw it all. Perhaps it was the lady in the electric wheelchair with three cigarettes in her mouth (I kid you not) , pulling a toddler along with her down the pier… perhaps it was the young mother with nothing on bar a bra and big knickers, parading along the high street with a million kids crammed into a buggy. Whatever, it made me look at my own kids (incase you haven’t already done the same) and feel the hugest amount of pride for them and, yes- for us as parents too!
There, I said it. I’m proud of the fact that I can take my kids anywhere and while they may be lively at times, they are never rude, obnoxious or aggressive. Because they are never ignored, shouted at unnecessarily or disregarded as merely children. Now, where did I put that ‘parent of the year’ medal…
**There is still time to vote for me as most inspiring blogger in the MADs blog awards!
image source: dailymail.co.uk