Other People’s Children

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!MAD Blog Awards 2011

image source: dailymail.co.uk




12 responses to “Other People’s Children

  • Dorkymum

    Ha – great post! Made me laugh, but also kinda sad – you do feel sorry for a lot of kids sometimes when you see the way their parents speak to them. You should definitely feel proud of being able to take yours anywhere 🙂 hope I manage to achieve the same…

  • Renee

    I do the exact same, how do parents expect their children to behave, when they themselves r rubbish role models!? Once someone said to me that I was no mother of the year, and I had to reply well actually I am! I look at my kids and although they drive me crazy at times, I know when I go out they will b well behaved and great examples of how well out family function! Xx

  • Fozia

    Fab post! Completely agree with what you have said! I always feel sorry for those kids as it is not their fault

  • Blue sky

    It can certainly be very depressing watching the way that some parents treat their children, but please remember that some children who tantrum and are rude or obnoxious may have a special need like autism or aspergers, like my son. He looks like any other child, but his behaviour is sometimes completely unacceptable in other people’s eyes. But it’s usually the result if him just nit being able to cope with his situation, either because if sensory overload or frustration. (sorry about spelling, can’t seem to change it!)

    • ghostwritermummy

      Such a fabulous and valid point, thank you. I must add here that I am in no way judging children, its the parents that were standing out for me yesterday. Having worked with children on the spectrum I know how easily their frustrations can outwardly manifest as anger/ tantrums but I also know that a good parent is not going to scream blue murder in their faces for this behaviour. It really was just the parents that I was commenting on so I hope I haven’t offended you. I know that there is a fine line when we are passing judgement on people we don’t know and I do understand that tantrums in any form are fustrating for parents, especially when out in public. i think its the way they are dealt with by the adults that makes the difference. Thanks so much for your comments

  • Herding Cats

    I often wonder why these types of parent bother having children if they don’t want to put any effort into parenting them.

    I also have a daughter with autism, but you can tell the difference between a parent attempting to calm a child with special needs and a parent who only vaguely acknowledges the existence of their children.

  • Lee

    I am still worrying about the child on the pier with the carer in an electric wheelchair. Obviously that toddler is far better behaved than mine!

  • Midlife Singlemum

    Unfortunately it becomes a vicious cycle – you can only be a good parent if you know what good parenting is. Sad, but also bloody irritating for the rest of us.

  • northernmum

    I think you let me borrow your parent of year badge. Will fish it out for you.
    Great blog. X x x x

  • clairelouise82

    I agree with blue sky… My son can seem the biggest brat ever!! Take today when he dropped to the floor refusing to move because I said no to getting the bus he wanted to ride on because it wasn’t going the right way (transport crazy) When it comes to transport there is little understanding on my view no reasoning as it’s his special interest. It was the crowds and the fact the tube had a line failure that added to his upset (change of routine) It had been a long day and I had coped with a lot… a lot a lot!! I just held it together but with the stares and points I wanted to scream just get #* $# up! I didn’t, but felt close:( I know u didn’t mean anything and I’m not in anyway offended. I think u are an awsome writer and make a good point as though I smoke I don’t smoke in childrens face (that’s horrid) and god I won’t let them out my sight wen out, Parents letting kids near the sea while turning the other way is bad parenting. However I do admire you for being able to take your child anywhere. I can’t!! I really can’t! But I try, when things get bad and people gasp I hold it together other times I tell them he has autism and sometimes I tell um to bugger off the lot of um:)

  • ChocOrangeCityMum

    Its sad but true, so many children are let down by their parents but eventually it will become their fault. If I were master of the Universe I would be tempted to require a license to breed!

    Obviously going to have a fight with you over here for the Parent of the Year Medal 😉

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