The ‘middle class parent’ is in interesting breed, in most cases their children tend to be out of control little shits.You get this a lot at the gym, the child is kicking off merry hell in the changing rooms, screaming, hitting out, you know, generally being little cunts. The parents, who don’t really want to be seen to be shouting at their children just let the bad behaviour carry on, until they muster is a very meek –
‘No darling, don’t no that..’
Give the child a bollocking, tell them off, people aren’t going to think you’re a bad parent for telling your child off. They will think you’re a bad parent when they are running around out of control being a bastard.
A good example of this, I spotted on my honeymoon. The little coffee shop in the Hotel had been overrun by several families and their horrid children. While we queued for our food, one of the smallest children (4 or 5 years old at a guess), marched over to the counter and stole a muffin. She showed it to her Mum (who was too busy chatting to her friend to watch her little one). The mother just pulled a face at her daughter and said very softly, ‘No darling, you don’t just take them’. She took it off her daughter and put it back on the counter. The mother then carried on her conversation with her friend and started to ignore her daughter again. The little girl went back to the counter, grabbed the muffin and took it back to her parents.
Her mother said much as she did the last time ‘No darling, that’s just naughty..’ the little girl just shrugged it off and took a massive bite out of the stolen muffin. Amazingly her Mum just said ‘No! Oh darling…’ and took the muffin from her and placed it on the table. Brilliant. The Mum again resumed her conversation with her friend. I was gobsmacked.
But it got better (well worse!)
The little girl obviously decided she was thirsty, so wandered over to the chiller cabinet, picked out an ‘Innocent’ Kids drink, and opened it and starting drinking. She casually wandered back to her parents, he Dad said to her.. ‘Where did you get that from?!?…. Oh… oh darling.. you don’t take things!’ He didn’t even take it from her, he just let her keep it. All the parents then just carried on talking and the little girl had got away with lifting two things from the cafe. No telling off, no putting it right, just ignoring it and carrying on. Thankfully the new Mrs Hakes saw it all and told the people serving at the cafe, so I imagine they didn’t get off with the theft.
The thing is I know it was a muffin and a carton of overpriced smoothie, but the thing that frustrated me more was the parents lack of concern. If my little one had done that she would have been told off, made to apologise and made to pay for what she took out of her pocket money, and hopefully she would never do anything of the sort again. This little girl seems to have learnt from this experience she can take what she likes, and when she likes, her parents might look a bit cross, but they’ll get over it, and she can keep what she’s taken.