You know there’s different types of parents. There’s a whole bunch I can think of of the top of my head. There’s the seemingly perfect ones, Spick and span houses, they’ve just picked their kids up from the Gazillion after school clubs and are on their way to PTA meeting, followed by a fundraiser with a boot full of cupcakes n gift baskets for the raffle. Then there’s the constantly smiling ones, who may or may not be on some kind of unbeknownst happy pill that I’ve yet to discover. Why are you smiling? it’s Monday morning.. It’s unnatural. I’m a polite person. Of course I smile back. It’s usually followed by often awkward conversation or general chit chat about the weather. We’re Scottish.. It’s raining. And when it’s not raining, you can bet an arm and leg we’ve informed everyone and their cat that it’s a nice day.. for a change.
Anyway.. Point is we all know there’s parent types and without knowing people we all prejudge and stick them in a category somewhere. It’s human nature I’m sure. I came across a very strongly opinionated mother. How rare?! She was in amongst a discussion with other parents and I must say I was quite taken aback. Not only was I taken aback, but people were agreeing with her and I found it quite the eye opener. It reminded me of the days in primary school where there’s the one person dictating to a bunch of friends and them all agreeing. They were talking about the issue of “ageism”. Is that even a word? Anyway.. The matter at hand started out as an old fellow had happened to bump into a pushchair and not apologise, fairly bog standard I’d guess. Prams are big and people may accidentally stop in front of you or misjudge the space. There was no harm done. I’m sure she’s one of the type who are disgruntled that the world does not revolve around them and their elaborate pushchair.
It then went onto the discussion of children respecting adults. Now, I was always brought up to be respectful to my elders, be it neighbours, family, friends, people in the street etc. I was always made well aware of stranger Danger, so by respect I don’t mean I ran and done everything I was told to do, but that I was polite and respected adults. I was quite shocked when I heard these parents saying they were bringing up their kids up to feel as though all adults needed to earn their respect. Firstly I was a little confused.. I mean how exactly does an older man or woman, perhaps an elderly neighbour earn a child’s respect? Isn’t it common courtesy that adults treat children with the level of respect children need, by obviously not being rude and being courteous which by assumption any decent adult should already be doing. I mean you can’t seriously put a child respecting an adult and an adult “respecting” a child in the same category surely? By all means an adult has in no way whatsoever any right to disrespect a child. And of course if an adult had done something wrong to that child, then the child (after informing their mum or dad) has every right to ignore or avoid that adult.. but to actively encourage children that adults are their peers almost, that adults don’t deserve respect unless it’s “earned”? I was more shocked that everyone was agreeing with her. I kind of hope it was the same situation as back in the day – No one speaking up because they don’t want grief from the over opinionated mother. Shouldn’t we be teaching children to act respectfully towards everyone, unless of course they’re given good reason not to?
This is the type of parenting that scares me. It leaves me wondering what the next twenty years will be like.