Not being a parent in the true sense of the word, I can only comment on my observations of some rewarding their children’s behaviour.
Like most, I love ‘good kids’. You know, those who are polite, considerate, helpful and respect not only their possessions, but other people’s as well as the people themselves.
I cannot abide screaming brats demanding attention by playing up and absolutely LOVED the advert with a Mum and her young son in the supermarket. The kid threw a paddy for not getting his own way, but it was Mum who threw down her bag and lay kicking and screaming on the floor in the aisle. Kid was stunned into silence, Mum got up and beckoning with her head said ‘Come on’. He followed as meek as a lamb. Priceless.
One girl I worked with had the most obnoxious daughter who expected designer dresses and fancy hairdos for Christmas or birthday parties, and when it was her own, her mother hired a Limo to take her and 6 chums for Pizza. She was 8. It appeared that the parents were all trying to outdo each other, and the following year when she was 9, her mother paid £350 to hire a disco. I found it all a little mad to be honest, and not a very good message to give to a child.
My birthday parties were 6 boys and 6 girls as guests (plus me and my sister so no unlucky 13), with fruit jelly in those waxed dishes, little triangular sandwiches, crisps and other nibbles, bottles of pop, ice cream if we were lucky and a big birthday cake.
We played party games in teams, or pass the parcel with forfeits, everyone left with a goodie bag and a good time was had by all as they would be talking about it for weeks afterwards.
Another work colleague had a son who was ‘difficult’ to such an extent that he was excluded from school more times than he attended. He bit a teacher and threw a chair at a blackboard but the parental attitude was to ply him with toys on a shopping trip when he misbehaved to keep the peace. The father was all for clipping him round the ear, but Mum didn’t approve of that kind of discipline, so their household was a permanent war zone of three wills.
You have children who have everything and expect more, and children who have very little and appreciate anything.
It inspired this many years ago, one picked up by the local paper when I submitted it.
Christopher was all excited,
Once he started, he couldn’t stop
Bragging about what he would get,
Until young Peter thought he’d pop.
‘I’m going to have an electric guitar,
A Game Boy and computer too,
Lots of toys and presents,
So much more than YOU!
Everyone will be coming
To our house on Christmas Day,
Loaded down with parcels
And games for me to play.
We’ll have turkey with all the trimmings,
And a massive Christmas Pud,
Chocolates, sweets and trifles,
Pah, I don’t have to be that good!’
And so on Christmas Morning,
He stood on the bottom stair,
Gazing at his glistening tree,
The floor all around it bare.
Santa’s mince pie and sherry
Lay untouched on the coffee table.
‘WHERE ARE ALL MY PRESENTS?’
He demanded when he was able.
Meanwhile across the city,
Peter beamed at his Mum with glee
At a hundred festive parcels
Strewn around his Christmas Tree.
‘But I didn’t ask for anything,
Just a book would have been nice,
A few things in my stocking,
Like fruit, nuts and sugar mice.’
The moral of this story
Must now be very clear,
Don’t be a naughty Christopher,
And behave yourself all year.