Bad dad

Walking to town, our kids took it upon themselves to tell me off and give me a dressing down. Twenty-first century kids are more confident that we were. I was afraid of my parents. Even at my most rebellious, I’m sure I would never have spoken to them the way they speak to us.

I don’t mean to suggest that I was a good child: I was neither very good nor very bad, just somewhere in-between, mostly lazy, passive, perpetually day-dreaming. No, I admit I was extremely hard work for my parents, but when a sanction was administered, you knew you deserved it.

But our kids? They set out all the reasons their sanctions were not only unjust, but completely undeserved. Naturally, all their friends’ parents are lenient and lovely, showering their children with smartphones, pocket money and absolute freedom.

As our walk neared its end, I thought to myself: “What an absolutely horrible parent I must be!” How dare I demand the best of speech and mutual respect from them? Oblivious to their own behaviour, they issue me with an ultimatum.

What utterly strange times to be living in. Or did we just come to the game too late in the day, long after forgetting all we did in our youth? Oh, who knew parenting would be so hard? Surely, all parents hate half-term.

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