Tag Archives: kirstie allsopp

Faulty parenting

12 Nov

Long gone are the days when my daughter would actually listen to me. Something has happened since she turned 4. A fracture in the time continuum occurred on Tuesday 25th September 2012 and added a ‘1’ to the front of her true age and left her a teenager imprisoned in a pre-schooler’s body. And that angry teenager is trying to get out …

Forgive me if I’ve said it before (and if I have it may well be evidence of a paranoia that I can add to a long list of others) but as I freewheel uncontrollably down the cycle lane of parenting it is blindingly obvious that being a parent brings with it an awful lot of guilt. As soon as the placenta has been delivered (or sooner if you want to count the ‘natural’ birth versus c-section debate) you’re faced with an ongoing volley of (apparently) moral dilemmas. Breast or bottle? Attachment parenting or send them to live with the in-laws 400 miles away? To return to work or not to return to work? These be the questions.

When you’ve had enough of other parents thrusting their views on you the last thing you need is your own child turning round and lobbing a nappy bucket full of guilt in your face. But that is exactly what has happened since my daughter turned 4. Completely incapable of accepting any responsibility for any of her actions, and truly in the spirit of the teenage years, the finger of blame now points firmly in the faces of me and her father. An example:

“Mummy! You’ve made me drop the huge bogey I was playing with.”

“Daddy! You made me do that!” [As she falls over attempting something that would make Sportacus split his lycra pants. Daddy cannot answer as he has been in another room for the last ten minutes. You get my point.]

If we were in the US she’d be suing our butts off. We daren’t move. We daren’t talk. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has social services on speed dial on her Barbie phone. I cannot fathom where this desire to lay the guilt on Ma and Pa has suddenly sprung from. Oh … hold on. To blame others is of course one of the best forms of self-preservation. My little girl cannot stand even the merest hint of being told off. To open one’s mouth in the shape of a potential retribution causes tears to shoot from her eyes and you are forced to carefully reconsider the tone of your voice (“Mummy, you said it in a cross way, not in a loveable way”). She has decided to take a massive baseball bat to Mummy and Daddy’s authority.

This is my little girl becoming independent. She’s discovered the blame game and the time it can buy you. (Long may that skill continue into her adult life.) Of course she has no understanding of the externally imposed and internally inflicted guilt that her parents shoulder (gawd, I’ve just seen an advert for Kirstie’s Vintage Home), but she has spotted our weakness and that’s our desire to be perfect parents. What’s another layer of guilt to add to the mille-feuille of parenting?

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