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to think that the middle-classes suck the very soul out of parenting (and life in generally actually)?

(447 Posts)
bejeezus Wed 15-Jun-11 09:41:15

Ive been on/reading a few threads- about Unconditional Parenting, Attachment Parenting, Steiner blah blah blah. 99.9% of each of these 'philosophies' is common sense, the other 0.1% is deranged and warped interpretation of what started out as a description of common sense.

I am sick of people researching and 'reading round' subjects, analyzing and LABELLING EVERY activity and aspect of growing kids. People (and animals!) have been doing it since time began.

Is it because middle-classers have all been raised by nannies/ have no parental role-models/ have poles up their asses/ lack imagination/ HAVE no intuition/ have no faith in their abilities/ need to feel superior - WHAT is it??

What is wrong with intuition, spontaneity and getting it wrong? in fact I bet my socks there is some research some-where, that says that those are essential aspects of child-rearing and if you dont embrace them whole-heartedly, your childrens teeth will fall out/ they will loose the ability to speak and be in prison by the age of 25 years and 7 months.

Why am I bothered?;

I said on a Steiner thread in parenting that 'I hate wooden toys and all they stand for'

Then I got to thinking; actually I hate what they now stand for but I DONT hate wooden toys. I love wooden toys; the smell, the feel, the memories. But we used to scavenge the tips for timber/rob neighbours fence posts then get dad/grandad/uncle to help us build go karts/benches/huts with an excess of nail string and glue. Where is the soul and creativity in parents spending a weeks/ a months wage (or even a penny) on some imported sustainably sourced wooden toy fashioned by a stranger or mass produced in a factory? It has no more educational/ developmental value than a brightly coloured plastic toy. It is not more enjoyable for the child. It is more enjoyable for the parents BECAUSE IT LOOKS NICE IN THEIR HOUSE!!

Middle class parents are like the anti-Rastamouse;

'always there to make a good thing bad'

Class War- Bring it! grin

TattyDevine Wed 15-Jun-11 09:45:37

Topcat used to live in a bin, never did 'im any 'arm...


TattyDevine Wed 15-Jun-11 09:46:47

Seriously though why is it only the Middle classes? Can the working classes not read? Or are they too busy working?


squeakytoy Wed 15-Jun-11 09:47:09


I also completely detest women who describe themselves as "yummy mummies" too... it all comes under the same pretentious umbrella.

Mumwithadragontattoo Wed 15-Jun-11 09:47:56

Have you read the 44 Scotland St books? I think you would find them amusing. There is a lovely little boy in them called Bertie and his mother is as you describe. All Bertie wants is a boys own childhood. Very funny.

Pagwatch Wed 15-Jun-11 09:48:26

What/who exactly is a middle class parent?

Aibu to think that sweeping generalisations are fucking up any sensible discussion?

<<remembers this is aibu. Abandons notion of sensible discussion>>

bejeezus Wed 15-Jun-11 09:49:20

dunno why it is only the MCs- maybe its not-thats just my observation

moondog Wed 15-Jun-11 09:49:35

Very true Bejeezuz

Note to self: check out this Rastamouse chap

QueenofDreams Wed 15-Jun-11 09:50:58

I don't think it has anything to do with what class you are though.
YANBUin hating the pretentious twattery phenomenon. YABU in making out that this is an exclusively middle class thing, and that it is endemic in all middle class families.

EightiesChick Wed 15-Jun-11 09:52:06

I have never met any woman who describes herself as a 'yummy mummy'. Made up media term not used by any actual human being. So strike that off your list of offences.

Pagwatch totally agree. Not that there aren't still class issues in society but this kind of sweeping generalisation doesn't help. Plus I don't think this thread would have been posted with 'working classes' in the title, or not without massive abuse following (understandably).

GabbyLoggon Wed 15-Jun-11 09:52:16

beejeez...An interesting post. I suspect you will get a lot of middle class replies. My brother described me as "middle class, without the trappings.

TurkeyBurgerThing Wed 15-Jun-11 09:52:57


Twattishness is available in all classes. You obviously are an example of that!

bejeezus Wed 15-Jun-11 09:53:04

lol squeaky- DO people describe THEMSELVES as yummy mummies?? lol

thanks mumwithtat -- i will look for those books!

MissPenteuth Wed 15-Jun-11 09:53:38

I agree with you in principle but I think you can take class out of the equation and still make the same argument.

There's a huge amount of information available these days about every single aspect of pregnancy/childbirth/parenting, and it can be a curse as much as it is a blessing. Some people feel they need to know everything, be experts, and then stick to the 'rules' they've chosen to follow.

IME the zealots are the minority though. Most of us read things here and there, take a bit of this theory and a bit of that, combine it with our own opinion and some common sense. Then we forget most of it and make it up as we go along grin

AnnieLobeseder Wed 15-Jun-11 09:53:57


Loony parents as you describe are indeed, loony.

Not sure what middle class has to do with it though.


squeakytoy Wed 15-Jun-11 09:54:16

I have never met any woman who describes herself as a 'yummy mummy'. Made up media term not used by any actual human being. So strike that off your list of offences

I have.... plenty of them.

I can tell you exactly where they will be right now too.... congregating in my local Starbucks... with their wooden toys too! grin

My DIL has a pink sticker on her car rear screen saying "I am yummy mummy" and also has that as her occupation on facebook..... ok I dont detest her, but I do find it a tad eughhhhhhhhh.

Beepazoid Wed 15-Jun-11 09:54:33

A wonderfully articulate argument Bejeeezus...i couldn't agree more. And what i also detest is the insinuation that if the little darlings aren't stimulated, praised and ecstatically happy every minute of the day, they'll grow up to be smack heads and rob old ladies...

I feel defiantly working class when confronted with this bullshit.

thebestisyettocome Wed 15-Jun-11 09:55:22


moondog Wed 15-Jun-11 09:55:38

grin at middle class without the trappings

I have to grapple with exposing my children to lowbrow practices.
My friend told me 'You can't bring your children up on a diet of Earl Grey, the Telegraph and the Spectator'

Therefore I have timetabled in family viewing of Total Wipeout and the Simpsons and leave the Argos catalgue open on the pages purveying plastic tat made by Third World serfs.

it's going well.

itisnearlysummer Wed 15-Jun-11 09:56:09

pagwatch I'm guessing the OP is referring to parents who describe themselves/like to think of themselves as middle-class, have an activity for their children everynight of the week (and sometimes 2 a night) who coach their children for the 11+ and re-write their children's homework for them, and take their parenting cues from books. I know of several parents like this - but they are certainly not all 'middle class'!

This is opposed to the rest of us sane parents who, regardless of class, just take our cues from our children, draw on our own experiences and use a bit of common sense!

TotalChaos Wed 15-Jun-11 09:56:39

hmm at the middle-class references. but think you have some good points re:issues of mass-production and de-skilling (not that these are restricted to parenting of course....)

thebestisyettocome Wed 15-Jun-11 09:57:31

It's their loud voices when they 'parent' their children and their blind ambition that makes me want to rip their heads off annoys me.

jeckadeck Wed 15-Jun-11 09:57:35

basically, its fear of falling. People who are already middle class dread being downwardly mobile more than they dread anything else. Working class people don't dread it at all because they are already there. I don't think middle class parenting is bad per se, in fact there's a lot to like about it, like the commitment to education and so forth. But I think one of the big problems with a lot of these middle-class parenting fads like Steiner etc is that they have more to do with projecting status to other middle class parents than they do to do with the actual children. So the things you correctly name-check as being daft, like wooden toys etc, are basically middle class parents wanting to show other middle class parents that they know the right social codes and symbols. Very much like organic food and hating television -- its really by the by for the children, but is a subtle way of telling other parents that you are comme il faut and should maintain your middle class status. Not saying all working class parenting is perfect by a long chalk, but it does have the advantage that people don't generally feel the need to keep up this ridiculous pantomime of keeping up with the Joneses.

Hassled Wed 15-Jun-11 09:57:54

It's nothing to do with being middle class and everything to do with being a twat.

If you had ranted like this about the working classes people would have come down on you like a ton of bricks, quite rightly. Why is it OK to make sweeping assumptions about one group of people and not another?

needanewname Wed 15-Jun-11 09:58:28

Oh joy. Another sweeping generalisation thread on mumsnet, cos we don't get enough of them.

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