to think middle class parents, when shite, are a special sort of shite?(256 Posts)
I am middle class, I think, but find the overtly 'darling, sweetie' set of parents particularly painful. Obviously bad/good parenting isn't reserved for any group or set, but I have only noticed middle class parents do the 'push my child first, I couldn't give a crap about fairness' sort of parenting.
EG. Today my 2yr old at a picnic with pre schoolers and their younger siblings. (dc4 was celebrating last day at preschool.) I gave dc5 my phone to flick through a story so I could eat my lunch and could stop running after him. Another child, boy aged 4, called (let's say) Jim wanted the phone. I said no as my dc was looking. He could look too. He tried to snatch making my dc5 upset (in that screamy frustrated 2 yr old way) Jim's mother says "you can share Darling" as Jim is crushing my child who is half his size, she deosn't ask him to get off. Now my dc is crying, she says "share Darling, come on" (I'm not sure who she is talking to) So then awkwardly I have to say "Jim you're crushing dc5", he tries to take the phone. So I put the phone back in my bag...."I want that phone" Jim says. I say "no it's away now". Jim pushes into me and punches me full force with both fists. Mother says FUCK ALL. Not five minutes later she tells him what " a good boy" he is and "so gorgeous" she could eat him Darling sweetie. She's so proud of his behaviour at the picnic,.
EG. DC5 gets scratched on the face with a stick, by a 4 yr old looking straight at me. Mother sort of shrugs and says nothing.
DC5 later on a bit cross and kicks a nearly empty bottle over, sheer naughtiness and devilment, before I can even speak mother of stick weilding child shouts "for goodness sake DC5" then spots me and says sorry. I was so fed up by this point that I just said "to be honest I expect nothing less from X parents" and left, in the knowledge that I'll never see them again.
EG Two little girls tell DC5 to get off trampoline saying 'it's ours get off', DC5 complies. Then I give him his football.....they come over shouting at him to share, but as he's only just got it he wanted to kick it first. I just found myself supporting my son in not sharing, even though I think it's important to share, I'm really cross with myself.
This is my last child. I have spent the last ten years watching my dcs play fair, take turns and be generally kind only to see the other mc brats not only put themselves first but parents whole heartedly endorse and encourage this behaviour.
I do know lots of other nice mc parents, but this type of parent is completely reserved for the middle class slightly older mother.(AGAIN to reiterate this is not all mc parents.)
So it is better to call them wee fucking bastards like some of the folk round here?
Sharing is code for give me your stuff. Hate it.
Lachesis, it is possible to correct your children's behaviour and discipline then without needing to swear at them, you know. Most parents seem to manage it.
I think I've observed something in some mc "right on" types which makes them feel they should be good friends with their dc rather than parental authority figures. So they wither and weeble about not confronting bad behaviour but rather either appear to ignore it or want to emote about it.
When often imo what's needed is some firm boundaries and if that makes you unpopular for a time with your children so be it.
Also there is that other mc parenting tool called "benign neglect"...
I often think 'sharing' means 'my kid is entitled to it so just give him it'.
'Sharing' is sometimes bullshit.
I had the misfortune to help a friend at a 5 year olds birthday party where they were all allocated this marshmallow with chocolate and with a smartie on top (very pretty).
Kid eats his and then demands to have other childs. Mummy of first kid intervenes and demands other child 'shares' with hers.
I intervene and say they've got one each. She then says 'but he's finished it'. I then said (loudly) 'yes, your child has finished his sweet but this child hasn't'.
First child then starts kicking the second child (not sure if the first child had ever heard the word 'no') and I led the second child away.
And before anyone thinks its possible there were additional needs involved I can categorically state there were no diagnosed ones as I was one of the professionals at the event. She was just an entitled twat - I meet a few occasionally.
Possibly or possibly not related to 'class'. It's definitely not a middle class thing - it's a useless fucking, entitled parent thing.
Tbh, if a child is hurting somebody else and the parents ignore it, I'd have no hesitation in saying something to the child. Jim's mum isn't doing him any favours if she let's him get away with that sort of behaviour.
I don't see why you need to make it about class? It seems unlikely to me that having a mortgage, or being on the Boden mailing list makes some people incapable of responding to their children's misbehaviour.
The children you describe sound like little horrors, and their parents sound fairly clueless but I doubt it is because they eat too much hummus.
But I find, and I live in a pretty affluent area (wish we hadn't moved from the nice area) and it's not uncommon for this certain type of parent. The shrug when child pushes to front of the slide......not like in other parts where the parent has no idea where the child is pushing at the front of the queue. The chuckle when they hit, no reminding of manners...etc.
Some mothers/parents just cannot accept that their child is in the wrong. I take great pleasure in disabusing them of that idea... if someone hits my child or me, and the parents either don't see it, or take no notice, then I have been known to say "by the way, I thought you would want to know, your little Rupert/Griselda has just punched me full force with both fists, on purpose. I always like other parents to let me know if my child is not behaving appropriately, so thought you would too.". I cannot understand parents letting their kids off lightly when THEY are the ones it reflects badly on. And the bad behaviour just escalates. ALL kids are rude or naughty sometimes, and it's everyone's responsibility to police their behaviour and let them know that it's not acceptable.
I too have been guilty of letting my littles ones NOT share when they've hardly had a turn themselves on their own toy or whatever. It galls me to make them hand over toys to children who hog things and don't share themselves...
no, YANBU but because you mentioned the dreaded CLASS word so lots of MNers will be one saying "why is it about class?!" (because quite often middle class or upper class mothers think the sun shines out of their children's arses!)
YANBU, but I don't think it's a class thing. I think it's a PFB attitude, full stop.
I'm a middle class sweetie/darlinger myself, but the two things I probably taught first were "we don't play with other people's toys" (including adult possessions in that list) and that sharing means leaving other people to have a go in peace before you take a turn. It's that simple. If he's grabby or pushy with other kids, we move like lightning - and pushy/grabby with smaller kids and he gets a serious talking to about Being Kind.
It's crap parenting, allowing your kids to make a nuisance of themselves. It means other parents/kids won't want them about, and it's just not pretty in itself. But I doubt class background is the deteminant.
I think it is about wealth, just because it's so common in the mcs I'm afraid. I am not for a moment saying that only mc parents are crap....just crap in this way.
Do you think some of these people have nannies who usually deal with the children?
Because it sounds to me as if either the parents consider it not their role or beneath them somehow to do the boring discipline bit or maybe they just don't know how to deal with it?
Jim's mother watched him do it and pulled a slight sad face at me!!
I think they think if they 'LOUDLY' say 'you're a good boy' that everyone else believes it.
I'm not sure I'd ever identify it as a class thing because I'm not especially tuned into class really. I suppose thinking about it I probably fall into your older mc mother category though.
But yes, I've seen all that you describe before too. I just think it's wet, ineffectual parenting based on some people's belief that they need primarily to be their dc's 'friend' at all costs and to hell with the consequences.
Such parents never draw that essential line in the sand wrt behaviour, manners and expectations and stick to it because they just can't bear the thought of upsetting their dc or any kind of scene/tantrum.
But that does upset their dc ultimately because they are always pushing looking for the bottom line and it's never there.
I'm definitely with you LeQueen. I've never collected my older children from a 'playdate' without being told how kind, polite and lovely they are. Not 'fine' like I have to tell my dc's guests.
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