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to think we must all suffer from some extent of parental blindness

(43 Posts)
MummaEss Fri 30-Aug-13 21:29:35

Ever since I have become a school mum there has been the regular conversation about how some mums will not have it that their little darling could ever set a foot out of line. Little angel is clearly a terror but mummy truly and honestly believes they are a sweet, sensitive little soul and if they have come in to any bother it must be the fault of some other child. I understand that this is a common state of affairs.

As time has gone on I have found that the very people with whom I have had this conversation are massively guilty of the same thing. Good friends of mine confide in me that they 'know' that darling child just would not have exhibited the behavior that they have been accused of, when to everyone else it is clear that they did.

I know that we all say (and I think we all think we are being honest) that we know our kids have the potential to be little buggers etc but when it comes to any sticky situation it is often "well, I know little Johnny and he just does not hit/lie/say mean things....".

I have tried to think about this from my own perspective and I would accept that my particular child might potentially be verbally aggressive, shout, intimidate or undermine other children and if they were accused of such behavior I would deal with it appropriately. However, if my child was accused of being physically violent or lying I would be dubious (to be fair I have never actually been called on my kid's behavior but hypothetically this is how I think I would feel).

Am I being blinded by my own maternal defensiveness of my child, just as my friends are of theirs?. I can clearly see some of their children are indeed guilty of minor misdemeanors that they just cannot see. Do we all do this?

OPeaches Fri 30-Aug-13 21:32:19

I don't suffer from this at all. Everyone else I know definitely does though.

Hmm. Wait . . . umm . . .

BrokenSunglasses Fri 30-Aug-13 21:33:16

I think we do all do it to an extent, but I don't see it as a bad thing. It's part of our natural instinct to protect and love our children, and also partly because we know a side to our children that other people don't know when they are still young.

Hassled Fri 30-Aug-13 21:35:47

I don't think we all do this, no. I mean obviously we all look for the best in our children, but I think most of us are realistic about them. As you said - I'd be amazed and doubtful if someone accused one of my DCs of physical violence, say, but more willing to accept the likelihood of lying or teasing; I think most of us know what our child is possibly capable of.

sixlostmonkeys Fri 30-Aug-13 21:36:36

My opinion on this, based on experiences as my ds grew up is that as a mum your first/immediate instinctive reaction is one 'oh no not my child' etc. Some people then react logically within seconds and some never budge from that first reaction (most are somewhere in between).
It's a battle you keep fighting, it's a pain in the butt, It's one of those things smile

MummaEss Fri 30-Aug-13 21:39:28

It just that sometimes when my friends defend their child I believe they are doing so whole heartedly and with genuine conviction, even though everyone else can clearly see that the child is guilty, sometimes having witnessed said behavior first hand.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 30-Aug-13 21:42:40

Yes I think we do. DD started throwing things at her brother when I'm not watching recently (she is 4.5 and he is 1.5) if she hadn't owned up I really would not have guessed, and would have been sceptical if someone had said! She's just never been particularly violent.

Whereas some of her other behaviour is much more familiar to me!

I'm trying to go into her starting school with an open mind.

RhondaJean Fri 30-Aug-13 21:47:24

I'm afraid I tend to do the opposite and assume mines did something wrong.

I know, I know...

Thaumatrope Fri 30-Aug-13 21:51:20

Mine sometimes behaves appallingly.
But I know him inside out and I can see what triggered it.
I don't waste my breath trying to explain to people, they only care that their Timmy got whaled on [eek]
I spend my energy talking through the triggers with ds and finding ways around them.

However I'm aware that in some people's eyes that makes me a chump.

AgentZigzag Fri 30-Aug-13 21:52:28

If someone accused DD1 of drop kicking a kitten, I'd know, for sure, she wouldn't be capable of doing such a thing.

But then DH was driving by and watched her chuck an empty drinks can into a hedge not long back <fucking furious> and she was on her own, not even showing off in front of any mates.

I would say a lot of accusations about the DC would be met with an automatic defensiveness which I may or may not have had experience of <ahem> which might wear off when they've had chance to think about it.

I thought My parents didn't have a clue about half of what we got up to shock

lljkk Fri 30-Aug-13 21:54:35

My kids disappoint me all the time. That's not normal? confused

AllDirections Fri 30-Aug-13 21:57:40

I think some parents don't just need parent glasses they need bloody great parent goggles.

I've often had parents say to me that their child is no bother at the same time that I'm looking at said child and thinking 'Reeeaaalllly' hmm

I had a conversation with a dad the other day who said that his childcare provider had had a word about his 8 year old DD swearing at other children on 3 different occasions. He was adamant that she didn't do it and I asked him how he could be so sure. I might think that my DDs are unlikely to do something but I would never say that they definitely wouldn't.

AngryFeet Fri 30-Aug-13 22:01:13

Christ I am the opposite. I love them but am very aware of what little shits they can be. Especially ds, he is a little bit evil.

SHarri13 Fri 30-Aug-13 22:11:53

I'd also say I'm opposite. If I get told 'so and so hit me/ snatched/ wouldn't play' or something similar I'll do a bit of digging and it usually transpires that there were two kiddies at logger heads rather than some devil child hiring my precious, little angel.

My kids are lovely but I know what they're capable of wink

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Fri 30-Aug-13 22:15:40

I think this might be a little bit of what psychologists call the fundamental attribution error. It means that if I, say, shout at my toddler, it's because of the situation I was in, whereas if I see someone else shout at their toddler it must be because they're a bad parent. I wonder if it's the same effect?

PaperSeagull Fri 30-Aug-13 22:16:22

Yes, I think most parents suffer from this affliction to one degree or another. And not only WRT behavior. I tend to take with a grain of salt (and sometimes more like a spoonful or two of salt) parental gushing about their quite averagely achieving child's giftedness. And then there are the parents who are convinced that their perfectly nice-looking (but not extraordinarily attractive) children are stunning beauties.

In a way it's quite nice that parents tend to see their children as miraculous beings. But being entirely blind to how a child behaves, etc. could have some negative results if not reined in.

Jinsei Fri 30-Aug-13 22:22:45

I know that I see dd through rose tinted spectacles. To me, she is utterly, utterly amazing. I know she isn't perfect, though, and I hope I'm able to be open-minded about things when I need to be. It's hard to know how much I succeed in this, but I reckon I get the balance about right.

raisah Fri 30-Aug-13 22:25:59

My cousin has a bad case of this blindness & her dc terrify me. I love her but avoid seeing her if I can help it because her kids are violent, malicious & sociopathic like their dad. She thinks its perfectly ok for them to smash a kids head against a wall & to wave knife at your face. She thinks "rules are limiting and kids figure out how to behave eventually by themselves anyway." She will have a shock once they hit the teenage years is all I can say.

verytellytubby Fri 30-Aug-13 22:31:54

I don't. I know when my kids are arseholes. They are brilliant obviously but not perfect. My friend can't see it at all. Makes it difficult to hang out.

pianodoodle Fri 30-Aug-13 22:32:25

When DD was a baby I overheard another woman in the doctor's waiting room say to her DH "ours is the cutest baby here"

I don't think she meant to be overheard though and she looked mortified when she saw me looking at her!

For a second I was furious but then just smiled and thought "well actually I was thinking exactly the same about my DD anyway" grin

Naturally I knew she was wrong anyway. My baby was definitely the cutest one there by miles... naturally smile

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 30-Aug-13 23:54:19

I know my DD is a little hellion. That's one of the reasons we love her. I had a lovely day today in soft play when she managed to get on the bouncy castle with two other rough, tough, fearless DC with parents who knew who they were. We referred to it as Baby Thunderdome grin

She frequently gets into issues with DC who are quiet, biddable but sneaky. She will end up snatching a toy which a child has taunted her with for ages. Pretended to share, then not, kind of thing. The quiet child will cry and DD will get the blame. Meh.

BackforGood Sat 31-Aug-13 00:05:07

I don't think we are all like this at all. Over the years I've had many a conversation with teachers, leaders, and friends where I've been the one being honest about my ds, and they are all telling me they don't see that side of him at all..... maybe it depends on your dc?

5madthings Sat 31-Aug-13 00:11:05

Nope of anything I am the opposite, when mine come running and say 'so and so just...' I say and what did you do first/what was happening a so know it's often six of one ams half a dozen of the other.

My ds3's teachers never believe me when I ,ention some of the behavior we get at home and they are all well behaved when oit with other people I get comments about how delightful and polite and lovely they are. I try to remind myself it's good they save the bad behavior for me!

My kids are great, but they are kids and I am under no illusions that as they are children they won't always behave perfectly. Thankfully most parents I know are the same,e but there is always one who thinks the sun shines out of their child are.

Sugarbeach Sat 31-Aug-13 00:20:33

Nope, don't think so....the reverse in fact, teachers and other people always says how lovely, well mannered dd is and I'm always saying she becomes quite the little monster when she is with me. God, that almst sounds smug although i don't mean it that way.

She's an only, but is very social and loves playing with other children, and I don't know if part of it Is because I said to her very early on that if she doesn't behave people will not want to invite her back for play dates, or maybe it just is her nature, who knows.

Secretswitch Sat 31-Aug-13 00:34:49

I am always casting a beady eye towards my children as I know they are Satan's minions.

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