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Wednesday, 23 August 2006


Cheeseburger Brown

Dear Simon,

Bad parents are the best education for parenthood, as long as they're not yours (which can complicate the situation). Negative examples can work a world of good, particularly if you cringe at a film of familiarity -- "Shit, I've been that dumb with my kids, too. Time to make a mental note."

Of course, poems have their merits, too.

Cheeseburger Brown


For three years we lived next door to awful parents, and they definitely provided a great education for us several years before my wife popped out our boy.


Good lord, you must be busy. Me too!

I find it possible to learn from both good and bad parents. One great thing I learned from watching a friend deal with her girls:

When her kids would misbehave in public, when there were lots of people around, she'd never yell or even talk loudly. She'd go up to whoever was screwing up, and whisper in her ear. No grabbing of the arm, no stern expression or yelling.

Just a firm, low, whisper in the ear.


I would also say that if those bad parents are your own then the benefit realised could be magnified just that much more by constant exposure. Assuming you aren't fucked up in the process; a distinct possibility.

It's that sort of example I intend to follow. I do my best to observe parenting and 'judge not lest ye be judged', but certainly walk away from experiences having decided how I would have reacted in a similar situation.

At least they didn't dissuade you from having kids at all! 'Cause I'm sure you can't imagine life without Ben now.


I can understand the theory behind the whispering. The kid doesn't get any undue attention that way, so stops thiking it's cool to screw up in public. The Kid Whisperer

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