Things our children taught me

October 7, 2012

We have three grown up children, which I find hard to believe as I am still in my late 20s in my head. And as any parent knows, having children is a life-changing event. One you can’t get your head round till it happens. But I have enjoyed parenthood more and more the older they have got. Or perhaps it’s more to do with the fact that I got older too, and perhaps a bit less of a control freak. No, actually thinking about it I am just as much a control freak now as I always was. Perhaps they are just not as needy……….

Obviously there have been lots of times when it hasn’t all been sweetness and light. I’ve made bad decisions, been completely unreasonable, been inconsistent, done a lot of shouting, and even resorted to physical violence. But I still don’t think I’ve been a bad parent over all. Certainly not a perfect parent, but I never expected to be. I just wanted to be good enough. So over the years the children have taught me many things and here’s my

Top Ten Things Our Children Have Taught Me

  1. Children will forgive you nearly anything. They won’t neccessarily forget, but they will forgive.
  2. Despite having the same gene pool, schooling and upbringing the characters of our children are startlingly different. From birth onwards. I am no closer to deciding the nature/nurture debate.
  3. Fifteen minutes of bad behaviour at the end of a good day could make me feel the whole day was awful when it wasn’t. But it sure as hell made that first sip of wine taste fantastic once they were in bed .
  4. Children never wait until you are ‘ready’ to answer those awkward questions. They get sprung on you as you peel potatoes or are in the cinema queue
  5. Children love having their parents around to do stuff with or to watch them perform. Even if they say they don’t mind if you don’t come, they like it if you do. I do not believe the ‘quality time’ theory.
  6. Children will repeat what you say as to others. I never thought I’d hear our 7 year old daughter explain to her teacher that her dad says peach flavoured water tastes like cockroach vomit.
  7. There is no greater joy than seeing your children’s unbridled happiness. It is fantastic when they all get on together. Even if they are ganging up against you.
  8. Children made me realise I know fuck all detail about what’s going on in the world when they asked me to explain the Arab Israeli conflict, Afghanistan, or the break up of the Soviet Union.
  9. Any concept, project, piece of work, disagreement or conversation can be expressed through the medium of interpretive dance to hilarious effect.
  10. As long as they are safe and well, fuck all else really matters


6 Responses to “Things our children taught me”

  1. michael Says:

    #3 – worrying

    You’re part of the silent majority of parents dispensing alcohol-fuelled neglect


  2. georgiemcclarke Says:

    Aw very nice. You left out that one of them taught you the word hegemony…! What’s the quality time theory? X

    • True. But there are loads I left out – these are merely the first ones that came to mind! The quality time theory is the one that says it is not the quantity of time one spends with one’s children that is important , it is the quality of the time. Thus it is better to spend one hour being constructive and productive than five hours just rubbing along together. I feel a post coming on……..

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