Parents and their perfect children

As a teacher, I see a lot of mums and dads who are in denial about their children. I tell them that their child, little Jimmy, is disruptive and lacks enthusiasm for his work. More often than not, they tell me he is a little angel at home, and it’s somebody elses fault. I am asked to sit them away from the “bad influence” or increase the difficulty of their work because they are bored. Well no actually, it’s your child who is the bad influence and your child who can’t spell or do simple arithmetic.

I have come to realise though that a lot of parents put their children on a pedestal. Many of my friends who are parents claim that their children are:

1. A* pupils in all subjects at school or college.
2. Have special talents which range from being amazingly artistic to being excellent chess players.
3. Really good looking and will be real “heart breakers” when they are older.

Not one person has said that their child is mediocore at maths, english and science and their estmated grades are Bs, Cs and Ds. They enjoy football, dancing or athletics, but they are only hobbies and they aren’t going to be the next David Beckham. Surely, there’s got to be an average child somewhere in the UK!

When becoming a parent, you must develop some kind of blindness to all things negative about your child. I’ve also noticed that if one parent says something impressive about their child, the other parent tries their best to top it. As I’m not a parent, I don’t really understand the ins and outs of why it’s important to compare your child to others. One of my friends hates standing at the school gates because this is where the “my child is better than your child” conversations begin. Parents boast about what reading level their child is on and what role they have been given in the school play. I think parents must see their children as an extention of themselves, and if their children are doing well, that means they are doing well too.

Being a parent must be mentally quite straining. I can imagine they are constantly worried about doing the right thing for their children and have feelings of guilt when their expectations are not met. If their child doesn’t get an A in their maths exam, whos fault is it? Many parents will blame themselves.This is why it is so important that their children are seen as athletic, A* boffins with the looks of Brangelina. Boasting is pride and boasting is reassurance that they are doing a good job.

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2 thoughts on “Parents and their perfect children

  1. I am a 47 year old student language teacher who was born with an abnormality of the X chromosome which meant that my ovaries didn’t develop. I can really identify with you with all the hospital visits and I too am from the north of England. Teaching is helping me to move on to Plan B and my husband is Maltese so we have lots of trips to Malta. Thank you for your blog which has been most helpful.

    • Hi Karen,
      Thank you for your comment! I am pleased that my blog has helped you a little. I don’t write it anymore, but writing it really helpled me to come to terms with my childless grief.
      Like you, travelling and teachng have been my life and I do feel that I am fullfilled even without children. I still get upset every now and again, especially at those family times like Christmas, but I have moved on from the constant thoughts of disappointment to accepting my situation and finding a new path to go down. I am now living in the sun with my husband and cat who make me very happy!

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