Almost on a daily basis I see any amount of young ‘ladies’ what ‘do’ lunch. Many of them are also the new parents of our future generations… “Gawd ‘elp Us!”
Prior to meeting up with their friend (aka fashion enemies) they have spent hours with their bottles of tanning lotion, topping up last weekend’s spray tan. They’ve meticulously applied a liberal coating of slap with the makeup trowel before donning their carefully selected (but uncoordinated) ‘designer’ label clothing. Finally, before leaving home they top the process off by grabbing their latest over-sized gaudy faux ‘Prada’ handbag.
Sometimes I wonder if these ‘ladies’ have family (or mirrors) at home? I suppose they must do, although they will have consulted the latest edition of ShaLLo Wagazine for all the latest fashion advice and gossip. On their parade down the High Street, they will have been greeted by any amount of similarly attired orange clones, ‘friends’ (see above) who will have no doubt confirmed how good they look… “Like wow Darl, you look like gorgeous like init, l8rs babe…mwaaah!”
And then Crash! Bang! The unfortunately now familiar screaching and shrieking shatters the congeniality and subdued hubbub of lunchtime. In comes mum, struggling through the door with little ‘Brody’ or ‘Kourtney’ in his/her ‘designer’ (NASH subsidized) buggy, still surfing the net on the latest smartphone whilst cursing eloquently at her offspring!
Note: Phones are only removable from the hand by means of surgical amputation. It has been known for effective removal to be achieved by nudging the user off-balance whilst said appliance is wedged between shoulder and ear. Although rare, those of a delicate or nervous disposition should be warned before attempting this procedure, you must be prepared for the ensuing tirade of explicatives and/or violence!
“Gotta ‘ave a bling bling mobi hun” – “Just s00o necessary like, init.” I suppose so? After all, how did/could/would anyone ever manage without a smartphone? What about Facebook and Twitter (other Social Media platforms are available)? You’d miss all the ‘InstaGram’, ‘FaceTime’ and ‘SnapChat’ stuff and, you’d simply never be able to keep up with all the latest “Soooo Coool” Kardashian clap-trap, “Like!”
So an area of the premises is carefully selected to best show off ‘Brody’ or ‘Kourtney’ – already munching on his/her cheese straws – “more ‘elfy than sweets,init?” Then, some 10-20mins later, the whole process is repeated, as said friend (see above) turns up…”Fucking Late as usual” (apparently), according to the earlier arrival – and so the lunch date begins.
‘Brody’ and ‘Kourtney’ are dumped in the corner and left to get on with their ‘healthy eating’ options, as the pasties and ‘diet’ Monster Puffs get spread all over the furniture and the floors. Meanwhile, the ‘mams’ rush into their ‘catch-up’ constantly talking over each other. After all there’s so much to say “like” – they haven’t spoken since earlier this morning – “init.” How did I know we had a ‘Brody’ AND a ‘Kourtney’ now? There’s a blue one and a pink one!
Every other dinner in the house immediately looks up from their lunch and then just as quickly looks down again and resumes eating. This time it’s at a visibly enhanced pace, possibly in fear of overhearing the “what they fucking looking at?” comment but undoubtedly, in a serious attempt to ‘escape’ the premises a little sooner than was originally planned.
Eventually they order lunch; two large baguettes with extra chips and more ‘healthy options for the
brats children…two large bowls of chips and extra gravy. The ‘Mams’ both settle into firing off their important texts and social media posts, whilst ensuring they have scooped up every last piece of gossip on who got pissed at the weekend and who shagged who.
At almost no point in this maelstrom of social interaction do the children get any attention, in fact there is actually very little interaction between the ‘Mams’ either – way too busy! On a couple of occasions there are shreaks of “get your friggin arse back here you little shit,” as one of the hapless kids toddled off (at speed) searching for his/her own verbal stimulation and something to relieve the boredom of having cheese straws being stuffed in its gob!
Finally their luncheon engagement comes to an end. Several hugs and air kisses later, the entry sequence is carried out in reverse and the whole group has departed, much to the relief of all remaining. Now the clean up begins, there is more food on the table than has actually been consumed – “still on a diet babes, init” – and food debris, cutlery and torn-up pieces of beer mat cover every inch of floor space, for up to five feet from ‘ground-zero’ of the event.
I trust you have an adequate visualisation of the picture now and you are starting to think about parenting styles and sklls or as in this particular case, the apparent distinct lack of them!
I’ve deliberately avoided using the word ‘Chav’ in my story, I don’t want Owen Jones chasing me for ‘demonizing the working classes‘ – despite the fact neither of the ‘Mams’ have ever worked. They probably have no desire to work in the first place and sadly, mostly due to the economic climate and local employment picture, will probably never work in the future any way.
The use of the term ‘Chav’ here, although perfectly apt and descriptive, would probably be a little pejorative in any case. Disparaging of a group who unfortunately, don’t actually hold exclusive rights on this type of Motherhood activity. I’ve seen several examples of similar behaviour from groups of Yummy Mummys with much higher levels of education and social standing. It doesn’t really matter if it’s Chavs, Wags or Toffs, it’s the lack of any parenting skills they often display that truly concern me.
But who is responsible for the ‘parenting’ of our children? It’s looking like a significant sector in our society actually believe; the parenting and disciplining of children is a state function, as opposed to the duty of parents. ‘We’ expect state education services to teach a child all that they need to know in life.
In a speech in East London, Education Secretary Michael Gove has said that head teachers need to be given “more power and freedom” to ensure pupil’s behaviour is “exemplary”…(ITV.com)
Polls suggest that parents want compulsory Sex Education lessons in secondary schools; to teach our children about the issue of sexual consent, amongst other things (see here). The recent attempt to introduce legislation for age-appropriate compulsory sex education in state-funded schools has actually been rebuffed by the House of Lords (see here).
We live in a society where women are increasingly presented as objects, rather than as people to be respected. Pornography is available by pressing a few keys on a computer. Anyone going into a corner shop or a supermarket can see images which objectify women and reduce sex to a mere transaction…(huffingtonpost.co.uk)
If parental demand is anything to go by, be they perceived or realistic, we now appear to be expecting our teachers to provide and administer all the discipline that our children require. Are these current expectations of the teaching profession really that fair?
Probably by way of courting popularity, the government have quickly responded to some of those demands.
School pupils face a return to the days of writing out a hundred times ‘I will not talk in class’ under plans by Education Secretary Michael Gove to return to old-fashioned discipline in the classroom…(Mail On Sunday)
When all else fails, we then expect the police to deal with any mess that our teachers (or other agencies) are unable/unwilling/incapable of managing. What happened to our parental responsibility? Are our lives so busy that we simply absolve ourselves of any duty and abdicate it to the state?
Gove has actually received a warning from a former Ofsted Chief Inspector and told not “to believe his own hype” (see here). Similar political ‘hype’ is also evident in many public services, education isn’t alone. When you add recent cutbacks which have occurred across public services to the mix, there are actually insufficient resources to meet many of our expectations.
The constant political interference in our public services is actually preventing professionals from delivering the services we are asking for. Therefore, are any of our additional expectations actually that realistic? I would like to think that any self-respecting thinking and educated parent should (hopefully) see; that alone is probably reason enough not to trust the state with parenting our children.
It’s not like there isn’t any help or guidance available to help you carry out this onerous task of parenting. The internet is crammed full of information about parental types, methods and strategies. Perhaps, as with many other subjects today, it’s just a matter of information overload standing in the way of those who don’t know what to do but want to learn?
Shouldn’t education and guidance in matters of sex, manners, attitude etc. really be confined to parents? Perhaps there is also a pressing need for some formal education about parenting skills at school?
It may come as something of an outstanding shock to you but; if you’re going to have children it is YOUR bloody responsibility and YOUR duty to PROVIDE the parental guidance that All children require…Simples!
One thought on “Parenting: You ARE Responsible!”
Nice article Dave. It is a shame that some modern parents are lacking in the necessary skills to carry out this complex task, as you say, some parents seem unable to grasp this whilst wrestling with all the other ‘pressures’ of modern day living, keeping up with social media, the latest fashions etc, as the importance of family values seems to have shifted, some would say myself included, in the wrong direction.
Harking back to the ‘good old days’ and certainly in the village I grew up in, parenting, or its equivalent term of the day was generally a family and community ‘joint venture’, where everyone looked out for other folks kids, elders and other vulnerable members of the family, and vice verse. I get the impression of the more modern parents; do not have this invaluable resource available. So in a way they are at a disadvantage to us.
As you say, there is a raft of information out there on the internet, but this is not the same as seeing it within the family or community environment, to quote an old phrase ‘monkey see monkey do’. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not supporting the ‘ladies what do lunch’ and their charming progeny, but a lot of their lack of decency comes down to their parents lack of parenting skills.
I do know where you are coming from regarding the lunch date and the ensuing carnage, as I’ve witnessed you wading through the bombsite once the protagonists have left!
Keep smiling mate.