Moms and dads are too soft, whatever happened to telling
Friday, 2 Jun, 2023

Moms and dads are too soft, whatever happened to telling off the kids?

I CAN confirm I have become that woman.The grumpy sourpuss and curmudgeon who finds the sight and sound of other people’s children not just mildly..

I CAN confirm I have become that woman.

The grumpy sourpuss and curmudgeon who finds the sight and sound of other people’s children not just mildly annoying but wildly aggravating.


Parents need to be more active in disciplining their children and taking controlCredit: Getty

A few weeks ago I took my 13-year-old son to lunch. Next to us sat a family with two young children.

(I can’t tell a five-year-old from an eight-year-old these days. Because I don’t give a monkey’s.)

They were well enough behaved but there were toys and sporadic loud noises from their table, screeches on and off, and tears when they didn’t get what they wanted.

Perhaps I’m being unfair. Perhaps it wasn’t the children winding me up but the parents.

I’m sure they themselves were absolutely delightful adults. But the constant pandering to their offspring became the niggling background noise to my pub lunch.

It was their never-ending offering of choices to the little ones and the incessant desire of the parents to appear their children — not just for the sake of a quiet lunch but because that’s how parents seem to be nowadays.

Ceaseless choices create greater problems So many spend their time sucking up to their children.

I would paint myself as a liberal parent. But I am also a strict disciplinarian. I insist on good behavior and bloody good manners.

Historically, of course, that hasn’t always been easy to achieve—if my own ungratefuls were going through tantrums and hysterical outbursts at home or when they were too young to understand compromise.

I have always believed that giving children choice is a terrible idea. The more choice you give, the more they will run rings around you.
And that’s not a bit of me.

The ceaseless smorgasbord of choices, options and preferences offered by today’s parents — where do they want to sit; would they like this or that; stay or go; get down from the table or continue with family lunch — creates greater problems and makes children demanding and selfish.

Not to mention the constant entertainment required to keep children occupied. It leaves me exhausted.

So, on reflection, it’s more about the parents than the children.

Is it a modern phenomenon, this obsession with keeping little ones captivated, gratified and distracted?

Is there a chance parents are overdoing it? That children are over-indulged and expected to be permanently satisfied? I think so. What happened to telling children what they can and can’t do, what they can and can’t have, with a decent expectation they will do what they are told?

I get this overwhelming feeling parents are no longer in the driving seat because, by continually pleasing their kids, they are putting them in control. Surely that’s not how it’s supposed to be.

I was always very firm with my Ungratefuls. Sure, they were given the chance to choose what to eat and so on, but there were lines in the sand. There were boundaries.

Any choices I gave them came in the form of “leading the witness”.

I never gave them infinite selections or preferences. I would decide on a couple of things I’d be happy to concede and verbally decorate the one option I wanted them to pick, ensuring that I stayed in charge.

Sorry isn’t anoff


Kristina Rihanoff’s comments about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were insensitiveCredit: Getty

I AM not a crier—and few things shake me to the core.

But the invasion of Ukraine has affected me profoundly.

It might have been the right thing to do to switch off all the news and shield my heart and mind from the horrors.

Over the past ten days it has felt as if the very fabric of life is for ever changed.

I was shocked, then, to hear former Strictly Come Dancing pro Kristina Rihanoff had tweeted that she didn’t “give as**t about war”, in a post that was quickly removed.

Apparently she cares more about her failing yoga business, which was forced to shut during the lockdowns.

She swiftly showered on social media with apologies if she had upset anyone. Shame on her.

How are some people so painfully incapable of reading the room?

And the moment an apology includes the word “if”, you know the antagonist meant every word they said.

She now declares she has empathy for Ukraine, on the basis that she gave her daughter a Ukrainian name.

Well, I gave my son Cameron a Scottish name. It does not mean I stand with the Scottish people when it comes to independence.

Pouting and spouting don’t add up, Chloe


Chloe Ferry is giving mixed messages out about body confidenceCredit: @ferry.body

SOCIAL media is funny. We love to show off our lives and give others an insight into our personality.

It’s our own little platform where we let people glimpse the parts of our lives we are willing to share.

Chloe Ferry of Geordie Shore fame, has confessed to being “very insecure” despite pouting up a storm in recent pictures wearing lingerie and sporting a full face of make-up.

I don’t for one second dispute that what the 26-year-old is feeling inside is self-doubt and insecurity.

But I struggled with people saying they feel insecure then posing provocatively, oozing confidence and control. It feels like a conflict.

You’re telling me one thing with your bedroom eyes but verbally that you are breaking inside and find it hard to love yourself.

We all like a good filter on Instagram, me included. I use basic ones from time to time but am quite willing for people to see me first thing in the morning, stripped of make-up and without the aid of a filter. I believe in balance.

If you have a much-modified body and face like Chloe, isn’t there a bit of dishonesty there?

She confesses to feeling the pressures of social media and says she is regularly trolled and called “fat and ugly”. She is clearly neither.

But by showing one thing and saying another, surely it further peddles untruth and dishonesty.

It’s home Swede home forever


Passport regulations can become a bureaucratic nightmareCredit: Getty

WHEN trying to catch a flight on a lads’ trip, my oldest Ungrateful was turned away at the airport last week because his passport was due to expire within three months. I mean, we all make mistakes. Oversight is easy.

But what bureaucratic reason is there for having an expiry date that is defunct?

This essentially means a five-year passport is valid only for four years and nine months; a ten-year passport valid only for nine years and nine months.

And, of course, different countries have different stipulations.

Our passports are everything. They are not only our gateway to going abroad but a certification of our identity.

And for me, with my Swedish passport, a declaration of where my soul belongs.

I refuse to surrender my Swedish passport despite having lived in this country for 43 of my 54 years because it gives me a sense of belonging and is an expression of my origins.

As a Swede abroad, it is quite the bureaucratic nightmare to renew it. I have to go to the Swedish Embassy in London with masses of documentation.

I suspect they are trying to put me off retaining my Swedish nationality.

Very kindly and very humanely, Sweden has done the right thing by allowing in immigrants and refugees from poor and war-torn countries.

Now they are finding themselves buckling under the pressure.

So, I now have to effectively earn my Swedish passport by stating every time I’ve visited my home country.

But no matter how hard they try to make me give it up, I will never relent. I was born Swedish and wish to die Swedish.

So, over my dead body, Sweden. You will NEVER get rid of me.

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