Or rather, general disapprovals…
A Saturday afternoon performance of Swan Lake in a small town in England. You’d think most people would know it would be full of kids, right? You know, they had evening performance as well, you want child free, you go in the evening.
My daughter, three, absolute ballet fanatic, gets a little testy just after the interval, my partner takes her out for a quiet time in the hall. As she gets up, huffing man behind us grunts “good” as loudly as he can, with stern nods from his wife.
At the end, huffing man gets up and walks out before the ovations are finished, which to me is a greater insult to the performers than having a 3 year old ask “Who’s she?” when a new character comes on, call me crazy.
Then, bless them, all the middle aged couples around us state very loudly, “Who was that grumpy old bugger behind us, all he did was grumble for two hours, I think it’s wonderful people bring their kids to these things, much better than TV…” and one asked my daughter if she was going to be a ballet dancer when she grew up. I nearly cried.
I had a couple of friends over to teach them the Knizia LotR game: since my 6-year old has played it with me before, I let him sit in with us.
Afterwards my friend commented “You don’t talk to him like a dad, more like a brother.”
Now, I’ve heard form my friend that his usual interaction with parents & children is through his brother in law & nephews who are… let’s just say, raising their kids somewhat differently than me. As in shouting abuse being the main form of communication across the generations. So I’m not surprised that when playing a game with my articulate, polite, funny 6 year old (yes, he was showing off by being as good as possible), it doesn’t look like family relations “should”.
I reassured my friend I’m a) quite capable of being Dad (dramatic voice training helps) and b) Alex will have plenty enough friends, but only one dad and one mum.
On to general theory…
As a parent, you’re pretty much constantly on the defensive about your parenting choices. Whatever you do, half the people you know will disagree with you. For some people, it gets to the point where someone else parenting their children differently becomes a challenge to them. I’ve certainly seen this in reactions to home-schooling my child; “Are you saying your child’s too good for school, but my child isn’t?”
Projection, oh yeah.
Because the guilt gets internalised. “If they’re parenting that way, and the kid’s alright, then I’m parenting wrong. How dare they tell me how to parent!” 20 words, at least four logical errors.
So they have to set you straight…