Friday, 23 January 2015

The Secret of Good Parenting

People fret about how to be good parents, particularly during the troublesome late teenage years, so Nigel and I have established one simple criterion.

Our parenting tip came to light when I was out hiking with Carol, Caroline and Diane. 
“You know,” Diane said, “Even though the girls are grown up now, I can’t rest at night until I know they’ve got home safe.”

“Yes,” agreed Carol, “I often find myself listening for the key in the door.”

“It’s so worrying,” said Caroline, “When they’ve said they’ll be home at a particular time and then they’re not.”
I hadn’t said anything.
“What about you, Clare?”
I hesitate, then:
“Actually, we have trouble remembering who’s at home and who’s not and who’s out and who’s in.  Quite a few times now, we’ve double-locked the front door and gone to bed.  And it’s only at breakfast we discover we’re one short.”

Silence.  Rapid blinking.

“I mean, their friends’ parents usually give them a bed for the night.”

Silence continues.

“So now it’s a joke in our house.  When Nigel says ‘I’ve been a Good Parent tonight’, it means he hasn’t locked any of the kids out.   Ha ha ha ha ha.”

But none of them joined in.

Funny, you’d think they’d be grateful that we’ve distilled the mystery of parenting into one clear principle.