Expert Parenting

I'm always chuffed to be asked by childcare magazines to provide expert comments on parenting. I view it as a perk of the job because I love to give my opinion on things, as my husband can testify



Chance to be creative on my CV

What makes me an expert I hear you ask? That's a very good question. Apparently being a director of a childcare company and being a working mum qualifies me for this role.

Seems like a bit of a stretch, but I'm not complaining. I can now put Parent & Childcare Expert on my CV. That can replace my only other achievement, which was winning the 100m Backstroke Championship when I was 11. Now that I'm 43, it was getting a bit embarrassing that this was the only notable thing I've done in my entire life.

What my son says I do best

So now I can say I'm a parenting expert. That's a bit of joke, though isn't it? Because who am I to say what is right or wrong when it comes to parenting, particularly as I seem to get it wrong most of the time myself.

I seem to spend a whole lot of time shouting, which I'm pretty sure is not what you're supposed to do. In fact that was one of the things my son said in his class when he was asked what his mum did best - shouting.

Admittedly he couldn't draw upon many other parenting skills when it comes to his mum - baking (no); sewing (absolutely not); crafts (disastrous).

However, he did point out to me when he came home that I'm very good at Lego, I can read, I always smell nice and I've got very good "trampolines" (not going to spell out what that is but suffice to say he seems to have his father's tastes).

Helicopter parenting - what's that?

I also can't be much of an expert when I had no idea what "helicopter parenting" was. Neither had I heard of "snow plough" parenting.

Apparently these are various methods of parenting that modern families now apply. I had to Google them. Helicopter parents apparently pay extremely close attention to a child's experiences and problems, particularly at school.

I think we used to call this interfering didn't we?

Snow plough parenting is where the parent tries to clear every obstacle from their children's paths in an effort to set them up for success - effectively you solve all of their problems for them so they are incapable of doing so themselves in later life.

Apparently there is also minimalist parenting, tiger parenting and non parenting (I think someone made that up - surely that just means you don't have kids?).

How to raise your children

Anyway the point I'm trying to make, and haven't successfully done so at all, is that who am I, or who is anyone, to tell others how to raise their children?

There is no right or wrong method (apart from of course the very obvious wrong methods that end up in court or social services).

Most parents, particularly ones that I know, do what they can to bring up their children, with the love, time and money available to them.

No-one gets it right all of the time

Love is always there, but time and money aren't always so readily available, so you adapt. No-one gets it right all of the time. But what you certainly don't need is someone like me telling you what to do.

And apparently neither did a childcare magazine - they passed me up for another so-called 'expert'. Time to re-think that CV again...

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

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