Interesting what Véronique says about how your 24 hours belong to you. I admit I’m still at the “criticizing others for their obvious failings” stage, but I take her point. I don’t know how I would cope with several children wanting to do several activities in several places. Probably not very well.
I’ve been thinking about “normal” parenting a lot lately. I’m reading a surprisingly interesting biography of Prince Charles (don’t ask) that was published before his marriage to Diana (ditto) and his family had a lot of trouble giving him as much of a “normal” upbringing as they could (one of Her Majesty’s least noticed virtues is that she has always been ahead of her time, and so has her first-born son; he got heavily into organic farming and sustainable development well before these things became popular). His situation was anything but normal and yet his parents struggled to give him a taste of the kind of life normal Britons lead. He always had to deal with journalists and photographers anywhere he went, and he spent his school years with a full-time detective in tow, but he did manage to go to school – the first Prince of Wales to do so.
How do you know whether what you’re doing is right? Is following your gut enough? I don’t know. It’s a lot easier to criticize other people…
Tanya adds: Agreed. I was a great parent, and I knew it all, until I had one of my own. I used to see badly behaved children everywhere I went. I hardly see any so terrible anymore.
Véronique asks: Who said: “At the onset of my career (I think it was a child psychologist), I had no kids and 12 principles. Now, I have 12 kids and no principles.” ?