Image by Jacob Botter

Please note: this post is written by someone who is not a parent and who has no interest in adding to the parent guilt industry.

I think children can be ruthlessly clear-eyed. Here is an example of what I mean. Young Flossie asks her mum Fanny if she can please go play with her friends. Fanny says no. Young Flossie keeps asking – over the next 20 minutes or so she probably asks the same question in pretty much the same words about 60 or more times. At the end of 20 minutes Fanny says, “Oh, alright then”. Young Flossie then said, “I knew if I went on long enough you’d let me”. (I’ve changed the names but this happened to a friend of mine.)

I don’t think it surprising that children are this clear-eyed. They spend a lot of time around their parents. Children are physically, emotionally and financially dependant on their parents. Whether a child’s life is pleasant or not is largely controlled by the parents. This means that children have a lot of reasons to be clear about what their parents are like, and what works with their parents.

The point I am making is that children can be very realistic.

Which brings me to children parenting their parents. Part of us growing up is often learning about parenting – and part of this is often directed to our parents. We want to help them do things around the house. We make attempts to be kind to them and help them out.

My guess is that sometimes children would be very good parents for their parents. (Only on those things they are personally well acquainted with – but that applies to us adults too.)

So if you are a parent or have spent a lot of time with particular children I’d like to ask you a question: Have you ever been well parented by a child? Have they given you good advice or done something that was just what you needed? Or, have you had bad experiences with children trying to parent you? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments.

If you liked this post you might also like:
They Are After Attention (and so are we)
Listening to Children
Five Things To Do For The Child Inside You


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