Friday Dilemma: child cruelty or harmless fun?
Parenting. It’s the new oneupmanship. Ah, how quaint the days now seem when parents could raise their spawn in whatever manner they deemed fit, so long as it didn’t include whips and chains. Or not ones with barbs, anyway.
So. Today we present a dual dilemma, one for parents of girls, the other for parents of boys. There’s a little sexist stereotyping at play here, for which we don’t really apologise at all. The first dilemma involves the clip above.
Have you ever wondered what The Punch team does when we’re not writing stories or preparing the site for the following day? We often wonder ourselves. Apparently, a fair chunk of time is swallowed up watching videos of primadonna brats. Or should that be pre-Madonna?
If you don’t have a spare four mins and 15 seconds, allows me to summarise the video for you. It will make you want to die. Actually, it will make you want to die and take out the entire galaxy with you. You may also have the urge to do something unthinkably mean to a poodle. Like let it live.
Oh, but here’s the thing. Some people think it’s OK to dress eight year olds in tutus and let them squeal their lungs out on daytime television shows and elsewhere. The kid even raps somewhere around the two minute mark of the vid, which some find terribly clever and endearing.
Also of note is the younger girl, who does nothing except hang around and give the older one confidence. Kinda like those ponies they put in planes to pacify the European horses at Melbourne Cup time.
Anyway, you tell us. The decline-of-civilisation, or a perfectly normal way to promote the artistic interests of a talented young girl?
Now for the boy dilemma. This one is personal, and I trust you’ll excuse my parenting life staining these pages for the second time this week. It involves my five year old son, who is rather taken with backyard cricket. As in, he even prefers it to video games.
This is obviously intrinsically good. Thing is, he doesn’t like getting out. So I’ve decided he doesn’t have to. As I write this, he is 653 “not out”. He has actually gotten out dozens of times, but we always turn a blind eye.
So should I let him make 1,000 and perhaps even more? I say sure, why not? The kid is having fun. Good old fashioned physical fun. And by the way, he does all the addition of runs himself, so there is plenty of mental gymnastics going on too.
The obvious counter-argument is that parents have to set limits. Out means out, just as no means no. This Bradmanesque backyard innings could end up being the moment in life my son decides he can get away with whatever he likes. Strewth, he may even end up working for the Mob or one of the Big Four banks.
Where exactly are the limits in both these cases? As ever, you lot know better than we do.
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