How To Be a Parent? Ask The Kids!

Abby BoidIn yesterday’s summary of my week-of-wordpress-wonderings, I realised there had not been much talk about the kids. Erm. Bit of an oversight when talking about parenting, don’t you think?

Then, I had the wondrous idea of asking my children what they think makes good, happy Mummy and Daddy’s. I recorded our conversations and attach them within this post.

The great part about this wizard wheeze of mine is that if, at about day 25 of NaNoWriMo, it looks like I am so close yet so far to the 50,000 target word count, I can transcribe our conversations and attach them as an appendix. Oh yeah.

I loved my conversation with the 3-year-old. Here it is:

3 year old on goodness pt1

3 year old on goodness pt2

It is a true testament to the joy of living in the moment. Seriously, when someone is thrusting a microphone in your direction, with lots of flashing lights on it, then why waste your time answering ridiculous questions? In fact, turn the microphone on and off when Mummy drops her guard. That explains the 2 parts to my conversation with him.

When you do decide you can be bothered to answer the questions your Mother asks, be truthful: What makes a happy Daddy? A Good Mummy?

“I don’t know!”.

Well son, neither do I.

It was Socrates who, in declaring that he knew that he knew nothing, revealed his true intelligence. I am spending 30 days with some vague optimism that I might find some satisfying answers on how I should parent. The three-year old is wiser than that. He sees his time is better spent working out how to make the microphone play music. Clever boy!

The conversations with the 4 and 6 years olds were uplifting, a little heartbreaking, and made me stop in my tracks, once I reflected upon them.

The 4 year old was very aware of the different roles myself and my husband play – Mummy making brekkie, Daddy going to work.

I am not too worried about how gender-stereotyped our roles are at the moment. But it is interesting how soon he has picked up on who does what, and how he is currently assuming that’s just the way it is: if he becomes a Daddy, he believes he too will go to work. Here is my conversation with him:

4-year-old on goodness

There’s a lot of talk about presents within the chat with the 6 year old. This is, I assume, because there have been a lot of conversations about Christmas, and lots of stern words about how we aren’t going to have any more of these conversations before December.

Once you get past that, it is painfully clear how, with the older two, they see their happiness as totally wrapped up in their being ‘good’. It also seems that their being good is defined as what makes Mummy and Daddy happy. Here is our conversation:

6-year-old on goodness

In this home it seems that Happy Mummy and Daddy = Happy Kids. And that Good Kids = Happy Mummy and Daddy. That’s a hell of a responsibility when you are six, don’t you think?

Clearly, this is not a scientific exercise. None of this blog is. But as Mummy to these three children, it makes me more determined to have a few more days reflecting on what ‘being good’ means, both for me and for them.

It seems that in their minds, happiness is so dependent upon how good they are.

And we want our kids to be happy.

Don’t we?


It’s all getting a bit technological this ‘ere blog, isn’t it? Well, it is by my basic standards. For a great initiative on getting more women involved in tech. check out Tech Mums

Here is an extract from their about page:

Technology is critical to our future yet many women, particularly mums, are scared of tech, worried about its impact on their children and unaware of the life-changing opportunities it can offer. #techmums changes that by offering free hands-on workshops and online support to mums in order to give them the confidence, skills and inspiration they need to take part in the digital revolution



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