Grand slam for parents

Different problems: Grandparents and working mums
Different problems: Grandparents and working mums
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Children are ill-disciplined, bad-mannered, disrespectful – and getting away with blue murder.

It’s not only judges sternly voicing such damning criticism as yet another teenage looter appears in the dock for sentencing, though. It’s their grandparents.

Different problems: Grandparents and working mums

Different problems: Grandparents and working mums

The very people who have pampered, spoilt and adored them from the moment they were born, even when you’ve begged them not to, reckon their grand-kids are growing up without the right guidelines.

You might know it, though; they aren’t blaming the kids. It’s not their little angels’ faults. It’s ours. Their own sons and daughters have turned out to be rubbish parents.

Two-thirds believe their grandchildren are not as firmly disciplined as their own children were.

One in six go as far as saying their offspring have actually failed as parents.

The findings, from a study carried out by the Mature Times, make for pretty upsetting reading. War could break out over doily-covered G-plan coffee tables across the country as parents confront their parents.

It feels like betrayal: is this what you really think of us? Behind that sweet, Steradented smile, are you judging us? When you head off for your Early Bird two- for-a-fiver meals at the pub, are you bitching behind our backs?

OK, maybe I’ve gone a bit paranoid. But there’s definitely an element of truth in this. No matter how much support and encouragement your parents willingly and lovingly give you when you’re bringing up kids, you know the “This wouldn’t have happened in our day” line is itching to come out.

They do think they did it better. And maybe they’re right. When I look back at my childhood I had to do more chores than my son does, got packed off to bed earlier than he was and got far fewer presents and clothes than my spoilt boy.

But how much harder is it for us than it was for them?

They’ll argue that one all the way to the post office on pension day. They’ll tell you how they had to scrimp and save to eke out the housekeeping and went without so you could have new school-shoes.

And they did; they did.

But while we undoubtedly have more money than they ever did, we’re time-poor.

When I was growing up, most mothers were housewives - only a few had part-time jobs for pin-money.

They were always there.

They took you to school, went home to the housework and got back to the school gates for the home-time bell.

Those women brought their daughters up to have more than that. But now we’re racing around trying to hold down full-time jobs and be the best mothers we can.

We spoil our kids and bend the rules to appease the guilt of not being the hands-on parents ours were.

We are what they made us. So, it’s not our faults. It’s theirs.