I’ve been a father for almost six years which makes me feel very old. Where does the time go?
But in those six years that seem to have passed quicker than a train that isn’t scheduled to stop at your station, I feel I have learned a lot more about children and also a lot more about other parents.
I love having a good natter with other mums and dads.
I enjoy finding out about how their life as a parent compares to mine and what works and what doesn’t work when bringing up their little human beings.
But what I’ve come to realise is that there are some parents who only like to pass on the good news about their lives as parents and their wonderful, talented offspring.
We all like to brag now and then and it’s only natural to want to tell people about the successes in our lives.
However, I just wish people would be more honest and open about the other side of parenting.
All parents, and actually all non-parents too, have come into contact at some point with a mum and dad bragger. You must have done.
You know, the ones who tell you about how forward their child is; how amazing they are at gymnastics or how they’ve topped their class at reading, or are a genius at mathematics (note I didn’t use the words ‘maths’ – bragging parents will always use the full word).
If you’re on Facebook or Twitter I bet at some point you’ve had to watch a video of one of your friend’s children score a match-winning goal or accept a medal at some children’s dancing contest.
Or maybe it’s a photo of a child that you know came home with a slightly crumpled certificate in their book bag, one where the parent has tried to iron out the creases before the child is told to hold it up and smile so a photo can be taken.
Then it is instantly uploaded to social media for the whole world to see how amazingly talented their child is.
But I know over the past six years I’ve been guilty of these things too.
And I’m about to do it right now.
My daughters are amazing, clever and they make me so proud.
They are so well-behaved and both have glowing reports from their school and pre-school.
They get on well together and they clearly love each other very much.
But you know what? Sometimes they are not so good.
Sometimes they fight like cat and dog and sometimes they make steam come out of my ears.
Sometimes they don’t do as they are told straight away and sometimes they try to push the boundaries.
So next time you’re listening to a bragging parent, just remember all those naughty things your child does because their child almost certainly does them too.