Papa Don't Preach
Scott Kara's (rough) guide to being a father.

When to mind your own business


It's incredible how willing people are to judge you as a parent - and give you their two cents' worth about bringing up your kids.

Michael Laws is among the most high profile exponent of this rude behaviour. And this week it came back to bite him with news there would be a tail-between-his-legs apology and pay-out to the grieving Paeroa parents he criticised on his radio show.

Their son was killed when he was hit by a car as he turned into their driveway on his trail bike.

To be fair to Laws, the accident was initially reported as a quad bike incident, which have been involved in a number of needless fatal accidents in the past.

Nevertheless, his slating of the parents as irresponsible is harsh and comparing them to Chris Kahui and Macsyna King - the parents of dead twins Chris and Cru Kahui - is plain ridiculous.

So fair enough, he and the radio station involved should apologise and fork out some cash.

While the Laws case is extreme it's a good example of minding your own business when it comes to offering parenting advice.

Unless you're asked, of course. And I've come to find special exceptions have to be made for Nanas and Grandmas.

But it really is incredible how willing people are to judge you and your parenting skills. And these people are not just family and friends - often it's strangers who feel the need to share their parenting gospel.

They pick on things like what you feed your kids: Ever noticed the raised eyebrows of some passers-by when you're sitting in the food court at McDonald's and your little one is chowing down on some chips? Yes, their actions are implicit, but you get the message.

What kids should watch on TV - or if they should watch it all - is another popular issue. And sometimes it's not even based on whether it's bad for them or not, but whether it's cool.

I've been told by a friend that The Wiggles are not cool. Yeah, yeah, I know they're not cool, but my little girl is still only two and she likes them (although Jungle Junction and Clifford are more in vogue these days).

Then there's the daycare topic. It's possibly the most emotional issue going when it comes to kids and parents, which can make for some forthright, no-holds-barred opinions from those who don't believe in it.

I'd much rather hang out with Mia while her mum's bringing in the bucks, or vice versa, but we both choose to work to enable us to get ahead - and also because we love our jobs. And that should be our choice, no one else's.

I've been given a lot of advice and comments since I started writing this blog - and it's useful, quite often touching, and sometimes blunt.

Writing a blog makes me fair game so I'll take anything and everything people fire at me. But out in the real world people should just butt out.

Besides, I'm still learning this parenting thing. In fact, I don't think I'll ever stop learning, but chances are my wife and I will know what's best for our kids better than anyone.

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 23 May 2017 06:30:52 Processing Time: 584ms