I came across this rather curious phrase – ‘Performance Parenting‘ – whilst browsing through the Mumsnet threads. Now I do love a bit of Mumsnet, but this reference really got my goat.
‘Performance Parenting’ describes a parent who purposefully and flamboyantly ‘educates’ their child in any given situation, for the benefit of other parents. Giving over the impression that their parenting is more ‘highbrow’ and better than others. Yes, this is really a thing apparently. If you click on this link to Mumsnet, you’ll see that it causes great offence to those that have come across it!
Maybe we have all been a bit of overzealous with parenting at times. I know I have clapped like a demented seal when my children have done something I think is fabulous. Or when I’ve unwittingly narrated every move made at the park,
”Oooh look Theo…..a stick……..yes look Theo…….a pond……..a cat…………how lovely!! “
I had no idea ‘Performance Parenting’ was even a thing, let alone a topic that could spark such vitriol among the Mumsnet crew. I started to wonder whether I was guilty of this frowned upon activity.
The answer is yes, I am and I’ve probably had lots of eye-rolling directed at me whilst vociferously chatting to Theo.
But I don’t class it as ‘Performance Parenting’. I’m not a knob of epic proportions trying to trump others parenting skills (do people do this????!!!!) The thought would never cross my mind. Yes, I speak slowly and clearly to Theo at the park. Yes, I trill ‘Ready, Steady……..Go’ and ensuring he looks at me before pushing him in the swing.
I find myself pointing out every tree I can find, every bird, cat, dog or any other bloody creature that we see. I’m aware I’m sounding like Mr Tumble when I repeat for the thousandth time…..
“Theo, where’s the cat? There’s the cat”………
Believe me, I am aware that I probably look like a ‘Performance Parent’. Do you know what? I don’t give a monkeys……..
I’m not speaking to my child in clear, short sentences because I want to, nor is it for the benefit of onlookers. I do it as he has limited understand and no language. This isn’t Performance Parenting, its necessary parenting. I’m trying to encourage his communication skills. Best cart me off to jail eh???
How do we know others who have been accused of this parenting ‘crime ‘are not doing the same as me?
When did we become so bloody judgmental and obsessed about others parenting? Who cares if people ‘Performance Parent’? Ignore it….it doesn’t affect those who witness it does it? It’s just a mild annoyance. These parents maybe like me, who will do anything to help their child communicate and understand the world around them.
Yes, this might be irritating to some but so are people that judge and criticise others. It’s my biggest pet hate.
As parents, why can’t we accept that we all do it differently? Bringing up kids is hard enough without all this insanity. Lets just support each other in our parenting journeys, be kind, considerate and open minded- it would certainly make the bumps in the road easier to deal with.
In the words of Forrest Gump…..”That’s all I have to say about that…………..”
Bye for now lovelies!!