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Letting him be

At the weekend the wife and I took the boys to one of those themed events where you all get to do stuff as a family. The event was based around creative activities which is fine by me, as I did A-level art. But as I loaded us all into the car it dawned on me that I was going to have to be a parent in public!

I imagine we’ve all been there – either in the park, at a party, or in the supermarket – and our kids have a meltdown or simply won’t do as they are told and folks start to stare. I don’t know about you, but having to parent my kids in public terrifies me.

The first session was fine – lots of jumping around and letting off steam which, for most of the kids, worked well, but Harvey is not most kids. Whilst his brother mellowed with the passing activities and got into the zone, Harvey took on more and more characteristics of Tigger.

My wife was chilled as she sat next to me, The fact that Harvey was not following directions to the letter didn’t seem to bother her at all. I, however, was squirming in my seat. I looked around at the other parents there: What were they thinking? What were they thinking about Harvey and, more importantly, what were they thinking about ME?

My head was full of questions: Should I go get him and focus him? Should I take him outside? Was he annoying the lady taking the session? Was he annoying the other kids?I knew he was annoying me! 

But as parents we had already been told to let our kids be and to trust the workers taking the sessions to take control. I worried away for what seemed like hours until the session leader spoke to Harvey and got him settled. Well, for a few minutes anyway.

By the time the whole event had come to an end, let’s just say ALL the workers there knew Harvey by name! He had most definitely been expressive in his creativity, went forward to talk into the microphone at EVERY opportunity, and had a whale of a time.

Me? Well, I actually learnt a bit of a lesson. You see, whilst I thought other parents were judging me for my lack of parenting skills that caused my child to run free and from my perspective distract others, the comments I got afterwards from those other mums and dads couldn’t have been further from that.

“ I loved that your son is so confident.

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