A young mother is out in the sunshine with her baby and toddler, hooped earrings glinting in the sun, the toddler is running ahead. Just as the toddler is about to run into the road the mother looks up from her phone and screams at the toddler to stop. Then continues shouting at her toddler for being naughty.
Another mother in baggy tracksuit, which has obviously never seen any type of exercise, with two young children in a shop, children running around, arguing and fighting with each other, mother keeps walking whilst adjusting her phone tucked in her bra strap, rollie tucked behind her ear, yelling at the top of her voice for the children to stop fighting or they won’t get their Happy Meal.
Sound familiar? These are scenarios that are repeated in towns all over the country and it really annoys me. But why does it annoy me? Is it really a problem? What makes me think I would do anything differently?
What’s the problem?
I believe part of the problem – no, the main problem – is that am I comparing when I was brought up 40+ years ago in a household with both parents, brother, sister and had no idea what a Happy Meal was, with today’s young parents who were brought up at least twenty years after me.
A lot has happened in those years, we didn’t have a home phone until I was 9 years old, or a colour tv, or a car. Today it is the minority who don’t have a mobile phone, computer games or tv. My Dad worked, my Mum worked part time but was always home when we left for school and arrived home.
I was brought up in the country where we were free to play outside, we would meet up with friends after school and play football. No bother, no trouble, no adult supervision. A group of youngsters seen out today would be assumed to be causing trouble and the parents blamed for being irresponsible.
Should I cut them some slack?
Maybe rather than being annoyed with young parents I should cut them some slack. I behave the way I do, partly due to the way I was brought up, what I witnessed, the language used, the lessons taught and the peer group I was part of. In the same way, the young mothers today are also behaving (and dressing) the way they do for those very same reasons.
I also have to remember I am focusing on the single teenage mothers, when in fact teenage pregnancy halved in the eight years upto 2017, the lowest number since records began. So why am I singling out these young mothers? Just because I don’t agree with the way they are raising their children?
So, what do you think? Should I stop being annoyed by young single mothers? Am I being unrealistic? Too judgemental? Please let me know.
Thanks for reading.
Justin – founder of twitway.com