the skinflint philosopher

Thrifting our way (temporarily in Bulgaria) to a better life

The fine line between naughty and nice raspberries

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I’ve been watching a programme this evening presented by the po-faced Ms Robinson (temporary link here though it will expire in 20 days) discussing the questions no-one apparently likes to ask (though she relishes it, you can tell). This episode of ‘Britain’s secrets’ sees her being cabbie-driven from one address in leafy London to another to discuss parenting skills and how the interviewees rate themselves on a scale of 1-10. Of course, to make avid and controversial viewing, we are treated to a whole range of methodologies- the pushy parent, the benign neglect, the attachment parenting- I’m amazed at the terminology regardless of the practices involved.
Our choices as parents no doubt influence many aspects of the child’s life- both now and in the future. Our own (possibly unachieved goals) may get foisted onto a child, our own bad or good experiences shape our decision making, and certainly at Tiddler’s age, we dictate clothes, food and even friendship choices. Given that this is Thrifter’s first attempt at parenting, I guess so far it is all pretty much untried and untested and therefore fertile ground for opinion making. Even being an aunt to two hasn’t really had much of an impact, as those not-so-little cherubs are across the water and seen at odd intervals only.
Fundamentally of interest here, is that Tiddler is testing the boundaries at the moment. We have seen this week the start of a sort of angry raspberry blowing shenanigans going on. That delicate raspberry sound, cute and lovable from a bubbling baby, giggly as a toddler on the tummy, has now somehow been subverted into a Tiddler equivalent of the two-fingers up at authority. It can mean ‘I’m crying about something and want you to know how really cross I am’ all the way down to ‘you expect me to eat peas with the skins on?’. My own parenting choices are laid bare here I suppose if I even admit to the onerous task of peeling the skins off a bowl of petit pois for the sake of getting a few more greens in.
So we have told Tiddler, in some convoluted attempt at modelling good discipline rather than shouting after bad, that naughty raspberries are not acceptable. But that nice raspberries are.  A good skinflintery motto is of course ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ and perhaps this is really what might be the real measure of successful parenting. Acting in advance, rather than managing the collateral damage. Teach a child that an outcome (raspberry) must be tempered with intent (nice), and the whole world could end up a better place.
Go out into your day tomorrow folks, and blow someone a raspberry.


Author: Theskinflintphilosopher

Call me thrifty, prudent, tight or even a miser, but squirreling money away is definitely my thing. The ins and outs of how saving money became a lifestyle, in order to work towards a specific lifestyle change. Follow me on that journey and learn to look at life in a different way.

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