What’s your parenting style?

Yummy-mummies, overprotective fathers, lazy parents - which are you? Discuss this article

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© ITP Images

Q1 You are at the mall and have given your kid an ice cream, and notice a stranger’s younger child grab a fistful of it off the cone while walking by. Do you:
A Smile indulgently and try to organise a playdate with the parents to discuss parenting techniques. The ice cream was homemade anyway and you brought extra portions in one of the six portable freeze boxes you carry everywhere.

B Look at the dismantled ice cream, look back at the 10-minute queue for replacements, look back at the ice cream and after picking off stray bogeys tell your child there is plenty left and just finish it up.

C Rush your child to the nearest bathroom and sterilise their arms, head and neck. Give them a survey about how the loss of ice cream makes them feel and promise to never let anybody take their ice cream ever again.

D Block the other parent’s exit and refuse to move until they reimburse you for the ice cream the child has just taken.

Q2 You meet your child’s teacher and she hands you a report pointing out seven areas where your child needs to improve in school. The report has four spelling mistakes and three grammatical errors. Do you:
A Thank the teacher and promise to take the feedback on board. Between after school clubs and choir practice there will be time for some tutoring.

B Nod agreement, but not really take it on board because you’re thinking the shawarma stand will be open soon and you can get one on the way home. Mmmmm, lovely shawarma.

C Take your child out of public education and start home-schooling. There is no way your babies need to be treated like this.

D Don’t say a word to them but send the report back the next day with red ink all scrawled over the stupid errors.

Q3 Your child gives you an invitation to a schoolmate’s birthday party at a soft play centre. Do you:
A Send a message to your parenting Whatsapp group (‘Together Families’) saying you would love to come and that you will bring pumpkin cookies for the parents and veggie rolls for the kiddlywinkles. You actually use the word kiddlywinkles.

B Pretend to have never seen the invitation. The party is on a Friday morning and that is usually ‘Movie marathon for kids while mum and dad have a long lie-in time.’

C Call the parents and ask about the safety equipment that is available at the mall and go online to order an extra set of kneepads and a back-up helmet.

D Accept immediately and privately resolve to settle scores with a few of the more obnoxious kids in the ball pool.

Q4 It is date night and your babysitter cancels at the last minute. Do you:
A Fire off a quick blog post about the difficulties of managing a home and a relationship then take out one of the craft kits you made from recycled cereal boxes and take the children on the date with you. They always sit so nicely in the restaurant and you deserve the night out as well.

B The kid sleeps the whole night through and has got a bottle of milk in the cot for the morning. Surely you could nip out for just a couple of hours, couldn’t you?

C Breathe a massive sigh of relief. You were not happy leaving your little one for the night anyway and even with the six webcams you had set up you did not want to take any chances.

D Leave a five-minute voicemail message on the babysitter’s answerphone telling them they have made a mortal enemy and how you are going to make sure they never work with children, adults, animals or machinery ever again.

Q5 Your child sniffs. Do you:
A Defrost the batch of natural lemonade you stored in the freezer last winter and throw an impromptu snuggle session with a movie under the blankets.

B Sniff back and carry on reading your magazine.

C Call the doctor and demand an ambulance come pick you up and activate code yellow emergency lock down of the apartment.

D Tell the child it better not be getting ill any time soon because you’ve all got important things coming up and can’t have weaklings ruining family Olympics for everybody involved.

Q6 Your mother-in-law is visiting and wants to sit down and discuss your child’s behaviour. Do you:
A Grab a pencil and paper to take notes. She has been through all this before and must have lots of useful advice to share, you're sure.

B In-laws are coming? That means free babysitter for two weeks. Start looking at weekend escape deals, quick.

C Panic about their hazardous attitude to safety. They didn’t even own a steriliser and have never installed that stairgate you bought them for the bungalow.

D If they want a fight then that is exactly what they will get. Plan to go on the offensive and meet them at the airport with a monologue about how they’re not fit to say your name and if they think they are going to take your kid away then they have another thing coming.

Q7 Another child tells you they saw your kid going into the bedroom that has since had drawings scribbled on the wall. Do you:
A
Sit the children in an honesty circle and improvise a play with finger puppets about the importance of always telling the truth.

B Pretend to listen then go and laugh at the Teletubby graffiti that has been scrawled over a QR10,000 couch.

C Frame the child. Nobody knows who did it, but you can’t risk the damage to your child’s reputation caused by any accusations.

D Fix the child with an icy glare and tell them nobody likes a tell-tale and explain what happens to a ‘grass’ in prison without leaving out any details.

Q8 A family with similar-aged children moves in next door. Do you:
A
Give them a welcome pack, print off your family bio and invite them to a barbecue so they can be introduced to their new friends.

B Keep an eye on the bins. Packing cases make for good toys and you could save a fortune.

C Look nervously out of windows and peepholes while muttering about how the removal van is causing traffic jams that could disrupt sleep for days.

D Get angry every time their door slams shut behind the delivery men. DON’T PEOPLE KNOW YOU ARE TRYING TO WORK IN HERE!!??

Q9 Your toddler has just started walking and has learned how to climb out of their cot at night. Do you:
A
Designate a section of your bedroom as a cuddle corner. If your baby does make its way out of its nursery and into your bedroom then it will have a cosy and nurturing environment waiting for it.

B Lock bedroom doors and let the child fend for itself. 8pm to 8am are not family time and the child is basically independent now, anyway.

C This is what you have been preparing for. Walls are padded, doors and cupboards double-locked, and all possessions are either nailed down or hidden away.

D Make an obstacle course of toys and distractions between the cot and your bed. The child needs to understand the consequences of its actions.

Q10 The school sends home a letter about head lice. Do you:
A
Be certain that your child’s hair is not the culprit, but prepare a homemade shampoo just in case.

B Cross your fingers and hope for the best.

C Reach for the clippers, detergent and hose pipe, this is going to be a long night, people...

D Take inspections into your own hands and have children lined up in front at school pick-up. You'll get this sorted.

How did you get on?

A's You’ve read all the parenting books, have attended all the classes and dedicate all your time to being perfect for your children. You wear the yummy mummy badge with pride (even if you are a father) but you still have no clue what you’re doing.

B's Not everybody is a natural parent, but are you sure children are safe in your company? You are lazy, irresponsible and not cut out for this. However, you love your children and admit that you are making this up as you go along.

C's Overprotective doesn’t even begin to describe the state of constant worry and mollycoddling interference you subject your child to. You might think you are looking after the next generation but the truth is you're smothering them and are just as rubbish
a parent as the people you judge.

D's Make no mistake about this – you are probably a psychopath. Settling scores, grilling kids and raging at teachers or neighbours are not acceptable ways to let off steam. Yes, sometimes we'd all like to be Hannibal Lecter, but look what happened to him.

By Will Milner
Time Out Doha,

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