Sunday, 8 May 2011

In which I rant about mollycoddling children.

As a Very Bad Mother, I’m often asked what I think of mollycoddling children.

Alright – you got me. Nobody ever asks me anything given my Very Bad Mother status, but if they did, then this is how I’d reply.

There are children, all over the world, who have enormous responsibilities. I’m not saying that all five-year olds should walk two miles a day, twice a day for water. I’m not suggesting that it is okay for a seven-year old to take care of her eight-month old twin brothers. But they do it – they do it and they cope.

A childhood absolved of responsibility is a porous foundation. We are currently bringing up a generation of children who have been so pampered, so cosseted, that I truly worry whether there will be anyone willing or able to wipe my bottom when I’m a dribbling juddery wreck. Alright – an old dribbling juddery wreck.

Not to mention, they’ll be running the show. Our generation aren’t doing a brilliant job ourselves, but we were brought up when you were allowed to lose the sack race. It was possible to come last in the egg and spoon. The next leaders of our nation have never been allowed to fail, never felt the embarrassment of failure. How does one lead a country if one has never entered into healthy competition?

“It’s not a competition” the teachers say to me, when I enquire as to where my daughter is in the class. Of course it bloody is. Life is a competition. Exams are competitions, Job interviews are competitions and promotions are competitions.

Perhaps whilst I busy myself with being a Very Bad Mother, all the women out there running around after their indulged children could stop (if they can catch their breath) and wonder – is my little treasure a trove or a rogue.


  1. Hi I am a Korean literary agent selling Korean translation rights on behalf of foreign publishers/authors. I have a Korean publisher who is interested in your book. Would you please email me if you are interested in selling Korean translation rights? Amo Noh
    email - amonoh (at) amoagency dot com

  2. Hello Amo

    Thank you for your interest. I have forwarded your enquiry onto my agent, Jeff Silberman of The Literary Group International.

    Thanks again,

    Kind regards,


  3. Hello again, Amo.

    My agent has had some trouble trying to find contact details for you. I wonder if you would be so kind as to get in touch with him on
    Los Angeles Office
    1900 Ave. of the Stars, 25 Fl.
    Los Angeles, CA 90067
    Tel: (310) 282-8961

    Many thanks,