Thursday, October 28, 2010

In retrospect

Listening to: 'Me and You' by Nero [-]

I'm on a self-imposed TV ban at the moment...I have enough distractions from the thesis as it is, without feeling compelled to scream "bus wankers!" at no one in particular for a few hours after watching Inbetweeners. That said, I do allow myself exceptions...the MoBO Awards show was one, and the latest instalment of 'World's Strictest Parents' on BBC3 was another. I mean after RD told me that the priest at our meditation centre was in it, how could I not?!

The premise of the show, from what I could gather, is this: two wayward British teenagers are packed off to some far flung place for a week, where they will live with *drumroll please* the WORLD'S STRICTEST PARENTS *dun dun dunnn*. In Monday night's episode, a quintessential Essex girl and a posterchild of David Cameron's 'broken society' were sent to live with a family in Colombo. I enjoyed the show, partly 'cos the two chavs were hilarious and partly 'cos it made me long for home. And of course I got all excited seeing the priest on TV. And the doggy.

It also made me think about my own upbringing: were these parents really that strict? How strict were my parents in comparison? Would I have done anything differently?

I'm not sure if I can remember each and every issue that came up, but I'll list the ones I do recall.
  • No cellphones
    The mother said that their children don't have cellphones. I can relate to that - I only got a phone when I came to university. It's not that I asked and my parents said no - there just wasn't a need for one. At my old school, none of us had phones. When I switched schools for A/Ls, suddenly loads of people had phones. I still didn't see the need for one though. I remember walking along the corridor once and I heard this girl in a lower Form telling her friend how her mother's a bitch 'cos she wouldn't let her have a phone...I was horrified! One, because what do you need a phone for at that age?! and two...well, see the next point.
  • No bad language
    This is something that always disturbs me - children using bad language when talking to or about their parents. The two girls in the show...oh my word I wanted to slap them (or wash their mouths with soap #corporalpunishmentFTW). I dunno how that couple stayed so calm. If I had used that language in front of my parents, I would've been slapped silly. I've been slapped a fair bit, but never because of bad language - I just don't use bad language in front of my parents. Never have, never will. My parents know I use all sorts of words when I'm with my friends...but they know that I respect them enough not to let them hear it.
  • No smoking
    Erm...that goes without saying, no?
  • No birthday presents
    I guess that's unusual but then I didn't get birthday presents either. My parents worked on the principle that if I had been a good girl and they could afford what I was asking for, I'd get it regardless of the time of year. But seeing as I was being punished for most of the year, I didn't get much :P Which brings me to the next point...
  • No TV
    Another supposedly extreme one. True, there was no TV ban in our house...except when I was being punished. When I was about 14/15, I had a nasty habit of talking back to my parents, especially my mother. My mother now assures me that it was normal teenage behaviour, but I'm still ashamed of it. Anyway, if I had been especially rude, my TV rights were the first to go. I was rude so often that I think I got used to not watching any TV at all! Then my radio started getting confiscated...that's when I calmed down and started to behave :P
So yeah, that's it. Were these parents strict? Yeah I guess so. Were they the world's strictest parents? Hell no...I had classmates whose parents were muuuuuch stricter than this. How about my parents? I'd say yes they were strict, but fair. Very fair. And looking back, I wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. I think it's our culture, we are just accustomed to a bit strict upbringing. My parents believed in the 'spare the rod...' kinda parenting (I do too).

    I have seen Mum's nowadays who go 'Darling, don't do that, that's wrong. Please behave' when their kids go ape and I sit there, slack-jawed and I whisper to my Ma and say 'Imagine if that kid was ME!' Goodness. My Ma's punishment for talking back, which I stopped at a very a young age, was chewing on green chilie :|

    But you know, like you, I wouldn't have had it any other way.

  2. that show was a bit lame no. the whole thing reeked of bad scripting. the "son" was in uni with me, a few years junior and his surname is something else offscreen. i have a feeling that entire family was set up for the reality show.

    true, i didn't have a phone til i was 19 too, and i still dont see the point of a 14-15 year old having one. that said, it's hard to compare when i was 14 (that makes me sound oooold) to a 14-15 year old now simply because the context is so different and mobiles have become muuuch more common no?


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