Doing a Bono
Criticising someone’s parenting is like making a comment on another country’s culture, says Marlon.
The furore over the U2 front man’s comments was, after careful analysis, a storm in a teacup. It would appear that he did not really support  our beloved Jujubean. Judging from the initial reaction from Steve Hofmeyer and the like, it would appear that Mr Bono has indeed lost one or two fans. All good fun, I say. 

Yes, yes, I’m getting to the point. And the point is, don’t make comments about someone else’s culture or history if you are not part of that culture or history. If you don’t truly understand the nuances and undercurrents that exist in every culture, rather do zip your lip.

And this applies to parenting styles. Hah, bet you didn’t see that one coming. Everyone has a right to raise their kids in their own way. And no one has the right to interfere. In extreme cases, such as impending death, doom and starvation, you may inform the authorities and let the law take its course.

I saw a father slap his 5 year-old across the face in the mall the other day and nearly broke my rule about interfering, but then I remembered that my mom once threw a kitchen fork into my sisters’ arm at dinner because she wouldn’t stop sniffing. It wasn’t a big deal at the time, but clearly not cool parental behaviour! I was fascinated at how the fork actually reverberated once it was embedded in her arm - remember we had no MNet back in the 70s.

But I’ve learned, sometimes the hard way, that you don’t dispense parental advice to other parents even if they allow their kids to run around all day with a stink bum, or they enjoy the sight of their little mites smiling back at them with a snot encrusted snout! Just smile and wave and make sure your own rug rats are in fine fettle.

My kid’s better than yours

Another no-no is having the parental pissing contest. ‘My Jenny got three A’s and was voted best student to not suck in life,’ should not be met with ‘that’s nice, but my Susan held her breath for 10 minutes in the pool the other day and has no brain damage at all.’

We all have, or should have a healthy pride in the achievements of our kids and we should accept the blabbering of our peers about them with magnanimity and the intuitive knowledge that our kids will always be better than theirs.

It’s all about minding your own business. So next time you visit a foreign clime Mr Bono, just smile and wave behind those ridiculous shades you insist on wearing. In the end there’s no harm done, I guess. Your shows were sold out, and even Steve hopped on the nearest tractor not to miss the show.

Are you guilty of criticising someone else's parenting?

Read more by Marlon Abrahams

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