I love my kids

Honestly. I’m not just saying that in case they might end up reading this one day. They rank highly on list of greatest achievements. There are some a lot of times they drive me absolutely nuts. But as their dad, I am allowed to say this. I have banked a considerable amount of ‘Dad Points’ over the last 8 years and if I want to cash a few in by saying how bloody annoying they are then I am fully entitled to.

However, this deal isn’t extended to anyone else. Even you.


We’ve just had a tough weekend. NJ had football training and we left with him happy after he scored a hat-trick in the training match.

However, we later heard that the coach of the other team called NJ an idiot in front of the other kids and parents. Don’t get me wrong, this is clearly not the worst thing he could have been called but NJ is only eight years old and this came from a figure of responsibility within the club (and also a parent of one of the other boys).

At first I didn’t know what to make of it. I had heard it second hand so assumed it must have been a misunderstanding. So, the next day I spoke to the coach and expected them to be horrified that they had been misquoted. Instead, they went on a tirade against NJ and ranted about his behaviour and attitude and my failings as a parent to control him. I was dumbfounded. We have not had any complaints from other parents, coaches or the club about him and on the evening it happened, he had done nothing more than score a few goals.

We know he can be difficult

Now, as a bit of background, I’ve already written about how NJ is highly sensitive, has intense emotions and prone to meltdowns. In football it is no exception – he is regularly tripped, kicked and pulled in matches, is sometimes mocked by the other boys, and can get frustrated when this team loses. As a consequence he has recently had a couple of his infamously public meltdowns.

I am first to admit he is absolutely no angel – he is stubborn, competitive and opinionated and struggles to contain his emotions when things aren’t going well. We are aware of his sensitivities and are helping him managing it as best as he can.

What doesn’t help is NJ being judged by someone who presumes to know him and his background and openly state that he is an idiot. Someone who is in a position of responsibility and should have certainly known better.

Here’s the deal

If you see my kids having any sort of meltdown, tantrum or any other type of public display of attention try to keep your opinions to yourself. The chances are you won’t know what has caused it, don’t know what we’re going through, don’t know what challenges we have, and to be honest, anything you say WILL NOT HELP.

If there is something about my kids’ behaviour that concerns you, speak to me – not to other parents and certainly not in front of other kids.

Remember all kids are different and believe it or not, I know my kids better than you. My kids are not the same as yours and whereas yours might be angelic, easy to please cherubs, don’t be horrified to learn that mine aren’t.

Remember that all parents have their own struggles – just because my kids have a meltdown or act out, it doesn’t mean I’m a bad parent, or that I don’t care, or that they’re horrible children.

So, that is my little rant over. Have you been on the receiving end of some judgemental adults who take it upon themselves to criticise your kids?

One Messy Mama

8 thoughts on “You don’t get to criticise my kids

  1. Do you know what my first thought was when I read this?
    “Good on you, NJ.”

    It doesn’t sound like he has the best support from his team, which is sad, and I hope the boys do develop a better understanding and empathy, but he has turned up to training and matches all the same, and tried his best even when it got difficult. If he grows up remembering this incident, I hope he doesn’t remember feeling ashamed, but proud and supported when his dad stood up for him.

  2. I love your article. Yes, I have been on the receiving end of someone criticizing my child. She’s not 8, she’s 38. However, the impact is the same. Believe this, I gave the caller a piece of my mind. Always stand up for your children, and explain to them that the world is full of mean people. Unfortunately, we can’t shield our children from the world. But, we can give them a safe place in our homes, heart and arms.

  3. Someone once stepped in when I was dealing with my tantruming son saying they were a nanny and knew better than me. Well they were wrong. My eldest is very sensitive and has communication issues which means he used to scream rather than try to express his feelings. I was shaking with rage after the event 🙁 Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

  4. Nice post. It’s surprising how judgemental people can be, especially when they view situations from a distance; when they are removed from the facts. As for the coaching staff … well, they need reminding that the are in a position of authority, trust and to many of the kids they are role models. What you described is atrocious. Rants away, my son.

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