This is one of those sorts of things that old codgers complain about as they get older. It never happened back when I was a kid.
Except in my case, this is true.
My house faces a small green where children (including my own) play. Kids being kids, this play sometimes leads to petty conflicts and squabbles, sometimes this leads to a scuffle in which blows may be exchanged - more often, it’s just silly angry words.
But with depressing regularity, I find myself confronted by an angry parent, outraged because one of my kids called their little angel a bad word (BTW: these are kids aged between 8 and 12, so they’re not innocent little toddlers), or told their little darling to go forth and multiply, as it were.
In such situations, I normally just nod, acknowledge what they’re saying, call my kids indoors (mainly to remove them from the developing situation) and have a little chat with them (in which it usually turns out they have their own version of the event, in which they are not the initiator of the commotion - and in some cases, I suppose this is even true).
I don’t apologise because a)it’s not me that did anything wrong, b)I don’t have full possession of the facts at that point and c)it turns out they’re not usually interested in, deflected or appeased by an apology - so I just don’t waste my breath.
But I find myself more and more, wanting to say to these parents: “Look, the only reason you think your kid is a precious little innocent angel is that I never come to your door with shrill complaints about some pissingly trivial conflict your kid started, but both of our children are too dumb or stubborn to just walk away from”
This never happened when I were a lad.
Never did my parents have to face down an angry rant from the aggrieved parent of a child who was called a rude name, or got her hair pulled in a scuffle.
Never would I even have dreamed of asking my parents to run off and confront some other parent over the behaviour of their obnoxious brat.
With the exception of very serious incidents involving broken limbs, stolen property or the presence of the police, the appropriate response to such conflicts (and the advice dished out by parents) was:
-If that kid is mean to you, just stay away from him in future.
So where did it come from, this idea that parents must micromanage every stupid little problem their children face? Has it always been there? (and I just missed it through some privilege of class or geography), or is it really not like it used to be?