Dan Barron knows his stuff. He’s been using an English accent and raising his kids as a stay at home Dad and a working Dad for some good long years and he’s been digging his heals in against the hard-headed ‘stereotype-loving’ types and fighting the good fight, and along the way he’s accumulated a lot of knowledge and some powerful enemies. At The Northern Dads Group in Melbourne we call him the Stay At Home Godfather and we go to him regularly for advices. We always follow his advices.
Last week we sat respectfully behind his big wooden desk after offering him expensive gifts so that he wouldn’t order us some concrete boots and we listened to his ideas on different parenting styles. We agreed with everything he said. And I promised to post it here at Reservoir Dad. And I’m also washing and pressing his suit (and I will have it back to you first thing in the morning, as promised, Stay At Home Godfather.)
What Type Of Parent Are You?
Stay At Home Godfather Dan Barron
The ‘Anxious First Time’ parent (AFTP) – They will be the one sprinting Usain Bolt-style across a crowded room or playground to the aid of their baby who has tripped on a piece of tanbark and is crying, well, like a baby (and may well have dislodged three or four skin cells). Most AFTPs ‘grow out of it’ after a while but if unchecked they may develop into helicopter parents (HP), whose constant supervision and rescuing behaviour is well known and documented. However, helicopter parents also have the potential to develop into;
The ‘Helicopter Gunship’ parent (HGP) – Just like helicopter parents but their child deserves a further level of protection and so is encased in armour at the park (knee pads, elbow pads, cricket box) and wrapped securely against any drop of rain in three or four heavy coats, along with subzero-tolerant glovewear to cope with the arctic chill of a Melbourne winter.
The ’Food Monitoring’ parent (FMP) – Although their child may appear healthy, and even a touch chubby, this is not because the child eats adequately at meal times or sups contentedly from bottle or breast. No, this is because FMPs follows them around everywhere with a small but tasty morsel of cheese or avocado or breadcrumbs and while their child is climbing or drawing or wandering about they manage to sneak a blob into their mouths before they’ve even noticed. Fifty percent of the time the food morsel just pops out again and gets added to the drawing or playdough or footpath but instead of deterring the FMPs it just inspires them to get the next one in properly. Severe cases may develop ‘recording syndrome’ where levels of foodstuffs taken over the day are recorded, tabulated and analysed late into the night when all parents really should be fast asleep.
The ‘Healthy Food Monitoring’ parent (HFMP) – Similar to the FMPs, but in addition the food has to be healthy, darn it! Forget about the muesli bars and Cruskits and – heaven help us – Whizz Fizz. Roll on the celery sticks, carrots and fruit kebabs. It pays to take chocolate biscuits to playgroup if HFMPs are around because then you and your child will get to eat them all.
The’ Sanitiser’ parent (SP) – Wash your hands please because you just touched a library book and lord knows how many other children have had their sticky fingers on it. SPs may well agree with that statement, and carry a pack of wipes everywhere because ‘you just never know when they might come in useful’. SPs can produce a handy slimline pack of wipes in record time from just about anywhere. If a wedge-tailed eagle happens to leave its ample droppings on you or your child while you are trekking through the Grampians an SP will be there in a second to wipe away that discomfort!
The ‘Dragged Down By Socks’ parent (DDBTSP). These parents are generally snowed under each and every day with washing what seems like their own bodyweight in dirty laundry, and spend a large portion of their day beneath a Hills Hoist, cursing the son who always leaves his shirts inside out. If they see their child run around with no shoes on images of an endless procession of muddied socks flash before their eyes, and they are likely to scream, ‘How many times! Put your shoes on!!’
The ‘Aggressive Behaviour Equaliser’ parent (ABEP) – May be hypersensitive to the slightest altercation between children and they feel compelled to right injustices in the playground. If your child has been less than friendly to their child the ABEP will be letting you know about it and expecting decisive action from you. Expect the blue hats of the UN peacekeeping forces to appear if an ABEP parent does not achieve satisfaction!
The ‘Yes I Think I’ve Got A Child Here Somewhere’ parent (YITIGACSP) – They may or may not be aware of their child’s whereabouts at playgroup at any one time. Perhaps he’s doing some playdough at the moment. Perhaps he’s standing on top of the doll’s house, instead of inside it. Ok, ok, yes, he may well have locked himself deliberately in the women’s toilets. He’s very adventurous. And at least he’s moved on from hiding in the kitchen cupboard.
The ‘Let Them Dress How They Want’ parent (LTDHTWP) – So what if Johnny is wearing a dress? That’s what he chose this morning and we don’t want to gender stereotype. It is unclear to what extent the ideals of LTDHTWP survive into the school playground however…
The ‘Tough Love’ parent (TLP) – The kids are going to have to get used to the fact that life’s just not fair. Just because everyone else at kinder has got a guinea pig, doesn’t mean you have to get one too. Also may be known as the ‘Do You Want To Sleep With The Fishes?’ parent. Say no more…
The ‘Sleep Deprived parent (SDP) – Every parent’s an SDP.
What Type Of Parent Are You?