Diary - My worst parent - A chip off the old block

6th November 2009 at 00:00

Parents come in all shapes and sizes. This one - we'll call him Mike - was pretty big. Being pretty big comes with the territory when you are a bouncer, and it was in this noble profession that Mike earned his living.

Mike was what you would call an "old school" bouncer. He wasn't really into customer service or higher-order diplomacy skills. No, Mike was more, well, hands-on.

Mike's son was a seven-year-old miniature version of himself, and I had the privilege of teaching him. Mini-Mike was a creator of havoc and an issuer of designer violence to his classmates. He was clearly a chip off the old block.

I would invite Mike in for chats about his son's habitual nastiness on a routine basis. Mike would always leave with promises that he would "do something about it", a ritual undertaking that I suspect he relinquished by the time he had left the room.

Eventually a pupil did stand up to mini-Mike - who clearly didn't have the monopoly in such matters - and gave him a bit of a pasting. This time I didn't need to invite Mike in; he was in my classroom in a flash.

When I tried to convince Mike of the efficacy of "due process", he decided to take matters into his own hands instead: locate the father of the miscreant and deliver summary, if indirect, retribution, the sins of the son being visited on the father in the course of a visit from Mike.

Four policemen were involved in hauling Mike off the guy, but were nevertheless too late to save him from a prolonged visit to the hospital. Mike reacquainted himself with another of her Majesty's institutions and mini-Mike left school to live with his granny.

And I breathed a sigh of relief.

The writer is a primary teacher in Hampshire.

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