How bad were your parents?
If only they’d disciplined me. Supported me. Understood me. Financed me. Liked me. Fed me. Quality parenting is like happiness. Unevenly distributed and widely misunderstood. Still, that doesn’t prevent us from analysing the crud out of it.
Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, the disclaimer will take up a large part of this page. Please treat the word ‘parents’ or any of its synonyms as interchangeable with the words ‘parent’, ‘legal guardians’ or ‘legal guardian’. If you think that you may be offended, saddened or otherwise disturbed by serious, satirical, misguided or inappropriate observations about parenting, you are advised to stop reading.
I’m well aware that many people love their biological overlords regardless of the effort they put in or the result they achieved. I’m equally well aware that some people detest their human creators despite receiving an Etonian education, a saintly array of love and virtues and a Pete Becker-inspired combination of Jeet Kune Do and Brazilian street fighting.
I’m aware that like happiness and quality parenting, everything else in the world is also unevenly distributed. This gives some parents an unfair disadvantage, creating a horrifically tense situation in which anyone pretending to know anything about the subject gets their head hacked off. In the middle of the supermarket.
I’m aware that a person’s growth and happiness is not solely dependent on, or in many cases strongly influenced by, the role of the parent. Indeed, after the age of eighteen and in many ways before then, a person must learn to think, act and fend for theirself, if they are to independently and triumphantly navigate the complexities of life as a human.
If you’re reading this and can drink alcohol legally, go pour yourself a Martini. The infant mortality rate is still around 0.5% in developed countries. While this has nothing to do with the quality of parenting you received, the fact you made it out of the Farley’s Rusks stage is something for which you, your parents and if this post goes viral, Diageo, can be thankful and merry.
Method 1: Yes = 0 points. No = 1 point. The higher the score, the better the parenting.
Method 2: If you prefer, you may score each answer out of 5 and add up the total. This will render the result incomparable with a Method 1 result although due to the subjective nature of the questions, comparison is discouraged anyway.
The scoring system is an extremely-loose-if-at-all-fitting guide and the resulting… results should not be interpreted as accurate, comparable representations of parenting quality. Clearly the basic needs are paramount and cannot be weighted against the other questions.
To be taken with a pinch of salt and a dollop of common sense, in conjunction with the observations made under the above disclaimer. May the forthcoming be considered suitably amended in antecessum for any reasonable criticisms received in the comments and in light of any pertinent ideas or opinions formed in the mind of the reader.
Section 1 - Basic needs
Q1. Did they keep you in good physical health?
Q2. Did they keep you in good mental health?
Q3. Did they generally seem to love and care about you?
Section 2 - Life lessons
Q4. Were they loving and caring towards others?
Q5. Did they themselves practice healthy eating, fitness and hygiene?
Q6. Did they facilitate and encourage your friendships?
Q7. Did they provide you with the material resources you needed?
Q8. Was your home full of culture? Music, art, film, culinary diversity.
Q9. Were you given access to knowledge and good teachers?
Q10. Were you taught basic discipline such as completing your homework before being allowed to play?
Q11. Did they encourage social responsibility? Charity. The environment.
Q12. Were you free to find your own occupational, political, sexual and religious orientations?
Section 3 - The deluxe package
Q13. Do you refer to one of them as a role model?
Q14. Do you feel you had a better upbringing than your peers?
Q15. Were they loaded either financially or spiritually and generous enough to make you feel blessed but not spoiled?
Q16. Were they enviable yet accessible bastions of any combination of the following: chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness and humility?
Q17. Are you in at least weekly contact with them?
Q18. Are you on exceedingly good terms with them and would you happily describe them as your best friends?
I will consider any alterations that are submitted to the above questionnaire.
It should already be abundantly clear that different results might mean different things to different people but for avoidance of doubt, please bear that in mind.