Monday 25 October 2010, 12:20
I came to be a part of The World's Strictest Parents as a challenge thrown at me by one of my friends, who thought I brought up my four kids based on strong locally grounded beliefs, and felt that I could test myself out with some kids who did not know what these were and see how they coped with my rules.
When I first saw the two girls, Nicki and Jerri, my initial reaction was that they were not as bad as what I had expected. But that feeling didn't last too long when they were shown up in their true colours.
After about two days my husband, Brindley, and I both felt that we would not be able to help the girls as they seemed too set in their ways and determined to carry on with life regardless of our values and thinking. These were based on tolerance, generosity, equanimity and love.
We founded our beliefs grounded on the conviction that people should concentrate more on fulfilling their obligations and not on demanding for their rights. Nicki's temper tantrums, for example, were quite shocking and, in my view, absolutely unacceptable by any sense of tolerance.
Each morning we got up wondering what the day would have in store for us. Their behaviour not only challenged our conduct as parents but also made us realise what their own parents would have had to go through with them. Luckily better sense prevailed at times when it came to breaking point, as it were.
For example, when Nicki shouted back at my husband on the second morning, he just issued her an ultimatum of accept or leave, and I am sure after some time she would have realised that he meant what he said and apologised for her behaviour, which made things more acceptable.
After about the second day we based our relationship with the girls on compromise. I believed that ultimately I didn't have to prove anything to anyone as we were sure that our system had worked well with our kids.
Though at times we wondered whether this was worth our while, where our kids were concerned, I am proud to say that they turned out the winners at the end. Not only did they value the grounding that they have got but came to our defence at all times.
At the end of the week we in fact felt sorry for the two girls as we saw the child in each of them emerge and we realised that they were just victims of circumstances and what life had to offer kids in the West. The system which always talks of everyone's rights seemed to have left the kids the wrong end of the stick to deal with life.
Episode three of The World's Strictest Parents is on BBC Three at 9pm on Monday, 25 October.
To find out future programme times, please visit the show's upcoming episodes page.
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Friday 22 October 2010, 12:11
Friday 29 October 2010, 10:20