You Don’t Get to Criticize my Kids

I love my kids

Honestly. I’m not just saying that in case they might end up reading this one day. They rank highly on list of my greatest achievements. There are some a lot of times they drive me absolutely nuts. But as their dad, I am allowed to say this. I have banked a considerable amount of ‘Dad Points’ over the last 8 years and if I want to cash a few in by saying how bloody annoying they are then I am fully entitled to.

However, this deal isn’t extended to anyone else. Even you.


We’ve just had a tough weekend. NJ had football training and we left with him happy after he scored a hat-trick in the training match.

However, we later heard that the coach of the other team called NJ an idiot in front of the other kids and parents. Don’t get me wrong, this is clearly not the worst thing he could have been called but NJ is only eight years old and this came from a figure of responsibility within the club (and also a parent of one of the other boys).

At first, I didn’t know what to make of it. I had heard it second hand so assumed it must have been a misunderstanding. So, the next day I spoke to the coach and expected them to be horrified that they had been misquoted. Instead, they went on a tirade against NJ and ranted about his behavior and attitude and my failings as a parent to control him. I was dumbfounded. We have not had any complaints from other parents, coaches or the club about him and on the evening it happened, he had done nothing more than score a few goals.

We know he can be difficult

Now, as a bit of background, I’ve already written about how NJ is highly sensitive, has intense emotions and prone to meltdowns. In football it is no exception – he is regularly tripped, kicked and pulled in matches, is sometimes mocked by the other boys, and can get frustrated when this team loses. As a consequence, he has recently had a couple of his infamously public meltdowns.

I am first to admit he is absolutely no angel – he is stubborn, competitive and opinionated and struggles to contain his emotions when things aren’t going well. We are aware of his sensitivities and are helping him managing it as best as he can.

What doesn’t help is NJ being judged by someone who presumes to know him and his background and openly state that he is an idiot. Someone who is in a position of responsibility and should have certainly known better.

Here’s the deal

If you see my kids having any sort of meltdown, tantrum or any other type of public display of attention try to keep your opinions to yourself. The chances are you won’t know what has caused it, don’t know what we’re going through, don’t know what challenges we have, and to be honest, anything you say WILL NOT HELP.

If there is something about my kids’ behavior that concerns you, speak to me – not to other parents and certainly not in front of other kids.

Remember all kids are different and believe it or not, I know my kids better than you. My kids are not the same as yours and whereas yours might be angelic, easy to please cherubs, don’t be horrified to learn that mine aren’t.

Remember that all parents have their own struggles – just because my kids have a meltdown or act out, it doesn’t mean I’m a bad parent, or that I don’t care, or that they’re horrible children.

So, that is my little rant over. Have you been on the receiving end of some judgmental adults who take it upon themselves to criticize your kids?