Good or Bad parenting?

I have just returned from the trip of a lifetime to London with my three girls. Yer man was surplus to requirements so stayed at home and my son was at college.

Over the years we had hoped to bring our children to Disneyland Paris but it was never the right time financially. As I wondered at Christmas about the possibility of taking this trip, yer man rather wisely said it would never be the right time and we should just go.

So I booked our flights and a fabulous apartment in Soho using Airbnb and off we went on our adventure. I’d been meticulous in the planning except for one tiny detail, my youngest daughter, aged 15, was to sit her pre junior cert exam on Monday, the day after we returned home.

So while her classmates were swatting up on English, she was swanning around London, seeing the sights, getting lost on the tube, watching a show and not returning home until late Sunday night.

Not my finest parenting moment you may say? Well there I might disagree with


Life teaches us all lessons and as I watched my Dad die of motor neurone disease

What a photographer!

thirty years ago, and more recently said goodbye to my friends young son Daniel, aged 13, and young Ben aged 6, I realised there are no guarantees of tomorrow.

So I chose to seize today.

Not unlike that day a couple of years ago when I allowed my eldest daughter take my youngest out of school early to go to the cinema. My then 17 year old was disgusted and giving out until I advised her she could take time off school to go too. I sent in notes telling blatant lies and waved my three girls off without one ounce of guilt, knowing that the lessons missed that day would soon be forgotten, but the memory of that trip to the cinema would last a lifetime.

And so I hope today, that my youngest will quickly forget the study she missed for her English exam of minor importance, and forever remember her first trip to London, with her Mum and two sisters.

I know I will.

photo credit: aftab. via photopin cc

70 thoughts on “Good or Bad parenting?

    1. Yes. A part of me hopes in the years to come times spent together like this will keep them close as they go through life. Glad you enjoyed my post… and parenting technique!

  1. you are spot on and so right on this, tric. i always tell the parents of the kids i teach to take the trip, take the day off, go to the concert – their child will learn from this experience in the world, valuable lessons not found in the classroom, and have memories forever. i used to give my 3 girls a ticket for a ‘no reason – reason day off’ each semester. could be to sleep, go somewhere, whatever they chose. they loved it.

    1. I love your idea Beth because it’s something I struggle with, a day when you have permission to do nothing. Great lesson.
      I do think we get caught up in the routine and rules of school a little too much, as if our child will somehow miss out instead of thinking of what they might gain.

    1. Actually yes Colleen it is good living. Enjoying our health and life. I knew it, I’m a great mother! Wait until I tell them my friends on the internet told me.

      1. But technically I am a friend friend because we have sat across from one another over a cup of tea. We have eaten together. And we have had our pictures taken. So there’s that! And I think you are a grand mother! 😀

  2. Lovely story! So good to do what you’re longing to do NOW, not wait for some perfect time. As we know, that doesn’t always come… I’m sure all of you will have wonderful memories of this time together!

    1. Yes Lucia as you know to your cost, time is painfully short.
      I often look at those beautiful photos you post of that shoot you did with Elizabeth Blue and feel so glad for you, that you have them to look back on. Not just the photos but the day, the occasion and the way they capture your stunning, wild, free spirit of a daughter.
      In a different way my (awful) photos of my gang in London sum up a time in our lives together too, with wonderful memories attached.

  3. I have done similar things and mine grew up just fine. Besides, if she didn’t already know the material on the test at that late date, she wasn’t going to learn it anyway.

    1. Haha. Yes, I admit I did throw that last comment at her when she first discovered the dates we had booked.
      From what I see online it certainly hasn’t held yours back.

      1. I’m always pleased that I got to do a bit of travelling before the MS took more of a hold – I’ve had some great experiences. And hope to have some more, but they can’t be as adventurous!

        1. Yes that is a comforting thought. And regardless whether we travel great distances or not, experiencing something new is always a treat and a privilege.

    1. It really was wonderful. I’d imagined it would be but it far exceeded my expectations. Even though it rained the entire day Saturday I don’t think any of us cared.
      Mind you I’m broke now. Sometimes fun has it’s price!

  4. These are totally the important moments. Missing a day of school to do something special will remind your child how important and special they are to you , and I think that ill carry them way further than an extra day of English grammar. Best parent ever!

    1. Thanks Cookie. I hope your ‘little ones’ are getting bigger and bolder.
      It was an amazing opportunity to be able to do it and i think in years to come they will always remember it.

  5. You did the right thing, Tric. We’ve done similar in those earlier days, too. Life is a good teacher as opposed to sitting in classrooms. You’re also making family memories, which can never be replaced and are far more precious when we know that tomorrow can’t be guaranteed…

    1. Yes, agreed. It’s all about perspective. School can seem to be the be all and end all, but as you say life is the best teacher and time spent together is very precious indeed.

  6. Im French and my Mum lives near enoughto Euro Disney, so a few years ago I took the two older ones out of school and skipped across to Euro Disney – great moments, great memories & great indigestion (Ill never go up on one of those things again).
    If I would do it again with the kids, I’d do walks, cafes, shopping and a few museums. Less queues and hopefully less tummy upsets !!!

  7. I love this. I took my daughters to Paris this time last year. It was very expensive (wow was it expensive. If anyone wants to take their children to Paris, go when it’s warm enough to at least have a couple of picnics outside!), but I hope will stay with them forever. As it will with me.

  8. I think it is an awesome thing to take them out of school here and there and do fun things! I find importance in letting our children figure out what the want out of life!

  9. I’m constantly trying to balance being my “good” parent side with my “making life memorable” parent side. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I love this policy. Haven’t yet had to fudge to the school about why Beanie isn’t there, but would like to think that if something epically awesome came along I would be able to prioritise correctly!

  11. Lovely article Tric. Life does change the way we see and prioritise things and others’ may or may not understand depending on their experiences. We can just hoe the decisions taken by us as a parent are right. And maybe all the sight seeing actually helped her creativity for the English exam.😊

    1. So sorry I’m so long replying, I was away over Easter.
      I’m not too sure it did help with her creativity but I do hope it’s a time in my girls lives they’ll not easily forget.

  12. I think everyone has their own style of parenting, and the trick is not to second guess yourself. One decision that could have been made better isn’t going to ruin their lives

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