Growing up with parents running a nursery business, one could falsely assume that they were model parents considering they make a living out of parenting. But alas, no one’s perfect, as the following examples prove. Perhaps prospective parents should take note on what’s acceptable behaviour, and what’s not?

Tom Minchin, aged 19, muses on the tricky issue of embarrassing parents

1.Don’t walk around school loudly shouting your son’s name at around 5:00pm when the whole of the rest of the school are doing homework in silence. There is a reason nobody’s about. The teacher will pretend not be deeply irritated and all the other children will stare as your rather shy son has to walk out and greet you. By this point one would have hoped that the silence should be a sign, but continuing on to loudly greet and admonish your son, in front of the still silent crowd in the dining hall really wasn’t a high point in my father’s pick up (from school) lines. And yes, despite this being when I was about 10 years ago, I am still mentally scarred!

Tom Minchin, aged 19, muses on the tricky issue of embarrassing parents

2.When you come to watch a sports match, please keep cheering and excited shouting confined to the whole team. Loudly shouting your son’s name, as well as other poor boys who don’t wish to be affiliated with you either, is a pure distraction and hinders as opposed to helping the cause. Proceeding to sigh in exasperation loudly at mistakes also doesn’t improve the mood of those playing.

Tom Minchin, aged 19, muses on the tricky issue of embarrassing parents

3.Social media. This is perhaps no surprise as the younger members of the family are often asked to offer advice with social media for the business, and thus the lack of general nous can unfortunately lead to long lasting embarrassment. Whilst no one really minds if Granny sweetly comments on every photo, parents are perhaps a generation ahead which means certain expectations of how to behave. One particular example that sticks in the mind, is when my dad again (quickly becoming the lead actor in this post), decided to wish a friend of mine Happy Birthday on Facebook – annoying but not overly embarrassing at this point.   Unfortunately, he didn’t stop here, and as the friend studied Classics, my father proceeded to Google Translate a lengthy birthday message into Ancient Greek, before posting it for publicly on his page for all to see.  In future a private message will suffice dad!

However, I have since taken it upon myself to exact some karmic revenge upon my father, and, being found asleep whilst working for my parents in the warehouse did apparently cause him the utmost embarrassment (at least this is what I could gather from the rather angry red face that I somewhat drowsily encountered after my impromptu 3-hour lunch break).

You may note that my mother has managed to avoid an appearance thus far, but I’m sure in future editions there will be space for her own misdemeanours. Watch this space.