Saturday, 18 May 2013

Are friends really better than dads?


Those of you in the UK have probably seen the new Robinson's ad by now. It shows two young boys spending the day together, playing, having fun, and of course drinking Robinson's squash.

At the end of an action-packed, slightly hazily-filtered day, one of the boys falls asleep and is carried upstairs and tucked in by the other, who, it turns out (SPOILER ALERT) is in fact his dad.

The tagline then says; It's good to be a dad, It's better to be a friend.

The ad has received considerable praise. "Charming and sweet, without being saccharine", "the best feeling from a fruit drink tv as yet". (Quite frankly if you're getting feelings from fruit drink ads maybe you should get out more, but whatever floats your boat). The youtube post has lots of gushing comments and "likes", and of course it's well timed in the run-up to Father's Day.

I'd probably have smiled vaguely and thought no more about it if it hadn't been for those final two sentences.

You see, I disagree.

Is it REALLY better to be a friend than a dad?

While we would probably all agree that a good relationship with your children is something to strive for, it should not be at the expense of decent parenting.

Parents provide guidance and support, yes, but parents also provide discipline and boundaries, which is not necessarily something that a child would expect from a friend.

A child will have a myriad different friends in their life. They will choose these friends themselves (no matter how much we parents may try and steer them towards or away from certain other children!), however, they will only ever have two biological parents. Quite frankly, a lot of the time they may decide they would never have chosen those parents, but really, that's ok. Yes, I'd probably like my children to like me, but it's far more important to me that they respect me, and to feel that I'd done a good job in raising them as decent human beings.

Also, let's face it, these days, fatherhood is even more precious. According to a research summary I found on the Fatherhood Institute website, almost a third of dependent children in the UK live apart from their fathers (2011).

The benefits of both parents being involved in a child's upbringing are pretty well documented from a social, economic point and child welfare point of view. While I'm not saying all relationships should stay together "for the sake if the kids", surely fatherhood is something we should cherish and treasure for its own sake, instead of being relegated to the role of football buddy?

So, Robinson's, yes, it's good to be a friend, but in my opinion it's better to be a dad.

____

(Apologies if this post is a bit messy-having real problems with blogger, so typing this on the mobile app-I'll try and tidy up and add links etc if I can ever get back into the desktop version of blogger)

Monday, 13 May 2013

Stuck In the Middle

Today marks a pretty momentous occasion. After five years of trying to sell her house, my mother-in-law is finally moving from the Midlands to the same town, to be closer to us. In a lot of ways I can't quite believe the day has finally come, and whilst I know this is a good move overall, I can't help but feel a certain amount of trepidation at how this might change things.

My husband is an only child whose parents divorced when he was seven, and he's had little contact with his father, so in many ways my mother-in-law is very independent and self-sufficient. However, I think the whole process of this move, now that it has finally arrived, has brought with it the realisation of how much more dependent on us she will be once she has settled in. I suddenly find myself weighed down by feeling a great deal of responsibility for her happiness. We are the reason she is moving. We are the reason she is leaving the house she has lived in for 35 years. We are dragging her somewhere strange, where the only people she knows are us and my parents. Whether I am being overdramatic or not remains to be seen, I suppose, but it's certainly true that she will need to rely on us a lot more than she has done up until now.

My parents, who made a similar move around five years ago, have each other, and while they too were in a similar position of moving somewhere where they did not know anyone other than us, I can imagine it is a lot less daunting to "start over" in a strange place when you have a partner to do it with.

Despite the fact that all three of them are sprightly and travel the world, this move has also brought home the fact that they are ageing. Given family history, there is a good chance they'll be energetic and dynamic for a good 15 years or so yet, but somehow having all of them close by has made me so much more conscious of the fact that this might not be the case. Coupled with the fact that the first of our close group of friends recently lost a parent, and it seems I've got mortality on the brain. It's stating the bleeding obvious that none of us are getting any younger, but I confess the prospect of having to look after both children AND parents in future is a frightening one.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Review - Walkers Hoops and Crosses

Yes, yes, I know - another review. It seems I'm easily bought with food. As an aside, I got offered weight loss treatment for review a while ago, which I declined as I have a terrible aversion to talk of weight loss. Weight GAIN, however, I can get on board with.

As I have probably stated before, I don't have a sweet tooth. I do, however, have a BIG weakness for savoury. Alongside cheese, I think crisps are probably my biggest weakness. How could I therefore turn down the opportunity to try Walker's new "Hoops and Crosses" snacks?

Bizarrely, I think they are actually aimed at the kids. How dare they.



The Blurb:

The "selling point", if you will, is that these new snacks differ from their existing range in that they are a) baked (and therefore lower in calories than standard crisps - 85 cals in a packet to be precise, although it should be noted that you do only get 18g in a bag, vs 25g for a standard bag of Walker's crisps), and b) 56% wholegrain. According to the people at Walker's 27% of children in the UK do not get any wholegrain at all. Obviously, I'm not a nutritionist, and can't verify that myself, but a quick google search confirms that wholegrain is generally a Good Thing.

The thing about lower calories can often be that other nasties are put in to replace the lovely taste that fat gives us (sugar and salt being the obvious candidates). So, yes, the hoops and crosses are higher in sugar than normal crisps because of the specific flavours used, but I was pleased to see that they aren't noticeably higher in salt.

The Taste:

Hoops and Crosses comes in 3 flavours - Roast Beef, Prawn Cocktail and Salt and Vinegar. Sadly we were sent the roast beef flavour, because I confess that, despite my love of crisps, I personally loathe both roast beef and prawn cocktail flavours, finding them generally too strong and artificial-tasting (interestingly it appears Walkers do not do their "standard" crisps in roast beef flavour any more). However, it seems they went down a treat with the rest of the family, so what do I know!



The overall texture is similar to other baked corn snacks, and while the wholegrain is visible, it did not seem to affect the taste in any way.

The verdict:
I'd buy these - although I'd love to see a few more flavours!
7 sardines out of a full tin of 10 ;-)



LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails