As parents, we can’t win. Nothing we do is right. If we don’t work hard enough, our kids don’t get the endless stream of ‘wants’ – gadgetry, horse riding lessons, clothes, etc, etc., ad infinitum – and if we work too hard to get those things for them, we’re accused of being absentee parents.
And last night, for this new show, one poor dad was given his punishment for the ‘crime’ of working too much to provide for his kids; he was forced to go on a holiday to Wales.
It was cruel and overly harsh. Nobody should have to go on a holiday to Wales, especially not just for working too hard. Maybe for stealing or mugging someone, but not just working hard…
However, Lester’s children, Maddie and Ross – aged 12 and 8 respectively – claimed they never got to see their dad, and they wanted to.
Ironically, Lester runs a children’s play centre where he can be found for up to 80 hours a week. He often even sleeps there, but it seems his kids don’t go there to be with him much. They’re probably too busy playing with the games consoles he can afford to buy them.
So, in Secret Millionaire styly, Lester thought he was being filmed for a documentary about entrepreneurs, when in fact, his kids were about to kidnap him and take him to Wales. Poor sod. So off to Wales he went and apparently, by day six of the ‘holiday’, he was starting to relax more.
His worries about what would happen should the tills freeze or burglars be allowed to run amok at his play centre were apparently starting to ease off. I suspect he was just bored into a waking coma.
We all love our children, and spending time with them when they’re little is important and valuable, but let’s face it, young kids can be a yawn. The things they want to do are often very much diametrically opposite what we as adults want to do, and though I myself have spent many, many hours engaged in spending what’s now known as ‘quality time’ with my kids – it was just called ‘time’ then – being forcibly made to do so isn’t my idea of fun. Especially not in Wales.
But when that torture was over, Lester went to school with his kids, and though the trip to Maddie’s school went off ok, he couldn’t resist a little focus group marketing at Ross’s school.
Overall, this was a fairly moving film in places but rather a rub-your-nose-in-it affair if you ask me, which you didn’t, but you’re reading this so here’s my opinion… Yes, Lester works hard. He has to. There’s a recession on, and would his kids sacrifice their worldly goods to have dad at home more?
Maybe they would; Maddie and Ross are lovely children, but nothing turns lovely, happy children into miserable ones faster than being broke.
So, kids and Channel 4 filmmakers, stop torturing us parents who can’t do right for doing wrong. We work, we’re blamed, we don’t work, we’re blamed. Leave us alone and stop taking us to Wales.