When you become a parent there are certain things you have to teach your kids: how to eat, how to use the toilet, how to shave… But as they grow older, there are other subtle things that you may miss on the way.

My kids are almost all at school now… sigh. They know how to bath, feed, toilet and dress themselves. They know how to pack away their toys, how they’re supposed to talk to each other and us, how to tell a good yarn. But, sometimes I have an ‘uh-o’ moment where I think, “was I supposed to teach you that already?”

Crossing the road is one of those things. Do you take them to a variety of roads, make them sit, wait, look and cross? (or is that just for dogs?). It’s kinda a no-brainer in my mind. If you’re on the side of the road, you wait until all the cars are long gone and then walk sensibly across a clear section of bitumen. I just don’t think kids think like that. So, sorry kids, oops forgot to teach you that one, I’ll try and sneak it in the next time we’re at a road.

Food glorious food! Yes, another lesson I think I missed. How not to be a fussy child. This is a tricky one because I am naturally fussy with my food… and my spoons for that matter (no I don’t want to use a soup spoon with my cereal thank you very much!). Instead of just encouraging them to like a variety of foods from an early age, we gave in to the simple foods such as carrot, cucumber, sausages and bread. So you can imagine how exotic our meals are now! Glum.

Communication with strangers. It is all well and good to have the stranger danger antenna out there but when it comes to manners, sometimes our kids are a little shy or unsure of what is expected of them. They are almost too scared to speak to a stranger… even with us at their sides. I feel I have overdone the warnings and haven’t given them enough confidence and skills to say a cheery old ‘Hello’ to an adult that greets them first. Now, they get the nudge, the winking eyes, the verbal ‘say hello’ from me because I’ve forgotten to explain to them that you have to be courteous as well as cautious. Confusing stuff, really.

So, my dear kiddies I’m sorry for the little/big things that I have failed to teach you. Hopefully, we’ll make it up as we go along and all will be hunky dory. Forgiven? Alright!