‘Of course not!’ I hear you chime. But it’s HOW you tell them that they’re wrong that is bothering me most this week. A mother I know of (not Gwyneth P. although she is almost as glamorous but with less hilarious named offspring) NEVER seems tells her child off. It’s almost as if this child lives his own world, ruled only by him. When I’m in the vicinity of this little mite, I want to scream: NO! Don’t do that! But, while of course I refrain, I do wonder what sort of self-assured monster he will be on the dating circuit and how on earth he will respond to his future boss when corrected? Don’t get me wrong, I’m trying my hardest not to judge other parents, but surely we have a responsibility to show our children how to behave? And isn’t their future happiness intrinsically linked to the understanding of right and wrong?

On the other side of this guessing game they call parenting, I do worry that I tell my Smalls off too much. In fact, one of them woke up this morning saying that he had had a nightmare.

‘What was it about?’ I enquired sympathetically. ‘I was being controlled,’ he responded cautiously ‘my whole dream was about being controlled.’

Well, as you can only imagine, this sent me into a total spiral of parental self-examination. Am I even allowing these small beings to live and breathe? Should they decide themselves when is the best time to practice the piano? Or maybe handing in half-done homework might work a treat?

‘Mummy, you’re not listening to me’ he added. ‘I was a robot. A really clever, bionic robot controlled by a super-natural force.’

A temporary wave of relief rushed over me. For the moment, I was off the hook. Meanwhile I think we’ll do some painting after school today instead of those dreaded times tables.

You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.