Tough love, but father is right to stand firm

Warr Zone with Simon Warr

Nick Crews is a former captain of a nuclear submarine. He is also the father of, in his words, “three feckless children”. Somehow the excoriating email he sent them found its way into the national press. He berates all three for having squandered the private education he provided, for their failed marriages and for their general underperformance in life. What has particularly angered Mr Crews is the regular phone calls to their mother, giving her details of the latest crisis in their own private lives. Mrs Crews is often upset by these calls and, as far as her husband is concerned, this is the proverbial straw that has broken the camel’s back.

He ends the email by stating that both he and his wife no longer want to hear from them until they cease whingeing and have some good news to bring.

He was right to be honest. He and his wife had gone that extra yard to ensure all three had as supportive and loving an upbringing as they, as parents, could possibly afford them. Their children now had a duty to respect this by being good parents themselves and by carving out successful careers.

In modern Britain many of us believe we can protect and nurture our children by wrapping them forever in a blanket of love and uber protection. But parents also have a duty to prepare their offspring for the real world, which can be uncompromising.

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Mr and Mrs Crews have acted selflessly in rearing their children. They have never attempted to tell them how to pursue their adult lives. Now the Crews are putting the welfare of their grandchildren first by telling their children to stop “crashing from one cock-up to the next and start to be self-supporting’’ or not to bother to contact them ever again.

Harsh? Timely, I would say.

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