Curling parents


Last night, on Swedish television, a new programme aired. Called ‘Young and Spoiled’, it is a reality show about a group of young people who are very spoiled by their parents. The programme could easily have been called ‘Spoilt Rotten’. These ‘kids’ are aged between 18 & 24, and have never worked a day in their lives. They are put into a house together to see how they manage fundamentals such as cooking, cleaning and getting up to go to work. Of course, they don’t. And therein lies the entertainment.

I was fascinated less by the kids and more by the parents. Misguided adults who don’t see that they are doing their offspring no favours in life by pandering to their every whim.

In Swedish, because it is so common, there is a word for these type of parents. They are known as ‘curling parents’ – a reference to the Olympic sport of ice curling. Just like in the icy sport, curling parents smooth the way for their children. They sweep away any obstacles and make life easier. They think they are taking their role as a parent seriously. Life is so difficult anyway that they should try to cushion the blows for their,let’s face it, grown up children. But what they’re really doing is robbing their children of the chance to develop essential life skills and feel a sense of personal responsibility and achievement.

As far as I know, there is no equivalent word in English for ‘curling parents’.

This must be because they don’t exist in the UK. Right?

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