Episode 6 Cherry


Episode 6

Cherry Healey meets mothers with very different parenting styles, from a pro-smacking strict parent to a liberal single mum, to find out what being a mother is all about.


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Transcript


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'When I had a baby, the furthest thing from my mind

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'was the growing pains that were just around the corner.

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'And there's a lot more to come as a parent.

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'You have to juggle teaching the ABCs...'

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All done, hooray!

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I'm literally ridiculously impressed.

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'Dishing out all the latest gear.'

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If they see something, by the end of the week they've got it.

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'Keeping them out of harm's way.'

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I just don't feel comfortable when there's so much knife crime and gangs, and things like that.

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'And wiping away the tears.'

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All she cares about is herself, and I don't know how you're meant to parent that.

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'I want to meet mums across Britain who are passionate about the ways they bring up their kids.'

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Two most important things are good manners and eating your vegetables.

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'In the hope of becoming best prepared for my daughter Coco.'

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You're definitely not equipped to deal with something like this.

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I'm not, anyway.

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This programme contains some strong language

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'18 months ago,

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'I gave birth to the little miracle that is my daughter Coco.

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'She's the apple of my eye, and like every parent,

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'I want to bring her up to be a safe, happy and successful person.

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'But Coco is beginning to get a mind of her own, and starting to push the boundaries,

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'so how do I actually do it?'

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No, no. Coco, no!

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Up until now, there's been absolutely no method to my motherhood.

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I've just basically been winging it a bit, hoping instincts would be enough.

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There've been a few times where I've thought,

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"I don't know what I'm doing and how to handle this situation."

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I actually need to decide now what kind of mother I want to be.

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Am I going to be strict or am I going to be relaxed and happy-go-lucky?

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I don't really know.

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'My mum says she struggled most with me when I hit my rebellious teens.

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'I was a nightmare, drinking, smoking and meeting boys.

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'It might be a long way off for Coco,

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'but even the thought of it fills me with dread.

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'The first mum I've come to meet is Lindsay, an A&E nurse from Rugby,

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'with two sons, Cameron and Logan, and a 14-year-old daughter, Abbie.'

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Tell me about your family life.

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It's good apart from my eldest, Abbie,

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who, yes, is a teenager, and we all know it!

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What are you finding hard?

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Everything with her. She...

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It's like she's got a tick-list of things to do to annoy your parents

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and things you're meant to do as a teenager, and she's working steadily through them.

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'The problems with bad behaviour and lying started when Abbie was 11.

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'Lindsay's now resorted to inspecting Abbie's bedroom on a regular basis.'

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In this pocket, she had a little bag of cannabis.

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So, yeah, now I have to check her pockets as well.

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Can you get inside her head?

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I do remember what it's like.

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I do remember that everything does revolve around your friends,

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and that adults are just... Just do nag at you...

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But I still had the respect that I didn't swear at my parents,

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and I was scared if I was in trouble,

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but she doesn't seem to care if she gets told off.

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It just goes straight over her head and she'll go and do the same thing.

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I don't trust her.

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Everything that she says I just think is a lie now.

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More than anything, it's just sad. It shouldn't have got to this point

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and I'm not really sure...where you take it from here, really.

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When you do your ante-natal classes and they teach you about nappies,

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no-one really talks about the teenage years.

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You're definitely not equipped to deal with something like this.

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I'm not, anyway.

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I wouldn't have a clue how to deal with this.

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-Hiya.

-Hi.

-Hi, I'm Cherry. Abbie. Nice to meet you.

-You, too.

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-Was school all right?

-It was OK.

-Glad it's finished?

-Definitely.

-Yeah, I bet.

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-Cool, wicked. Shall we go?

-Yeah.

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'14-year-old Abbie is a popular and outgoing student with clear ambitions about the future.

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'She wants to become a tattoo artist and move to the States.'

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I like doing my art, which is like tattooing. I want to do that.

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-I noticed on your hands...

-Yeah.

-Practising.

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I got bored and my mates just did it.

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And they got bored and they got to do it.

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What kind of tattoos do you want?

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Quite a lot. I want ones on my hands, and on my back and everywhere.

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And the piercings as well, and stuff like that.

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What are things like with your mum at the moment?

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I think she thinks quite badly of me.

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She's told me she's not proud of me, she never will be.

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She's told me I'm horrible, selfish, and so, so many things.

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And then she'll say she loves me sometimes but I think I've heard that once in the past year.

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And it's horrible. I just don't think she really likes me much.

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She'd much rather I be a completely different person but it's not going to happen.

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-Do you think you're badly behaved?

-Probably, yeah.

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I try to be good sometimes but it's more fun when you're bad behaved, to be honest.

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'In two weeks' time, there's a gig night in town

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'that Abbie is desperate to go to,

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'despite getting into trouble there in the past.

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-Hello.

-Hi.

-What you after?

-I don't know. Erm...

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-You know FMR?

-Yeah.

-Could I go?

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-When is it on?

-1st April.

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Erm... I don't know Abbie, cos last time you went you weren't there.

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I know where I was and I was not at Found?

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-Well, I don't know where you were and that is the point.

-All right(!)

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I'll think about it but it absolutely depends on your behaviour.

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Cos why should I let you go somewhere when you haven't given us anything back?

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I'm not going to magically change overnight.

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Well, I'd like you to magically change just a little bit.

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Sod off... Bitch.

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And that's negotiation!

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The atmosphere in the house when Abbie's around is very tense.

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It's very stressful for Lindsay.

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Communication has completely broken down, there is no trust.

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There's a lot of anger and they are at stalemate.

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'The challenges for me as a mum to toddler Coco are a bit more basic,

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'so you'd think more straightforward.'

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-Mummy's going to make your lunch.

-No!

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'How to feed my daughter healthy food.'

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Even the mention of the word "lunch" is enough to send her into a total whack attack!

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No!

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So on the menu today is a delicious pasta, vegetable

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and tuna baby-mush thing.

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Look, yummy. Oh, delicious!

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I'd happily eat it.

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No! N...

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Have a little sit in your chair.

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COCO CRIES AND SHOUTS

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She's really strong!

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COCO CONTINUES CRYING AND SHOUTING

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'It's got so bad that it's turned into a daily battle.'

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-Just a little bit.

-No!

-No?

-No!

-No?

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-Would it make a difference if you knew this took me about four hours...

-No!

-No?

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'And sadly it's one that Coco usually wins.'

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-Little try?

-No!

-A little tiny bit.

-No!

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-No!

-No?

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Meal times can be a real battle and sometimes if I've had a long day,

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'I can be really wet and give up,'

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and we just end up on the sofa watching bed-time telly.

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'OK, so it's not ideal,

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'but letting Coco win sometimes doesn't feel that bad,

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'and I don't really want to make food a massive issue.

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'But I know some parents would think it would cause problems later,

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'and that the key to a happy home is in setting very clear boundaries.'

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'I've come to Sussex to meet a couple

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who believe in an old-fashioned, disciplinarian approach to bringing up their two boys.'

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-Hi, Paul.

-Hello, Cherry. Hi!

-Nice to meet you.

-Come in. And you, come in.

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-Ooh, are you a shoes-off household?

-We are, but we don't mind.

-It's all right. Don't worry.

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No. No. I like to play by the rules. I don't mind at all.

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As long as I don't have to go barefoot. That's fine.

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'From day one, Paul and Nicky have been very black and white about setting firm rules for their kids.'

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What are some of do's and the don'ts of your household?

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-Ooh...

-Don't eat... You eat and drink at the table.

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They never sit on the couch with any food.

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The only time they can maybe sit on the floor is sometimes on a Friday

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it's "sweetie" day and they can have a little bit of relaxation there.

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We do pull them up every so often on manners. That's a very big issue.

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That they know they've got to have please, thank you, et cetera,

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and be very well-behaved.

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The little things like the shoes off when they come in,

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but it's instilled in them a lot of the time. They know that these are the rules.

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I gave Nicky and Paul a camera to film over 2 weeks to show me how discipline is enforced in the house.

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Right, you, listen.

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I heard you say shut up to me.

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I did not say that to you!

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Get outside,

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time out, you can go outside!

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We have got them into a routine but we still get times where they keep getting up out of bed

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and sometimes it gets too much and if they really are playing up, one thing we do do sometimes,

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particularly at night,

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is we bring one of them down and we put them just outside in the dark and shut the door.

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-You going to go up to bed?

-No.

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Well, then you better go out then.

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You gonna get into bed or are you going outside?

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What you doing?

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People might think that's quite cruel or not right at all, but

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the absolute amazing change you get after, I don't know, say 30 seconds

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to a minute of actually doing that,

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it's not long, you bring them back in, straight up to bed, no problem.

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Right then, give me a kiss.

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-Love you loads.

-Kiss.

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If you're going to say to them, "Look, if you don't shut up you're gonna be outside,"

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it's quite easy as a parent not to carry that through,

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but they're quite intelligent and they get to know,

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if you don't carry that through, they know that, they know it's just words.

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I don't like doing it but I know I'm going to get the result out of it

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at the end of the day and that's why we have done that.

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Right, well because you've been good boys,

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-who wants to watch the Doctor Who DVD we got later, yeah?

-Me!

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Nicky and Paul's methods may not be to everyone's taste

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but they are demanding of themselves too,

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and have both chosen to work shifts so that one of them is always at home with the boys.

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There are definitely a few benefits to being strict.

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Children helping with the washing up,

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I want a bit of that!

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When either Lewis or Oliver don't toe the line,

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Paul and Nicky also use smacking as their last resort,

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and they're keen to show me when they do this.

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It'll make me better.

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I'm not arguing with you, you're not having any.

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Oliver, you'll be straight back outside.

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Don't you dare touch that fridge or that packet of crisps up there, no, no.

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Now STOP IT.

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Come on, bedtime.

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Bed now,

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thank you.

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Get off, don't do that, no!

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No.

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Right, get upstairs, please, now.

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You've been told.

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Bed! Thank you.

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Take your rag.

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Bed.

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That last one's quite hard to watch, that last smack

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was a proper smack!

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Is that the hardest you do it?

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Yeah, but it shocked him, didn't it?

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Yeah, it did and I think that's what you need, the shock factor sometimes because I think a very light tap

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he'd have laughed and it wouldn't have worked and you're losing

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the message there so sometimes a little bit harder so he does realise we do mean business.

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-How often do you smack the children?

-I suppose with Lewis maybe

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two or three times a week and with Oliver again about the same.

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You know, I'd rather see somebody discipline with a smack then watching a family,

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"No, don't do that, don't do that" and the child walking all over them.

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Do you ever worry that violence breeds violence and that,

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by smacking your kids, you may be teaching them something unhealthy?

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I can only judge it by my own personal experiences and the same

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with Nicky, in the fact that we were smacked as kids and I don't think that did us any harm whatsoever.

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I was only smacked twice as a child and because it was so rare

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I remember it vividly.

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Once when I cut the back of the sofa open with a knife

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and once when it tired to run across the road

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and I remember being really, really scared

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and very sorry and knowing I'd stepped over the line,

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but I think

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doing it that rarely means that it has a huge impact.

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I think two or three times a week and you're starting to step into a different territory.

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So smacking's not something I want to do on a regular basis as I am not sure it works,

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but a recent government survey found that two thirds of children in Britain

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have been smacked by their parents,

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although only a quarter of parents were happy to admit it.

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If the government made smacking illegal, would you stop?

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No, I'd rather go to court

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and justify why I'm doing it than stop doing what I feel is right.

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That's a really strong belief and I don't honestly think,

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um, anybody has the right to say what you can and can't do with your child.

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Kids learn by example, kids are like sponges.

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They watch everything you do and they copy it, and if you're dealing with

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your kid by smacking constantly they can't but learn that example, surely?

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So if I'm not prepared to wield the stick for discipline, perhaps I can always encourage Coco with a carrot.

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After all, a bit of bribery never did anyone too much harm.

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I've come to Derby to meet Chantal.

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She's a 28-year-old single mum, who works non-stop to keep a smile

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on her three kids' faces and pay for everything they could ever wish for.

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And when I say she works for it, I mean she really works it.

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As well as lap-dancing, Chantal works as a beautician and waitress

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to keep the money rolling in.

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I like to make £200-300 a day.

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I like to come to work and make 4, 5 6, 7, 900 pounds a night.

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-What?!

-Yeah, you know what I mean? I've made two, three grand a night

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and who's making that?

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I've got kids that want, if they see something, by the end of the week they've got it.

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I do this for my kids to have the best. I couldn't

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do it sitting on the dole. Who could live off £100 every two weeks?

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As long as I'm young, fit and able to work and I can give them

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what they want, there's no way over my dead body they're going without.

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Juggling three jobs to provide her children with the best

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means that Chantal can work until 4am to earn the big bucks.

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Wow, how do you feel?

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It's so early in the morning!

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How are you feeling?

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I'm tired. This is what I do all the time though.

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And how much money did you made?

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About £300, it's not the best but it's Friday night and it's hit and miss.

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What time are you gonna get up?

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What time is it now?

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-4am.

-I'll get into bed about five and be up at about seven with Kameiya for breakfast.

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See you tomorrow.

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Bright and early, make sure you're there.

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It's 8am and I am bushed!

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Hiya!

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But there's no rest for Chantal, as her five-year-old daughter Kameiya is definitely ready to play.

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How are you feeling?

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I feel like death.

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My head's spinning, I have a headache in my eye,

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I feel like I'm dying.

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Chantal's incredible work ethic has paid for sons, Ma-kyi and Kamarl to have every computer console

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they could ever want,

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and daughter Kameiya gets anything she could possibly think of.

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So it's not always easy deciding who's first in line to play a game.

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Kameiya, give Ma-Kyi...

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No-one's going to play with you in a minute.

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I wish I knew how to do it.

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Ma-Kyi, come here, come and do it quick please.

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Ma-Kyi?

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CHILD WHINGES

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Why is she upset?

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Because she's spoilt, if she doesn't get her own way, because she's got to have player number one,

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she obviously feels like she's got to say it all.

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She's just showing off.

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CHILD GRIZZLES

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Gosh, she's really shouting, isn't she?

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Are you going to bed?

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Come on then, right come on.

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Chantal's taking the kids out for some good old retail therapy, something they do most weeks.

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But it's not quite the fun and games I thought it would be.

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You boys look a bit sad, what's wrong? Are you all right?

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They've been so excited but if you don't smile I'm not taking you shopping.

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You ready?

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This might cheer you up a bit.

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How is it?

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Where are my kids going?

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Come here. Don't just walk off.

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If you don't eat your dinner, we ain't going shopping.

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Ma-Kyi, no, come here now.

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I've noticed that when things get really bad,

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you say to the boys "I won't buy you this, I won't buy you that,"

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do you then follow that threat through successfully?

0:21:380:21:41

I think I'll take that as a no!

0:21:460:21:48

What about these?

0:21:520:21:54

After three hours, the kids have managed to spend 130 quid of mum's money.

0:22:050:22:11

Can I see your loot?

0:22:110:22:13

You got an umbrella,

0:22:150:22:16

a music book,

0:22:160:22:18

another book,

0:22:200:22:22

a puzzle,

0:22:220:22:23

and some aqua beads,

0:22:230:22:25

they look really fun.

0:22:250:22:28

Boys, what did you get?

0:22:310:22:33

Is that what you wanted? How do you feel now you've got it?

0:22:330:22:37

Happy.

0:22:370:22:38

You wanted that game for ages and you're not smiling.

0:22:380:22:41

Why do I bother because they don't appreciate what I do.

0:22:410:22:47

They got everything they wanted and

0:22:470:22:50

yet they were still really unhappy.

0:22:500:22:54

Chantal is either a saint or completely mad.

0:22:540:22:58

I certainly want Coco to be happy but I don't want it to come at the expense of her walking all over me.

0:23:010:23:07

She can't be the boss, I've got to take charge, so I'm going

0:23:070:23:12

all out to tackle the point when I give in most - mealtimes.

0:23:120:23:16

Today it's all about that high chair and this Bolognese, and unless those

0:23:160:23:23

two are part of the equation there will be no food passing Coco's lips.

0:23:230:23:29

Cos I've been a bit silly, haven't, just I letting you eat what you want

0:23:290:23:33

but now, my friend, the worm has turned.

0:23:330:23:40

It's not just about food at the moment, it's also about who's boss

0:23:400:23:44

and I've just been a bit wet and kind of relaxed and

0:23:440:23:48

I'm slightly putting on my mummy hat at the moment and bringing out the big guns.

0:23:480:23:53

So far, so predictable, but this time I'm not giving up.

0:24:070:24:13

You want some of this?

0:24:130:24:15

She really doesn't want it.

0:24:200:24:23

Surely she can't go on like this all day...

0:24:230:24:25

Can she?

0:24:250:24:28

Poor cow. The phone's next to get it.

0:24:380:24:42

I'm really tired of this game.

0:24:500:24:52

OK, I'm throwing in the towel on the high chair,

0:24:550:24:59

but I really want to stay strong on the Bolognese.

0:24:590:25:05

Coco hasn't eaten now for 11 hours, it's 6 o'clock

0:25:180:25:24

and the food is right there.

0:25:240:25:26

She's...

0:25:260:25:27

..definitely not gonna eat today,

0:25:300:25:33

I'd put money on it.

0:25:330:25:34

MOUTHS: Oh, my God!

0:25:490:25:52

OK, she only had four mouthfuls...

0:26:460:26:50

but after 11 hours

0:26:510:26:57

I'm actually pretty happy with that.

0:26:570:27:00

When Coco and I leave the house, my number one concern is keeping her out of harm's way.

0:27:060:27:12

I obviously don't let her out of my sight, but, with constant reminders in news of abductions like

0:27:120:27:18

Jamie Bulger and Madeline McCann, I worry if I'll ever eventually be OK with cutting the apron strings.

0:27:180:27:24

So where should I draw the line between keeping her safe and living a life governed by fear?

0:27:240:27:30

I've come to meet mum of two Faye, who's made the decision to live in

0:27:330:27:38

a rural, gated community with her husband and daughters Eli and Brooke.

0:27:380:27:42

Do you like the area you're living in, is this somewhere you feel safe?

0:27:420:27:48

This particular flat, yeah I feel safe in here, outside this flat, no, not at all.

0:27:480:27:54

I just don't feel comfortable letting my child roam the street

0:27:540:27:58

when there is so much knife crime and gangs and things like that.

0:27:580:28:02

I can understand people do think I keep them in my own little bubble,

0:28:020:28:08

but at the end of the day that is up to me and that is how I want to bring my children up.

0:28:080:28:12

I don't want them to grow up too quick.

0:28:120:28:15

The only place that Faye does let 10-year-old Eli play is on the tennis

0:28:150:28:20

court next to her apartment, right where she can see her.

0:28:200:28:24

Is this where you like to come and play?

0:28:260:28:28

-Yeah.

-Why don't you go other places?

0:28:280:28:30

Because my mum won't allow it, she's very protective between me

0:28:300:28:34

and Brooke, and if we go somewhere else, she'll just worry and panic.

0:28:340:28:38

Who does your mum tell you to look out for?

0:28:380:28:41

Well, gangs might jump out and say, "Give me your money!"

0:28:410:28:45

And if you refuse, they might stab you,

0:28:450:28:48

or people that you don't know, especially strangers,

0:28:480:28:56

those are pretty scary, or babysitters,

0:28:560:28:58

they could be very dangerous,

0:28:580:29:00

people in shops that are standing round and you're scared

0:29:000:29:03

and you walk past them and they cover your mouth,

0:29:030:29:06

so you scream and they can't hear you or anything.

0:29:060:29:08

Is kidnapping something you're scared of?

0:29:080:29:11

Yeah, like Madeleine, that scares me,

0:29:110:29:15

because I see that or stabbing and being shot and everything.

0:29:150:29:22

'Listening to Eli, I found that really, really shocking.'

0:29:220:29:26

She is terrified of the world.

0:29:260:29:29

She is completely petrified of really, really scary grown-up things, like murder.

0:29:290:29:35

When Faye does go out with her daughters, she makes sure that they always stay within reach.

0:29:370:29:41

When I was younger, I was able to go out and play with my next door neighbour

0:29:410:29:47

and get our bikes and go riding round the block.

0:29:470:29:51

They could never do that now,

0:29:510:29:53

they could never ever in a million years do that.

0:29:530:29:56

Why can't Elouise walk down the street on her own?

0:29:560:29:59

Because it's just far too dangerous. I'll show you the sort of things that scare me.

0:29:590:30:07

All she was doing was walking a dog

0:30:070:30:10

and she got slashed 41 times.

0:30:100:30:14

She wasn't out in a club,

0:30:140:30:16

she wasn't partying, she was out walking a dog.

0:30:160:30:21

And this one, this happened the other day.

0:30:220:30:25

He came out of a train station and they hunted him down

0:30:250:30:30

and stabbed him to death, because they went to two different schools.

0:30:300:30:33

Do you think the papers are blowing it out of proportion?

0:30:330:30:37

No, I don't. You can't make something like this up.

0:30:370:30:40

You just can't and, unfortunately, its just going to get a whole lot worse.

0:30:400:30:45

Before you had children, did you think your fear would be this powerful?

0:30:450:30:50

No. If I knew ten years ago

0:30:500:30:54

what it was going to be like now, I wouldn't have had kids.

0:30:540:30:57

'I'm so surprised'

0:30:590:31:01

at her huge level of fear at the world.

0:31:010:31:05

It must be completely exhausting for her and I'm not sure she needs to be that worried.

0:31:050:31:13

Although I don't think the world is as hostile a place as Faye does,

0:31:130:31:17

I can relate to her protective instinct.

0:31:170:31:19

It is really difficult to learn to let go, but eventually I know I'll have to.

0:31:190:31:24

Back in Rugby, and Abi's been grounded since I last saw her.

0:31:330:31:37

But mum Lindsay's told me that, after two weeks of squeaky-clean behaviour,

0:31:370:31:42

she's allowing her to go out to the gig tonight with her friends.

0:31:420:31:46

How come you've decided to let her go? I know you were really questioning whether to.

0:31:460:31:50

We've actually had quite a nice, sort of, week and a half.

0:31:500:31:53

I know she's been grounded and it's kind of forced family time,

0:31:530:31:58

but it's been quite nice really, so I don't want to spoil it

0:31:580:32:02

-and everything to flare up again.

-Are you nervous?

0:32:020:32:06

Hmm, a little bit, yeah. I haven't got the energy for more arguments really, so I just hope she behaves.

0:32:060:32:12

So do I, as I've been invited along tonight to observe what Abi's like when she's with her mates.

0:32:140:32:19

-Ta-dah!

-That looks sick.

0:32:200:32:22

-Does it look all right?

-Yeah, it looks good...and it works well with your nose piercing.

0:32:220:32:27

TEENAGER-ESQUE: Ah, yeah, like, whatever.

0:32:280:32:30

-Yeah, good?

-Yeah!

-OK, wicked. Great.

0:32:300:32:33

What are the rules your mum has set in place for tonight?

0:32:330:32:36

Don't come home drunk or lean.

0:32:370:32:39

-Drunk or lean?

-High, on drugs.

0:32:410:32:44

Oh, God, I feel like your grandma. GRANNY-ESQUE: "What does lean mean?"

0:32:440:32:47

Nah, most people don't know.

0:32:470:32:49

-OK, so, no smoking pot and no drinking.

-Mmm-hmm.

0:32:490:32:53

How do you think that's going to go?

0:32:530:32:55

Not well!

0:32:570:32:58

It's like watching a car crash about to happen and I'm, kind of, stuck in the middle of it.

0:32:580:33:04

I just hope tonight doesn't go as badly as I think it's going to go.

0:33:040:33:09

I'm picking you up at quarter past 11. The gig finishes at 11.

0:33:090:33:13

I expect you to be in the car, at the back of McDonald's,

0:33:130:33:17

-at a quarter past 11.

-OK.

-And no drinking or smoking.

-I know.

0:33:170:33:21

OK.

0:33:210:33:22

ABI GIGGLES

0:33:220:33:25

-Can I go now?

-I suppose.

0:33:250:33:28

I've literally never seen so many teenagers in one spot, in my life.

0:33:380:33:42

Suddenly, they've just gathered!

0:33:420:33:45

There's no cannabis in sight, but an older boy has bought Abi a bottle of vodka

0:33:460:33:51

and she wants to neck as much as she can before going into the gig, where she won't be able to drink.

0:33:510:33:55

Can you drink it straight out the bottle?

0:33:570:33:59

Apparently, yes.

0:33:590:34:00

-It tastes a bit grim, to be honest, but I can do it.

-Is it worth it?

0:34:010:34:05

Yes, without a doubt, it's worth it.

0:34:050:34:07

What do you want out of tonight?

0:34:070:34:09

Tonight, I want to get as...

0:34:090:34:12

Have as much fun as possible and get fairly drunk,

0:34:120:34:15

because it's been a while.

0:34:150:34:17

I've had a break, I've been grounded, it's been a while. I want fun.

0:34:170:34:21

Grounding Abi doesn't seem to have taught her anything.

0:34:210:34:24

In fact, she's seems even more determined to have a blow-out.

0:34:240:34:27

THEY CALL OUT AND SWEAR

0:34:270:34:31

She's definitely off on one, isn't she?

0:34:400:34:43

Yeah, she doesn't know her limit, really, I don't think.

0:34:430:34:47

I burped!

0:34:490:34:50

-Is that normal?

-Erm, that's quite about normal for her.

0:34:500:34:55

You're a fucking muppet, where the fuck are you?

0:34:550:34:58

DEAFENING ROCK MUSIC

0:35:000:35:02

The gig's in full swing, but the girls have been refused entry and I'm starting to wonder

0:35:020:35:08

what Lindsay would think if she knew that the ground rules were being flaunted.

0:35:080:35:12

-Are you worried about her finding out?

-Where the fuck is my phone?

0:35:120:35:15

No, well, yeah, but, you know.

0:35:150:35:18

Do you think she'll be cross?

0:35:190:35:21

-Of course she'll be cross. She's a bitch.

-Do you care?

0:35:210:35:24

No, well, yeah, I do care, because if I'm really, really drunk...

0:35:240:35:29

But mind you, I've got... two, three hours to sober up,

0:35:290:35:36

because they took my fucking alcohol,

0:35:360:35:38

so I really don't give a shit, because I'll be sober by then, with any luck.

0:35:380:35:42

Oh, my God, there's Kirsty.

0:35:420:35:43

JAMIE! Can I have a hug?

0:35:430:35:47

Who said my name?

0:35:470:35:49

Oh, it was Charlie. Fuck me!

0:35:490:35:52

So she's basically going to hang around outside

0:35:520:35:56

for three hours, on the streets, pissed.

0:35:560:36:01

The thought of Coco hanging around

0:36:010:36:03

in a busy town, completely wasted, for three hours on her own...

0:36:030:36:10

I'd want to lock her in a cupboard.

0:36:130:36:15

I'd agreed not to take sides, but it's proving increasingly difficult not to,

0:36:180:36:24

especially since the venue have called the police.

0:36:240:36:26

Oh, fuck.

0:36:260:36:28

-Abi, are you all right?

-I'm fine.

0:36:280:36:30

-What's going on, mate?

-Can you just leave me, because if I get told off then my mum's going to kill me.

0:36:300:36:36

-I need to take some details off you first.

-No!

0:36:360:36:39

-Listen.

-No, you need to listen.

0:36:390:36:41

We've had a call from the club, because of concerns for your welfare,

0:36:410:36:45

so I need to get some details and get it sorted.

0:36:450:36:47

-I can't just leave you. You're underage and you've had a drink.

-No, I'm fine, don't ring my parents!

0:36:470:36:53

-I'm not going to ring your parents. Can you make sure someone picks her up?

-I'm sorry.

0:36:530:36:58

No, don't be sorry, just trying to make sure you get home safe.

0:36:580:37:01

-Where the FUCK is my vodka?

-They took it away.

0:37:050:37:09

You WANKERS! I hate you. I hate you.

0:37:090:37:14

With Abi now unable to even stand up, I make the difficult decision to call Lindsay.

0:37:170:37:22

Hi, Lindsay, it's Cherry.

0:37:220:37:25

I thought I'd just call you. Things have gone a little bit pear shaped.

0:37:250:37:29

Abi's not in a good shape.

0:37:300:37:32

That's her.

0:37:390:37:41

Abi, get in the car.

0:37:520:37:53

On one hand, I think, I think Abi's a teenager,

0:38:050:38:08

loads of the other kids are drinking and going wild and...that's what teenagers do,

0:38:080:38:16

but on the other hand, I feel frustrated,

0:38:160:38:19

because I think, "Abi, you know, this is your last chance.

0:38:190:38:23

"Your mum's trusted you to go out...

0:38:230:38:26

"..and you've really broken that trust tonight."

0:38:290:38:31

After seeing Abi rebel, I am really lost as to how us mums

0:38:330:38:39

can keep our kids on the straight and narrow, or if it's even possible.

0:38:390:38:42

Perhaps the only way to stop teens rebelling

0:38:420:38:45

is to trust our kids to make their own decisions, from day one.

0:38:450:38:49

Brighton, the home of all things eccentric and alternative.

0:38:570:39:00

It's a place where anything goes and no-one bats an eyelid.

0:39:000:39:04

I'm here to meet Kate Magic, a vegan food writer who tries to foster

0:39:040:39:09

a stress-free, happy home for her three boys.

0:39:090:39:14

Hello. Are you Kate?

0:39:140:39:16

Nice to meet you.

0:39:160:39:17

It's amazingly calm in your house this morning.

0:39:240:39:27

You've got three kids!

0:39:280:39:30

-How is that possible?

-It doesn't usually stay like this.

0:39:300:39:33

We just wake up naturally, usually around 9 o'clock.

0:39:330:39:38

They can just choose when they wake up?

0:39:380:39:40

It's really important to start the day without stress.

0:39:400:39:43

How have the kids responded to having a more relaxed morning and no alarm clocks?

0:39:430:39:47

Sometimes they're too relaxed!

0:39:470:39:50

They're really happy and so I have to work to try and get them to focus

0:39:500:39:55

and remember that there is stuff to do during the day,

0:39:550:39:58

because they wake up and every day's a holiday.

0:39:580:40:01

Ethan and Zac are allowed to wake up when they want to because mum Kate home schools them,

0:40:010:40:07

and under her ethos, the school day begins with the least stressful lesson - colouring in.

0:40:070:40:13

-So is this a normal typical day in your household?

-Yeah, this is how they usually start.

0:40:130:40:18

-Quite gentle.

-Nice.

0:40:180:40:20

I think, if you said to them, let's do maths first, they'd probably be really resistant.

0:40:200:40:25

Do monkeys have whiskers or not?

0:40:250:40:27

I don't think so.

0:40:270:40:29

An estimated 50,000 British kids are home-schooled and it's becoming ever more popular.

0:40:290:40:35

In Kate's unique take on it, lessons include tidying their rooms

0:40:350:40:40

and washing up - chores which she sees as key to teaching self-discipline.

0:40:400:40:45

It's only in the afternoon that traditional learning begins.

0:40:450:40:49

But what's the number in category four?

0:40:490:40:51

-41.

-Very good.

0:40:510:40:53

So in total, every day, how much academic work do you think

0:40:530:40:58

they'd be able to really do, like properly focus on?

0:40:580:41:01

Their patience really wears thin after half an hour.

0:41:010:41:05

I can't really get much more than half an hour out of them,

0:41:050:41:08

then they need a break, something else, then come back to it.

0:41:080:41:11

Kate believes in kids' independence, and 13-year-old son Reuben is even allowed to manage his own education.

0:41:110:41:17

He's chosen to go to a self-learning college most mornings and spends

0:41:170:41:22

much of the rest of his time writing a sci-fi novel.

0:41:220:41:25

So how long is it at the moment?

0:41:250:41:27

-Umm, 95 pages.

-God!

0:41:270:41:30

"Something exploded, men dived to the ground, then jumped to their feet

0:41:300:41:34

"and started firing at an unseen enemy. Laser bolts flew off into the smoke.

0:41:340:41:39

"Someone cried out in pain, then another explosion went off, killing soldiers.

0:41:390:41:44

That's great. That's really good! Do you enjoy writing?

0:41:440:41:48

-Yeah, I'd like to get published one day.

-Wow!

0:41:480:41:52

I'm genuinely really, really impressed.

0:41:520:41:56

-I'd never... How old are you?

-13.

0:41:560:41:58

I'd never have been able to do this at 13, on my own. I'm so impressed.

0:41:580:42:04

There definitely is something to this independent learning.

0:42:040:42:08

Anyway, I love the outdoor gym.

0:42:080:42:10

This is absolutely the opposite of what my school life was like.

0:42:180:42:22

Right now, I'd have been in double French,

0:42:220:42:24

definitely wouldn't have been by the seaside.

0:42:240:42:27

After a blast of fresh air, I'm in need of a coffee.

0:42:310:42:34

Sadly, it's only healthy living wheatgrass on offer.

0:42:340:42:39

Urgh, that's really disgusting.

0:42:390:42:42

OK, ready, steady, go.

0:42:420:42:45

Urgh, that is so gross.

0:42:480:42:50

Eat the strawberry, the strawberry helps.

0:42:500:42:53

What was your education like?

0:42:580:42:59

I went to a private girl's school which was very strict and very, very academic.

0:42:590:43:05

At assembly, we had to all kneel down to check our skirts were regulation length.

0:43:050:43:09

We even had regulation knickers.

0:43:090:43:11

You had to wear grey knickers.

0:43:130:43:15

So even your pants had to be regulated?!

0:43:150:43:20

If you want to be a doctor or a lawyer or something like that,

0:43:200:43:24

then that is the education you need, but that's the minority, isn't it?

0:43:240:43:27

And, for anyone else, it was just really intense.

0:43:270:43:31

Do you worry that, although you're giving your kids these wonderful life skills,

0:43:310:43:36

the qualifications won't necessarily be there?

0:43:360:43:39

Are you worried that one day they'll come up against a brick wall where they need the qualifications?

0:43:390:43:45

No-one's ever asked me how many O-Levels I've got. It doesn't matter that I've

0:43:450:43:48

got a load, because it's never been something I've needed to use, so I don't feel its important for them.

0:43:480:43:54

I think the two most important things

0:43:540:43:56

are good manners and eating your vegetables, do you know what I mean?

0:43:560:44:01

To me that is the most important thing - that they're nice people.

0:44:010:44:03

Personally, there are some things I really love about Kate's parenting style.

0:44:050:44:09

I love that she's so close to her children and wants to be part of their lives and understand them.

0:44:090:44:14

'Maybe I'm a bit more traditional than I realise I am,'

0:44:140:44:18

because I think for me, Kate's parenting style

0:44:180:44:22

is a bit too alternative and wouldn't suit me, particularly.

0:44:220:44:26

Whenever I've been away from Coco, I'm desperate to give her a hug and kiss,

0:44:320:44:37

which makes coming home late hard to bear.

0:44:370:44:41

As much as I love wine, it is a poor substitute for a cuddle.

0:44:500:44:55

I mean, I don't want to say it to its face. I feel bad, but, yeah.

0:44:560:45:00

Mummy's little helper!

0:45:050:45:06

When I am with Coco, I always prioritise doing fun things together and keeping a smile on her face.

0:45:100:45:17

But if I want her to do well in the future, am I holding her back by not pushing her more?

0:45:170:45:23

I've come to the City of London to meet Emily Apple, a grade A motivated mum, who has

0:45:250:45:31

already mapped out her daughter's futures to the best universities and the best possible careers.

0:45:310:45:37

-Hello.

-Hi, Cherry, I'm Emily.

0:45:370:45:40

Nice to meet you.

0:45:400:45:41

-How competitive are you?

-I can't help but be competitive.

0:45:410:45:48

You want your child performing better than everybody else. I think it's a natural instinct.

0:45:480:45:53

Even if I think my child was born a week early and your child was born a week late,

0:45:530:45:57

so my child's two weeks older than yours, even at that stage, there's a comparison.

0:45:570:46:02

My child was crawling or was able to sit unaided at five months,

0:46:020:46:06

whereas Billy down the road, he was only seven months.

0:46:060:46:09

At every stage of a child's life, you can't help but look

0:46:090:46:12

at your peers and see what their child was doing at the same age.

0:46:120:46:15

I would be willing to trade some of their happiness for good grades.

0:46:150:46:19

'Wow, that's quite a confession,'

0:46:190:46:22

'but not that surprising considering her achievements.'

0:46:220:46:24

I went to Oxford University and studied maths.

0:46:240:46:28

-I actually got into Oxford when I was 16.

-Oh, my God! What?!

-Yeah, I peaked at 16!

0:46:280:46:33

That's amazing. When I was 16, I was trying to work out which one of Take That I really wanted to snog.

0:46:330:46:38

Oh, I did that, as well!

0:46:380:46:39

Emily is a force of nature. She is fiercely competitive and used to success and achievement.

0:46:420:46:49

The question I want to know is, how does Emily's children respond to that type of focus?

0:46:490:46:56

Is it a negative thing or is it productive?

0:46:560:46:59

It's Sunday and whilst five-year-old Yael is at a four-hour Hebrew class,

0:47:030:47:08

Emily's attentions are focussed on her 18-month-old daughter, Roni.

0:47:080:47:14

-What does a cow do?

-Moo.

0:47:140:47:16

Moo, very good.

0:47:160:47:18

'Already, she's able to complete puzzles

0:47:180:47:20

'and match animal noises to pictures.'

0:47:200:47:23

APPLAUSE AND CHEERS

0:47:230:47:25

I'm, literally, ridiculously impressed.

0:47:250:47:28

Coco would never have done that, in a million years.

0:47:280:47:32

How many times do you think she would have had to have done this before she gets to this level?

0:47:320:47:36

I've probably done it with her 15, 20 times.

0:47:360:47:39

I'm more impressed that she can match them together, because that took a bit of training.

0:47:400:47:45

What do you think drives you to be a hands-on mum?

0:47:450:47:48

Nobody gives you a tree diagram, when a child is born, of what to do to get them through various hoops,

0:47:480:47:54

to get them to whatever outcome you're aiming for.

0:47:540:47:57

My biggest worry is missing a step and that being really crucial.

0:47:570:48:00

Is it stressful?

0:48:000:48:02

Yeah, I try not to think about it too much.

0:48:020:48:04

Emily is so passionate about achievement that she's enrolling

0:48:060:48:11

five-year-old Yael on Kumon, extra curricular maths and English tutorial classes.

0:48:110:48:15

-I've come to her first assessment.

-Hello. Hi, how are you?

0:48:150:48:19

Nice to see you, and who are you?

0:48:190:48:22

-Yael.

-Nice to meet you. It's quite a significant thing you're doing.

0:48:220:48:27

Yeah, it's hardcore brain training, so I'm told,

0:48:270:48:29

so lets see what that's all about.

0:48:290:48:33

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight...

0:48:330:48:40

In addition to her full-time school-work, Kumon will involve

0:48:400:48:44

two extra tutorials per week, as well as homework every single day.

0:48:440:48:47

..18, 19, 20.

0:48:470:48:50

Fantastic. What comes after 20?

0:48:500:48:52

21, 22, 23, 24...

0:48:520:48:58

It's quite a bit commitment, it's two classes a week and homework pretty much every day.

0:48:580:49:03

Are you prepared to make that kind of commitment?

0:49:030:49:06

Yeah, I want to do it straight away.

0:49:060:49:08

Give me the homework straight away, because I can only see the benefits.

0:49:080:49:11

Two plus one equals...

0:49:110:49:14

-What does it equal?

-Erm... I don't know.

-Yes, you do.

0:49:140:49:20

You hear so much this days about how hard it is to get a job, how hard it is to get anywhere in life, how,

0:49:200:49:26

with inflation going up and salaries not going up and life is really tough, and the more I hear this,

0:49:260:49:31

the more I want to give my daughter, as much as I possibly can, the very best grounding.

0:49:310:49:36

If she's a willing candidate, why not load it on? Bring it on, that really is my attitude.

0:49:360:49:41

Yael is one busy young girl, with ballet, swimming, Saturday and Sunday school,

0:49:410:49:47

as well as these new sessions of Kumon, and I wonder if there is literally enough time in each day.

0:49:470:49:52

Do you feel like the commitment Yael's going to make to Kumon

0:49:520:49:57

is a big sacrifice for her, is she going to miss out on other things?

0:49:570:50:01

I don't think so, I don't feel she's missing out.

0:50:010:50:03

I think she gets pleasure from doing that sort of task.

0:50:030:50:05

There are many hours in a day and to sit down for 10 or 15 minutes doing that is just 10 or 15 minutes

0:50:050:50:12

less time of her pottering about with her toys. It's not meaning she can't play until Sunday.

0:50:120:50:16

Emily is a self-confessed pushy mum.

0:50:160:50:21

My only worry is, later down the line, with such high expectations on

0:50:210:50:27

her children and herself, if things go wrong and they are not academic,

0:50:270:50:33

how are they going to cope with that pressure and how is she going to cope with them not making the grade?

0:50:330:50:39

I love Emily's dedication to her daughters and her competitive spirit has really rubbed off on me,

0:50:410:50:47

so if you can't beat 'em, you've got to join 'em.

0:50:470:50:50

A, B, C, D, E, F, G...

0:50:500:50:55

I'm quite passive but, when you meet another mum like Emily, you do start to worry - am I doing enough?

0:50:550:51:02

Am I being proactive enough? Is my child getting enough stimulation?

0:51:020:51:07

Are you ready for your exams now?

0:51:080:51:10

Yeah.

0:51:100:51:11

In Rugby, Lindsay and Abi's relationship is now at rock bottom

0:51:160:51:20

after she broke her promise not to get drunk at her gig on Friday.

0:51:200:51:24

Lindsay's decided to try a mediation session as a last resort to rebuild their relationship.

0:51:240:51:31

We're not on the best terms again, we're not even talking

0:51:310:51:34

and stuff like that, so I kind of regret getting so drunk,

0:51:340:51:38

but I had fun, so, you know, it happens.

0:51:380:51:43

I don't know how

0:51:450:51:48

really how to get past it. I'm so angry.

0:51:480:51:50

I don't know, I can't even trust her to leave the house.

0:51:530:51:58

All she cares about is herself and I don't know how you're meant to parent that, really.

0:52:050:52:11

It'd be really good for the purposes of this session if we can try and keep it quite positive.

0:52:130:52:19

Because I bet we could probably spend a couple of hours just moaning about each other.

0:52:190:52:25

-Do you actually want to get better at listening, would that be a good thing?

-Yeah.

0:52:250:52:31

What about you, Lindsay?

0:52:310:52:33

It just goes back to the truth, doesn't it?

0:52:330:52:35

There's no point listening if you know what you're being told isn't the truth.

0:52:350:52:40

What did you say to me on Friday?

0:52:400:52:44

Can you not see why I'm so upset today?

0:52:450:52:48

You promised me so many things on Friday,

0:52:510:52:56

like you have done in the past, and you just threw it back at me

0:52:560:52:59

and I don't know how we're meant to move on from that.

0:52:590:53:02

LINDSAY SOBS

0:53:020:53:04

I'm not going to do it again. I'm not stupid.

0:53:060:53:10

But I don't understand why you did it in the first place.

0:53:100:53:13

Because I'd been stuck in the house for two weeks.

0:53:130:53:17

I wanted to see my mates and have some fun, for a change.

0:53:180:53:21

But you didn't, did you? You were out for three hours and you got

0:53:210:53:25

so paralytic that I had to pick you up from the street.

0:53:250:53:30

I really seriously don't see the point of this.

0:53:320:53:35

I just want to go home and find myself somewhere else to live.

0:53:350:53:39

I'm sorry, I don't want to do this any more.

0:53:420:53:45

I found that incredibly difficult to watch

0:53:540:53:56

and I felt really upset for both Abi and Lindsay.

0:53:560:53:58

There's so much pain between them and, obviously,

0:53:580:54:04

it is hugely overwhelming for Lindsay.

0:54:040:54:06

Sometimes you just want to run away, don't you?

0:54:060:54:10

And sometimes that's a good thing to do.

0:54:100:54:13

Yeah, I just needed some space.

0:54:160:54:19

After 20 minutes, Lindsay's decided to give the session another shot.

0:54:200:54:25

Mum's in tears, you're fed up,

0:54:250:54:29

there's nothing to be said for this at all, is there?

0:54:290:54:31

But there's everything to play for, if you start to break these patterns of behaviour between you.

0:54:310:54:36

Apart from today, when was the last time you two got some time together to do something?

0:54:360:54:42

A while ago.

0:54:420:54:43

Yeah, it is really, isn't it?

0:54:430:54:45

If you could go and do something, what would you like to do?

0:54:470:54:50

To that tree top place, you know?

0:54:520:54:54

Oh, yeah, that'd be cool.

0:54:540:54:56

And how committed are you to making that happen?

0:54:560:54:59

Yeah, we can do that.

0:54:590:55:01

Get somebody to look after Luke.

0:55:010:55:03

It sounds to me like it would be really great for both of you to have some time together.

0:55:050:55:10

'I think one of the things that I've learnt is pick your battles.'

0:55:130:55:19

Yes, it's your duty as a parent to make sure they're safe,

0:55:190:55:22

but actually, if the relationship is not there, you can't discipline them.

0:55:220:55:26

Can I actually ask you to give each other a hug?

0:55:260:55:29

Lindsay and Abi clearly love each other

0:55:320:55:35

and I really hope that they stay dedicated to rebuilding the trust.

0:55:350:55:40

Hello! Hello, bubba!

0:55:440:55:47

Hello! Give Mummy a cuddle.

0:55:500:55:53

From meeting the mums, one of the things I've learnt is that motherhood isn't easy.

0:55:540:56:00

It is wonderful, but it is full of challenges.

0:56:000:56:03

I think part of the challenge of being a mum is that you love this little thing with all of your heart,

0:56:030:56:08

but at the same time, part of your job is to equip them to live their own life, to grow up,

0:56:080:56:15

to be independent, to have their own thoughts, and, in a way, that goes against

0:56:150:56:19

the really strong instinct of wanting to keep them close and protect them.

0:56:190:56:24

And I think that's a really tough challenge for a mum.

0:56:240:56:28

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:56:470:56:50

E-mail [email protected]

0:56:500:56:53

Cherry Healey may be a proud new mum, but she is facing a battle of wills with her daughter Coco. In this personal documentary, Cherry goes to meet other mums with very different parenting styles. From a pro-smacking strict parent to a super-liberal single mum, and from a mum who works all hours to buy her kids everything they want to a mother in crisis with her teenage daughter, Cherry finds out what being a mother is all about.


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