Gordon Ramsay is the foul mouthed chef we all love to hate but whose shows we nevertheless watch; Tana Ramsay is Gordon Ramsay’s wife and a celebrity in her own right. She produces cookery books and appears as a regular on cooking shows.

Both are busy carving out careers for themselves while juggle parenting on the side. Not an easy task, the latter, particularly if like Gordon Ramsay you’re based part of the time in another city and in another country. Whether like Tana, you dedicate your life to writing cook books, or whether you are working hard at keeping your Michelin Stars, Gordon has 12 of them, something surely has to give.

Gordon Ramsay recently confessed to talk show host Jonathan Ross (or joked, depending on what article you read) that he had bought his 13 year old son a camera and offered him an extra incentive to install it in his sister’s bedroom. Gordon’s daughter Megan and her boyfriend had been revising their school work in her room and Gordon suspected that all this revision wasn’t proving as effective as it should have been.

It’s the not knowing what’s going on in your child’s life that is every parent’s nightmare especially if you’re spending a good part of your time overseas making a living for the family. Sitting with your children and going over their homework with them, encouraging a ritual of interaction and communication is obviously old fashioned and impractical in our fast paced society, even for those of us who don’t have a high profile. Why not take advantage of available technology to do our job for us? We’re already doing so on such a lot of levels.

The thing is that many of us can’t make up our minds whether we are working our tails off for our own gratification or for the sake of the children. Fortunately we needn’t delve to deeply into such matters; technology has come to Gordon Ramsay’s aid (and ours). A high definition camera called Go-Pro has provided him with the modern answer to practical parenting, 21st Century style. Gordon bought one for his 13 year old son, Jack and paid him 20 dollars to install it in his sister’s room.

That event alone would have taught young Jack and possibly his three other siblings some invaluable lessons about loyalty and how to keep the problems and its solutions in the family. I haven’t been able to find out how effective the Go-Pro was in that instance, but it’s nice to know that busy parents have a backup. (Is busy parents an oxymoron?)

When I note that in March, Gordon and his daughter were seen hand in hand at a Los Angeles shopping centre, I’m surprised that 20 dollars proved enough of an incentive for Jack. It seems that nothing strengthens a father / child relationship like a good old shopping spree. Does the thought of future treats to come make up for having your privacy invaded? Does it make up for lack of trust? I’m too old to remember how I would have felt about such things as a vulnerable teenager. Not the same way then as now, I’m sure. What about you?

8 thoughts on “Practically Parenting

  1. I would have hated being spied on as a kid. I wouldn’t do it to mine (even though it’s tempting sometimes) unless things were seriously amiss. How does that old saying go? ‘Be careful what you look for?’.

    • I thought it was ‘be careful what you wish for’ but look for is valid too. And once you’ve given in to temptation and start snooping, it’s easier to keep it up. You’d be mutating from a concerned parent to a peeping Tom.

  2. Hi Mary! What a great article. I like Gordon Ramsay and loved to watch his show. Love more the ones when he doesn’t curse especially. 🙂 I grew up without my parents around me, divorce was the issue and my mom was busy working. For me, it would mean a lot to me if any of them take me shopping or spend some times with me. They never did though, really. I understand that the old fashion Asian parenting is not /would not be the same as how I wished it could be. But just that you know, it would be a great deal for me at that time. 🙂

    • Hi Eva, \there’s only one Gordon Ramsay show I know of where he behaves civilly, it’s the one where he’s showing the audience 100 different dishes to make. Divorce is hardest on the children, isn’t it? I like old fashioned parenting, but that’s probably because I’m old (fashioned) myself. 🙂

  3. Hi Mary! I never snooped through our son’s things. I don’t believe my parents snooped through mine or my siblings as well. Technology today does make watching/spying on our children much easier. If I thought something was happening while I was away, I might be tempted to use it. I’m glad I don’t have to make that decision.

    • I can’t imagine you being tempted, Maddie, there’s no tradition of it in your family and it’s not in your nature (or mine). If technology makes spying on our children easier, then it also makes communicating with them easier. How you use technology marks out what sort of a parent you are.

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