A father from Solihull has encountered a barrage of criticism after his long-suffering wife revealed that ‘chasing the children up the stairs on all fours going ‘Raarrr!!!’ every evening’ was his sole contribution to their upbringing. The nightly routine – which Dan Hurrell, 37, described as, ‘Just a bit of fun, that’s all’ – has, after six years, finally driven his wife, Debbie, to breaking point.
‘I just can’t cope any more,’ she said. ‘I cook all the meals, drop them off at school, do all the washing and cleaning. ‘I’m the one who reads with them after school and at bedtime. All he does is chase them up the stairs every night going ‘Raarrr!!!’. That’s it!’
‘He’s not a bad person,’ she continued, ‘it’s just he thinks that’s all there is to being a dad – chasing them up the stairs on all fours going ‘Raarrr!!!’.’
Immediate neighbours of the Hurrells have also spoken of their frustration at what Dan tries to pass off as being ‘good with the kids’.
‘He’s a nice enough bloke to talk to, but every night it’s the same,’ said Hannah Morgan. ‘Seven thirty, on the dot: stomp- stomp-stomp, ‘Raarrr!!!’, stomp-stomp-stomp. In the garden, too. They’re outside playing nicely when, all of a sudden, the patio doors open and then it’s ‘Raarrr!!!’ all the way round the swings, across the decking, into the house and back out again. For ages. And let me tell you, those kids can scream. We just close the windows now as soon as we hear the lock on the patio door go.’
Following this criticism, Dan is now receiving help from consultant psychologist, Dr Fiona Grace. ‘Chasing the kids about while going ‘Raarrr!!!’ is fine every now and then, but ideally it should be complemented with other, less loud and chase-y forms of parental interaction. If not, it can manifest itself in adulthood as anxiety, shyness and a chronic phobia of roaring and stairs.’
‘I’ve spoken to Mr Hurrell about this and he now understands the error of his ways,’ she continued. ‘In fact everyone’s being very supportive – apart from his father, that is, who burst in halfway through our session and chased him around the room and up the stairs going ‘Raarrr!!!’.’
29th September 2011