Richard Lees steps down as Head of Manchester city council

Hold on to your horses – assault is a big word considering it only has 7 letters.

Have you ever assaulted anyone?  My mam assaulted me daily, the beatings i took as a kids were unbelievable but you know what, I deserved every single one of them.  I was a cocky little git who always had to get the last word in and my last word would have been horrible, painful, cruel and nasty – that was my armoury as a child and unfortunately, as an adult.

Kids can be cruel- really cruel.  I know, i work with about 5000 a year in schools, YOTS, Prisons, youth clubs and children’s centres.

I’ve got four.  Two are my own and two are my wifes from a previous relationship.  They’ve lived with me for 10 years and it has been hard – very hard.  I can not express the difficulties involved in bringing up a family where two kids are mine and two kids are somebody elses.

It even feels wierd to call them “somebody elses”  because they are not – they are mine and i call them my kids to save all the bull shit involved in explaining or having to use the horrible word “step”.  They are mine, I’ve brought them up with my kids and i love them like i love my kids and in a strange kind of way i feel more responsibility to them than i do my own.  I push them harder and i’m stricter with them because i have to answer to their dad if they/I mess up.

Now, I am incredibly fortunate.  My kids are angels, respectful, kind, loving, hardworking, polite and i’m not just saying this cos they are mine but they are the most polite kids i have ever met.  I could never imagine them pushing me to a limit where i’d have to slap them but i can understand when some parents and step parents might lose it for a second and slap a kid.

There was a case last year at a school in Knutsford where a teacher lost it and slapped a kid.  This teacher taught my eldest for 5 years and was one of the best teachers i have ever worked with – but he lost it and he lost it because the kid (16) chastised him over the recent break up of his marriage – even the kids parents demanded that the charges against the teacher be dropped.

It is easy for people to sit and judge and make comment on how crap a parent he might have been but we are all crap parents at certain times, you should see me after parents evenings if they get one bad report (steam coming from my ears).

The poor guy is probably sat with his head in his hands feeling really bad about what he’s done – lets not kick him when he’s down – lets try and understand that bringing up kids is hard and bringing up “step” kids is even harder.

2 thoughts on “Richard Lees steps down as Head of Manchester city council

  1. Hi Mike,
    I’ve only just become aware of your blog and consequently only just read this.
    I can’t remember if we discussed this last time we met but I’m sure you’re aware that Mary, my daughter was the step-daughter in question and that I, my family and Mary’s mother’s family all came out in support of Richard, given Mary’s long history of very challenging behaviour.
    The good news is that Mary now lives with my brother and she is blossoming (slowly) into a lovely
    young lady and Richard has emerged stronger with endorsements for his contributions to Manchester ringing in his ears.
    I thought your blog was insightful, sympathetic and understanding.
    Thanks for making those important points.

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