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CRACKERJACK2825 SparkPoints: (15,218)
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6/19/12 6:49 P

Ah, the battle of let 'em go or keep 'em close, as I call it.

My mother in law is to this day a helicopter parent. Her youngest child learned to walk at fourteen months, which is exactly when she let him out of the playpen. I'm not joking. She still won't let her grandchildren have baby bottle pops, fun dip, or anything with a powdery substance because she's terrified they'll choke to death. The oldest will be sixteen in November.

Me? I grew up in a household where we made mistakes, we climbed trees, and fell down. My brother broke his arm at the age of five. Doing what? Trying to fly. I'm not joking here either. It involved a six foot high ladder, our porch, and a pecan tree. Six weeks in a purple cast. My older brother got sat on by my uncle when he was a baby. My uncle put me on top of my nanny's house and left me there for what felt like forever, screaming my head off. WE SURVIVED. I'm a little terrified of heights, but otherwise okay. All three of us ended up relatively bright people.

My daughter went down a flight of cement steps.....headfirst....in her walker. She was ten months old. She has a little scar over her eyebrow and a small one on her nose, but she's fine.

My point is, being a helicopter parent is doing nothing but teaching your children that you'll always be there to bail them out BEFORE they get a chance to learn from their mistakes. And sometimes, we all need to learn from our own mistakes, because in the end, that's what makes us who we are.

ANDILH Posts: 1,204
6/10/12 5:05 P

There are all kinds of parents and parenting types. I don't have my own biological children, but I have had custody of 4 children that my friends needed help with. I am also an Early Childhood Teacher, so I have (way too much in my opinion) lots of random knowledge rattling around my head. What works well with one child may not work with another child. Some children need all of the attention while others are very independent right from the beginning. A great example to me are the children I nanny for. They are now 9 and 14 (I've been with them 6 years now), and they are both extremely independent children and I sometimes feel like I'm there to drive them around (I love them and the family and the feeling is mutual), but there is a child in the younger one's class who is actually an entire year older (so almost 11) who needs almost constant supervision and reminders of how to behave. Part of that is because of his parents - his mom is a super helicopter parent and to some extent I can't blame her since he had cancer as a toddler and preschooler, but he is now just out of control almost.
I am not a helicopter person and believe children need the opportunity to learn in a safe age appropriate way. Children with parents who hover generally need more reassurances as they grow up and are in more constant need of attention for longer periods of time.

JADOMB SparkPoints: (95,628)
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6/8/12 12:04 A

I am also a parent that instead of stopping my children from climbing, I taught them how to do it right. Many of our friends were very over protective in these areas. As they our children grew up, again, I gave my children more and more room to allow them to make a few mistakes. My friends were still hovering. Then counted to 3 and were stunned to see their child still misbehaving. My kids were lucky to get to two before I gave them a swat on the bum. So we raised our kids differently. But we all LOVED our kids and brought them up in Christian households.

Now, all our kids are graduating college and highschool and they are all great young adults. So I am not going to say either of us did anything right or wrong except that we all LOVED our kids and were very active in their lives. So don't worry too much about how another parent raises their kids unless it involves mental or physical abuse. If they love their children, and their children love them, they will hopefully grow up fine.

One thing I do believe though, is a parent really needs to set a solid foundation. Since from about 10-20, these kids get influenced by so many more folks than their parents, they need something to fall back to and find comfort and truth. Keep the faith.

SJK3LR SparkPoints: (2,907)
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6/5/12 6:55 A

First of all I want to make it clear I am in no way saying I and how I am as a parent is how we should all be with our children, I am giving my opinion and not everyone will agree but this is what makes us all individual!!

So what is really starting this rant is my best friend, I love her to bits and have known her all my life, grown up together, school together and now mums together! But I think she needs to relax we are both 1st time mums but have both taken completely different routes - I, as she is now, was very over protective for the 1st 6 months but as my daughter grew and became more independent I learnt with my child that she needs to make mistakes, she needs to fall on her bum lots until she walks, she needs to gag in order to learn how to eat, she needs to learn what is right/wrong for herself.

And with this challenge that my daughter is on each day of her life, I myself am learning what a smart, stubborn and independent girl I have but my frustration with my friend is she is NOT letting her daughter make the same mistakes, her daughter is now over 1 and she still has not been able to just go for it, she is frustrated and when my friend says all she seems to be doing is having temper tantrums - I, as sensitively as I can, remind her that she needs to learn what she can and cant do for herself, if she hovers over her all her life she will not thank you for it. Now I'm not saying just leave her to fend for herself but everyone in life has got to take risks.

This is what moulds us and I got thinking we are continually flooded with information about the right way to parent and the right way children should grow up so it’s not surprising as parents, with our jobs being the most challenging of all, we feel anxious and over-compensate by being too protective but I think our children must be helped to take ‘responsible risks’ in order to develop into well-rounded adults.

But when did we all become so paranoid? I am going to hope I don't become a hover parent and enjoy each stage of my child's development. She will climb trees, she will make dens, she will fall down, she will graze her knees and there will be tears but i believe she will know her limits of what she can and can't do as she will have learnt what common sense is...

there is phrase ''it never did me any harm'' - and to be fair, it didn't!! emoticon

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