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Bubble Wrap Generation - Page 2

post #21 of 80
I am pretty hands off.

But to be blunt with you, my 8 year old broke her ankle in July and is still not totally out of a cast (she is in a walking boot now thank god). She did it jumping off the top of a playset in order to "ambush" someone (she says the lesson was not to do it in her high heeled boots "next time." *sigh*).

That one accident will cost us more than $3000 before we're done, not to mention blowing her summer, blowing already paid for lessons, lots of time spent with a super cranky kid who got her ability to run free through our woods taken away during the best part of the summer, who I will now have to watch closely for months to make sure that she does not push the edge too hard and reinjure herself.

To be honest, I might actually remind her to be careful and not jump off of things for awhile. Not saying that everyone who seems a bit nervous has had a kid go to the ER for their injuries--but you never know. I've dealt with a broken leg. I know others who have had to pick gravel out of road rash that exposed raw tendons, still others who have had to deal with concussions, scalp wound gory blood explosions, ect. Granted, we tend to have to do that because we don't wrap our kids in bubble wrap, but try to be compassionate with people you don't know--you don't know what they saw last.

I wouldn't get too cocky thinking that the people who are a little on edge are only worried about a few "scrapes and bruises". My kids get banged up all the time--but I don't have 3k lying around willy nilly to patch up broken limbs, and you didn't see my kid turning grey from shock from the pain, I don't know if the parent who's freaking out over their kid standing up on the slide didn't see someone take a 6 foot fall straight on their head from doing the same thing the week before. If you free range your kids (like me) more power to ya, but you never know what other people have experienced and sometimes it's nice to just let other people do their own thing.
post #22 of 80
My friend's DH is a bubblewrap dad. He and his son (5 yrs now) argue a lot because of it. The dad is now starting to consciously give his son some freedom. My friend says that they are getting along so much better now. (The dad was pretty much left on his own from a young age so that was his helicopter motivation.)
post #23 of 80
I think this is totally kid and parent dependent. I see extremes of the micromanaging you describe and the way too hands-off parents who don't pay enough attention to what their kids are doing.

It's odd that you only saw one extreme at that park. Were the kids very young? I ask because I think there's a huge difference between micromanaging a toddler and micromanaging a school-aged child. Toddlers bite, yank toys away from one another, misjudge their abilities, etc.. I tend to think kids under three or so do need a careful eye and an adult close by, some more than others. But if that micromanaging were happening among older kids, yeah, that's weird; I'm surprised the kids were tolerating it.

About the baby-touching. I don't let my kids touch babies at all, especially very young ones. Babies immune system's aren't all that well developed, and some babies startle easily. I figure parents of babies have enough to worry about without my kid frightening them or passing on some germ, so I have a strong 'look but don't touch rule' around babies, especially ones we don't know. I've gotten some pretty strange looks from parents when I stop my kid from touching their infant, but some have also been grateful.
post #24 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Lupine View Post
About the baby-touching. I don't let my kids touch babies at all, especially very young ones. Babies immune system's aren't all that well developed, and some babies startle easily. I figure parents of babies have enough to worry about without my kid frightening them or passing on some germ, so I have a strong 'look but don't touch rule' around babies, especially ones we don't know. I've gotten some pretty strange looks from parents when I stop my kid from touching their infant, but some have also been grateful.


This too. DS is a curious little guy and while he can usually be trusted to be very gentle, sometimes he gets carried away with the grabbing and touching. When it comes to other people's babies, especially strangers, I tend to err on the side of caution. I'd rather they think I'm a helicopter parent than freak out because my son touched their child's face too hard or tugged on her lip and made her cry or something else that is completely, totally preventable with a little bit of careful supervision.
post #25 of 80
I guess people may think I micromanage DD. I tend to stay close to her, and watch her a lot--especially now that she's starting to climb stuff and stand and test out the walking a bit. I mean, she has no idea what she's going to be capable of next--and she also has no fear. So I hover a little to make sure she doesn't go crashing into anything. Last month I got out of bed for a second and she landed on the floor on her nose. Not fun for either of us.

I think it's also cause she's my first, and I'm still learning my own boundaries with DD as well as with myself. I find that, with each new skill she learns, I learn to step back as she gains confidence. I do try not to say "no" and instead redirect her. I also catch myself micromanaging and make a conscious effort to let go and let her explore.

Being a baby is a learning game--and so is being a new parent. I think as long as we remember that we're trying to raise happy, adjusted, independent kids, we'll learn to give them the space they need.

ETA: A few weeks back, a kid about 4 or 5 was wandering around the park with his bike, alone. A few parents asked him where his Mommy or Daddy were, and he replied that he had to wait there for them to come back. They dropped him off and went who knows where. So there are extremes on both sides, I'd say.
post #26 of 80
It doesn't drive me crazy, except when other parents freak out at my DS1 for doing something, often giving me the evil eye (cause' I'm not, you know, freaking out at him for climbing up a slide or whatever). But I do see it... I assure you, I'm not one of those parents. I sit back'n let ds1 play. I keep an eye on him, but mostly on ds2 (whose learning to walk, atm...), or else sit'n read my book
post #27 of 80
You know, I think I'm a little bit of both, depending on the situation.

My kids spend *hours* out of my line of site in our yard and the neighbors yard. I can hear them, and I do regular yell-checks--if they want to keep playing they all have to answer immediately when I call.

But, there's a large play structure that I really hate to go to (of course they love it) because I can't see them when they're running around in there. It's a public place, lots of parents and kids go there. But to me it doesn't feel safe. I tend to follow them around and make sure I can see them when we're there.
post #28 of 80
Ultimately for me it boils down to this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by peainthepod View Post


but other parents might have different boundaries for their children, and that's okay too. They're not my kids, so I try not to worry about it.
Why belabor other people's parenting in the absence of safety issues and abuse?

Different kids, different parents, different personalities equal a number of different approaches. Add to that that yes, it is only a snapshot that you're seeing.

What I find odd is that while you're not busy micromanaging your child, you are, in a way, busy trying to micromanage (or unmicromanage) other families.

I don't get the judgment surrounding parents whose parenting styles are different from your family's.
post #29 of 80
Just the other day I was going through some old photos and found one of my oldest child's first snow. I laughed my tushie off. There was my little girl, right at 1 year old) not only with a snow suit on AND a coat AND mittens with hat AND a snow mask but I had also put a blanket on the ground for her to sit on top of the snow!
I'm sooo not that parent anymore, and do find myself sometimes feeling sorry for kiddos that their parents are doing that sort of thing. But sometimes it can be hard to learn that balance between keeping our kids safe and going overboard. Some of us, including myself, have a steeper learning curve than others.
post #30 of 80
Lol. This title made me think of that commercial (maybe it's a CEC commercial) where the mom wraps her kids in bubble wrap and then sends them off for a bike ride.

I'm totally NOT that way. Go, play, get some scrapes. I think mine has learned his limitations because he's had the chance to test his abilities within certain safety restrictions. I mean, I'm not gonna let him jump off a roof, but he's free to jump off the top of our playground slide.

I let him climb the tree in our front yard and the lady across the street looked at her son and said, "Don't even think that I'm gonna let you do that."
Hm, ok, no problem, no issue....until she looked at my son (with me there) and said, "You should get down too cause you might break your arm."

I'm all for freedom of parenting, but when another parent tries to apply their restrictions on my kid (with me standing there!) then I'm gonna speak up....otherwise, have at it your own way.

I do sometimes giggle inside because some of the things parents restrict their kids from doing, but then I have to realize that from the outside my "freerange" parenting is totally odd to them...so, in the end, we're even. Lol.
post #31 of 80
And that, is why I stopped taking my kids to playgrounds!

I had one near hysterical woman yell at me " Your son! He's on the rock! He's on the rock!!Get him!! Quick!! OMG!!!
(the 'rock' in question being a three foot high boulder placed in the park, most likely for climbing/sitting on, the child in question, a three year old pistol who had been climbing sailboat masts since before he could walk, and was, at that moment sitting placidly on this rock picking his nose- not his best moment, true, but he was in no danger)
Me - oh, ya, he's got it, no worries.....hey, what the??? is that a DIRTY NEEDLE your little guy is holding???"
I'm awful like that though.


I must admit though, even though I allow, and teach my kids to do things that may be considered dangerous, or may make me look negligent, there are some things I'm stickler on.
Like walking on the road/sidewalk....people might think I'm a lunatic for herding my kids to the inside, away from traffic constantly,(even though they keep to the side anyway) I'm just so paranoid that they'll stumble and fall under the wheels of a truck. Or lifevests at the beach, I probably appear overprotective. But on the flip side, I had my 7 y/o chop up the fallen tree on our land last week, with the big ax (not his little hatchet) and we let them row their boat all over the bay alone for hours with just the handheld radio to contact us.
So while walking down the road I might have the other parents out for a walk thinking "what a lunatic, lighten the heck up lady" and rolling their eyes, they'd probably not think me the same person if they saw me doing yardwork while my kid chopped up a tree. It's just what they saw and when they saw it, a small glimpse of a huge picture.

Also....maybe with playgrounds is that parents do/act how they 'think' they should act. KWIM? Maybe at home they're child is as free range as the chickens who roam the hills but they're afraid of looking bad in front of other parents so they go overboard on being protective? Just a thought....
post #32 of 80
I'm very free range, but I see a lot of people saying they don't freerange their kids,and the kids are like 1.5 or 2 or something. I think it's totally appropriate to helicopter a toddler. Preschoolers, not so much. School-age kids need even more space. For me, it's something that happens as kids get older, not something that starts at birth.
post #33 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post
Why belabor other people's parenting in the absence of safety issues and abuse?
I wouldn't belabour it, but I do think the scenario in the OP would drive me crazy. That kind of energy just wipes me out.

Quote:
What I find odd is that while you're not busy micromanaging your child, you are, in a way, busy trying to micromanage (or unmicromanage) other families.
How on earth can having an opinion, that one isn't acting on in any way, be perceived as trying to micromanage anything? She isn't trying to make all these other parents lighten up, yk?

Quote:
I don't get the judgment surrounding parents whose parenting styles are different from your family's.
Most - I'm tempted to say "all" - people judge parenting that they consider harmful to children. Many people consider the kind of extensive "helicopter" or "bubble wrap" parenting described in the OP to be harmful to children. It may not be where you would draw the line, but that doesn't mean it's not a valid concern for some people. For me, I accepted a long time ago that many people think I'm negligent in my approach ("my baby's eating rocks? Oh, I know - she does that a lot - thanks for letting me know, though"), and I accepted a long time ago that other people worry more - or at least about different things - than I do. I roll with it okay. But, the overall scene described in the OP would still wear me out, and probably kill my enjoyment of the playground.
post #34 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Most - I'm tempted to say "all" - people judge parenting that they consider harmful to children. Many people consider the kind of extensive "helicopter" or "bubble wrap" parenting described in the OP to be harmful to children. It may not be where you would draw the line, but that doesn't mean it's not a valid concern for some people. For me, I accepted a long time ago that many people think I'm negligent in my approach ("my baby's eating rocks? Oh, I know - she does that a lot - thanks for letting me know, though"), and I accepted a long time ago that other people worry more - or at least about different things - than I do. I roll with it okay. But, the overall scene described in the OP would still wear me out, and probably kill my enjoyment of the playground.
Totally. I am a laid back mom, I know what my kids can and can not do and generally don't stress about the rest. I know people think I am bad mom at times, I can't tell you how many times neighbor of mine while we are standing there watching our two kids playing has told me "to go get my kid" because she is climbing on something or just generally playing in a way that I am ok with. I get it at the park, at gymnastics, I allow my kids to take risks, not ones I see as unsafe, if they get some bumps and bruises then so be it. I ahve had a child get a severe burn, break an arm, and knock out several teeth and every single incident occured while doing something so tame that 99.9% of people never would of batted an eye at the behavior. Did you know sneezing at the table while eating breakfast can cause a child to whack their head so hard on the table that teeth fly everywhere?

I had more thoughts but must go work.
post #35 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyEvrAfter View Post
I'm totally NOT that way. Go, play, get some scrapes. I think mine has learned his limitations because he's had the chance to test his abilities within certain safety restrictions. I mean, I'm not gonna let him jump off a roof, but he's free to jump off the top of our playground slide.
This! DS and DD have had some minor scrapes, and they have had the opportunities to test themselves, test their boundaries, test their environment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyEvrAfter View Post
I do sometimes giggle inside because some of the things parents restrict their kids from doing, but then I have to realize that from the outside my "freerange" parenting is totally odd to them...so, in the end, we're even. Lol.
And this.

The original posters scenario would have annoyed and depressed me, so I would have taken my kids and left to find something more pleasant to do. I agree, if I don't know the other parents, and even if I do know them, I can't judge - I don't know their kids personality, how their day has been, anything about their lives. But it would be depressing and I can change my environment, by leaving if needed.
post #36 of 80
I'm a nutcase about car and traffic safety. It's cars that are the number one danger to children in this country, after all, and so I am very comfortable being extremely over-careful about all things related to vehicles. And so many parents of young kids are so extremely casual about car seats, for instance, to the point of breaking the law. And it drives me nuts, because in so many cases that I can think of, the parents with the four year old riding with nothing but a lap belt are the same parents who are anxiously hovering over their kids at the playground.

I think too many parents worry about the wrong dangers. And I hate it when I hear car seats used as an example of "bubble wrap" parenting. I see that sometimes in articles about this issue.

Anyway, other than cars, I'm really very hands-off. Probably hands-off enough to make even the generally free-range parents uncomfortable. My three year olds play outside alone. My babies were the ones allowed to taste the dirt and paddle in the mud. My six year old walks herself home from the bus stop. It's how I was raised, I guess. DH and I argue about it all the time, too, because he was raised by a helicopter mom-- good grief, she STILL helicopters, and he's 34 years old for crying out loud. So even though philosophically he agrees more with me, his gut-level reactions are more like how his mom was.
post #37 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post
Did you know sneezing at the table while eating breakfast can cause a child to whack their head so hard on the table that teeth fly everywhere?
I hope you'll forgive me, but I almost spit kale on the keyboard when I read that. I'm sure it wasn't funny at all, as knocking out teeth is pretty major, but it was awfully funny to read!
post #38 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
Anyway, other than cars, I'm really very hands-off. Probably hands-off enough to make even the generally free-range parents uncomfortable. My three year olds play outside alone. My babies were the ones allowed to taste the dirt and paddle in the mud. My six year old walks herself home from the bus stop. It's how I was raised, I guess. DH and I argue about it all the time, too, because he was raised by a helicopter mom-- good grief, she STILL helicopters, and he's 34 years old for crying out loud. So even though philosophically he agrees more with me, his gut-level reactions are more like how his mom was.
I'm very free range by the standards in my neighbourhood, and I still feel as though I stifle my kids a bit when I remember how I grew up. I was catching the bus across town (about a 20-30 minute ride) to watch movies when I was 6...although I did have two friends with me. I can't imagine letting dd1 do that.
post #39 of 80
Some here have said this is totally kid/parent dependent. While there is no question that individual kids of the same age can have totally different skill sets, sense of risk and caution... (and then their parents understandably differ in how much they helicopter because of those differences), I also truly believe and have seen that sometimes parents' anxieties about little tiny stuff really affects their kids and can make their kids more anxious and maybe sometimes even stifle their abilities.

I'm not saying that because of that, then we should be at the playground worrying about all these other kids or assuming we can tell which kids need the helicoptering and which don't, because we can't and we don't know. But I agree with OP and several others here that sometimes you DO see enough in a small interaction to at least think "Wow, barring some crazy past tragedy with mulch, it is really hard for me to see why a little girl who *obviously* knows it's mulch and not pizza, has to be yelled at by her parent to stop pretending it's play pizza!"

For me and my parenting choices on this, I was totally affected by a child I met before I had kids. I was at a wedding and met this 2 yr old - both his parents are Outward Bound instructors. Not only was this kid BRILLIANT and had a great disposition, he could play with the older kids, run around, dodge furniture and foliage and all sorts of other stuff with the most agile older kids, but he was also one of the most confident & sweet toddlers I'd ever been around (and it was a 4 day wedding, so we were together a lot).

Of course who he was (and is now) is a combo of many different factors, but his parents' parenting style really stuck with me. They said "Yeah, he had to hit his head on furniture a couple times to figure out he didn't like hitting his head, but never any real serious injuries and we knew he'd figure out how to be careful." There were several times over the 4 days other parents could be seen watching in great concern as he did something... but I totally could see that he was good, he had this, and he never faltered.

I'm definitely not *as* free range and adventurous with my child's risk taking as they are (they now have 2 kids, still 2 of the smartest, secure, social, sweetest kids I've ever met), but I made a point of really letting my DD teach ME what she was and wasn't capable of, and having that be my guide to what she's allowed to try and what I helicopter about.
post #40 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post
What I find odd is that while you're not busy micromanaging your child, you are, in a way, busy trying to micromanage (or unmicromanage) other families.

I don't get the judgment surrounding parents whose parenting styles are different from your family's.
I'd like to add to Stormbride's response to you that also, for me OP's post was *very much* written from an observational, conversational point of view, and NOT an "OH MY GOSH WHY ISN'T CHILD WELFARE PATROLLING THESE PLAYGROUNDS AND FIXING THIS?!"-type of judgement that this has to be stopped immediately. OPs not talking about doing anything, just wondering whether others see what she's seeing and what they think.

There's a difference between pointing out something you've noticed and asking others what they think/what they do, and saying "I've seen this and it is simply WRONG and I want to know what to do about it".
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