Such a thing as "over" protective parenting? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums
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Personal Growth > Such a thing as "over" protective parenting?
Think of Winter's Avatar Think of Winter 12:51 AM 02-14-2008
Quote:
I've caught him twice standing over my shoulder when I'm changing Lily, after he's been told NOT to do that!. (I also caught grandpa standing Lily up on his crotch, multiple times. Like, directly on his penis--you could see the bulge and see Lily stepping all over it. Ugh! I talked to him about it. It's just not normal, in my opinion, to stand an infant directly on your penis and not see something wrong with that or not move her onto your leg or something. It wasn't just me who saw him do this.
I have 2 children myself and I don't think I've ever had them standing or bouncing on my crotch. This sounds really wrong to me. I know you don't trust your instincts about men, but I would give this a lot more thought and discuss it with your counsellor. If "grandpa" is doing these things, your dd should not be anywhere near him.

ComaWhite's Avatar ComaWhite 04:54 AM 02-14-2008
I think its really odd that what the OP is doing is being considered abuse in a forum where women regularily 'protect' or 'shield' their kids life experience from the potential dangers of McDonalds, plastic toys, non organic milk, TV, hospital births, formula, ultrasounds, disposable diapers and the media.

Strikes me as odd.

That being said, I think do the OP is being extreme in her fears and may need some guidance towards self healing.
(Ditto for mamas who wont let their kids watch a second of tv or eat a french fry.)
Cenote's Avatar Cenote 07:53 AM 02-14-2008
I just wanted to second the recommendation of the book Protecting the Gift by Gavin De Becker. It will really help you live with less fear and reawaken your instincts and intuition so that you can be more present with and appropriately protective of your daughter as she grows up.

It also gives great info about how to support your child's intuition and keep it strong.

I also really appreciate the list of interview questions he has for potential babysitters, school administrators, teachers, doctors, dentists. Very helpful!

I think there may be a few threads here on Mothering specifically about Protecting the Gift and if you do a search, you can gets some more info about the book from there.

It's wonderful that you are consciously working through these issues yourself. What a great gift your self healing will be for your daughter.

Good luck, mama!
NYCVeg's Avatar NYCVeg 12:34 PM 02-14-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea View Post
I think its really odd that what the OP is doing is being considered abuse in a forum where women regularily 'protect' or 'shield' their kids life experience from the potential dangers of McDonalds, plastic toys, non organic milk, TV, hospital births, formula, ultrasounds, disposable diapers and the media.

Strikes me as odd.

That being said, I think do the OP is being extreme in her fears and may need some guidance towards self healing.
(Ditto for mamas who wont let their kids watch a second of tv or eat a french fry.)
Um, seriously? Teaching your child that all men/boys are to be feared, that her naked body is both shameful and enticing (to all males), objectifying and fetishizing her body is the same thing as not feeding your children french fries? I hardly know how to respond.
alegna's Avatar alegna 01:20 PM 02-14-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
Um, seriously? Teaching your child that all men/boys are to be feared, that her naked body is both shameful and enticing (to all males), objectifying and fetishizing her body is the same thing as not feeding your children french fries? I hardly know how to respond.
:

Thanks for saving me typing that out...

-Angela
ComaWhite's Avatar ComaWhite 03:51 PM 02-14-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
Um, seriously? Teaching your child that all men/boys are to be feared, that her naked body is both shameful and enticing (to all males), objectifying and fetishizing her body is the same thing as not feeding your children french fries? I hardly know how to respond.
Teaching your child that every part of the fast food industry is to be feared, that eating junk is both shameful and enticing (the forbidden fruit), objectifying her body by putting it under your moral control and setting the stage for eating disorders and body image issues, teaching a child that she cant trust her own body with trying new things and using in moderation...... is the same thing as not leaving your baby alone with a man? I hardly know how to respond.

Again, I am not defending the op's actions, but pointing out the hypocrisy of this entire flame-fest directed at her.

Im sure we are all guilty of something that another could consider 'abuse', why not support and help each other instead of stomp on a mama with superiority when she reaches out to the mothering community?
NYCVeg's Avatar NYCVeg 04:11 PM 02-14-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea View Post
Teaching your child that every part of the fast food industry is to be feared, that eating junk is both shameful and enticing (the forbidden fruit), objectifying her body by putting it under your moral control and setting the stage for eating disorders and body image issues..... is the same thing as not leaving your baby alone with a man? I hardly know how to respond.

Again, I am not defending the op's actions, but pointing out the hypocrisy of this entire flame-fest directed at her.
First, I don't see a "flame fest" here. I see a lot of concern for a poster who has said outright that her view of men is warped due to abuse she suffered. Suggestions have been therapy to deal with the past abuse, reading material, etc. And the OP has gone far beyond not wanting to leave her child alone with a man--she has said that she will never allow her child to have a male teacher, to allow her sons in the room with her child when she is having a diaper change, etc.

I find the fast food analogy ludicrous. Explaining to your child that fast food restaurants engage in business practices you find unethical is not the same as telling them fast food restaurants are to be "feared" or that eating fast food is "shameful". If my child was not severely food-allergic, I would be raising her as a vegetarian--not because eating meat is "shameful", but because it is not consistent with my ethics to support the meat industry. We don't eat fast food in our home--we don't like the way it makes us feel, we don't like supporting the practices of the companies who produce it, and we try to eat healthy, sustaining foods. That's not the same thing as "controlling" or "objectifying her body"--some day she will be older enough to go out by herself and make her own choices. I've yet to see an MDC parent lock her 15-year-old in a room to prevent her from getting a cheeseburger. We all--ALL of us, every parent--raise our children in accordance with our values. When they are older, they will make their own decisions.

My parents "let" me eat anything--including lots of fast food. I wish they hadn't. I have had lifelong gut issues (which probably contributed significantly to my dd's food allergies), and issues with sugar addiction and yeast. Oh, and I also had an eating disorder. Eating disorders are not about food, btw. I know MANY people who were raised in families who only ate fresh, whole foods (no fast food, no processed food) and they didn't "get" eating disorders because their parents valued healthy eating. I also know many people who grew up in "permissive" households who did have eating disorders.

Finally, if my child "rebels" against my values by eating a fast food cheeseburger (or 10), so be it. That's not the end of the world. To equate that to a child, say, losing her instinct for predators b/c she is taught that all men are predators, or feeling potentially lifelong shame about her body...again, I just don't have the words. I just can't support the idea that teaching your child to think critically about advertising and media, to think about how the food she eats affects her health, and to interrogate the business practices of places that get her money is even in the same ballpark as what's been described in the OP.
ComaWhite's Avatar ComaWhite 04:27 PM 02-14-2008
Honestly, NYCVeg,
Can you not see how it is all subjective?
Here you are defending your choices, values and views in accordance to what you perceive as truth.
So is the OP.
How do you figure that yours are right and hers are wrong?
alegna's Avatar alegna 04:34 PM 02-14-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea View Post
How do you figure that yours are right and hers are wrong?
It is clearly, unquestionably, wrong and abusive to raise a child to believe that half of the population is evil just because of your own damaged mental state.

-Angela
NYCVeg's Avatar NYCVeg 04:45 PM 02-14-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea View Post
Honestly, NYCVeg,
Can you not see how it is all subjective?
Here you are defending your choices, values and views in accordance to what you perceive as truth.
So is the OP.
How do you figure that yours are right and hers are wrong?
I don't figure that mine are "right" and hers are "wrong." I figure, based on evidence, that the things she says she does have more potential to cause harm to her child than the things you listed above. The OP has said that she suffered abuse and therefore has an unreliable perspective on men. She has said she is not in a position to make sound judgments. I've read enough about sexuality and child development to recognize that extreme views on sexuality (either extreme protectiveness, fear, and "shaming" or extreme permissiveness and oversexualization) are vastly more likely to cause girls to have poor self-image and engage in dangerous sexual behaviors than are more moderate views on sex. Many posters have replied that their personal experience bears this out (e.g., not having the instincts to recognize predators b/c all men were "bad"--and therefore ending up in abusive situations). Many of the books suggested to the OP listed in this thread also bear this out and provide healthy models for dealing with issues of sexual predation and sexuality in general.

My research on the fast food industry is similarly grounded in fact. They engage in practices which provide food that is healthy neither for the body nor for the environment. My acknowledging that is NOT the equivalent of my telling my daughter that fast food is evil, covering her eyes when we drive by a fast food restaurant, telling her that she should never associate with anyone who eats it, and telling her that eating it would be shameful for her--those are closer to how the OP is dealing with sex than not eating fast food in your home is. If the OP said she was doing those thing with regard to fast food, I would certainly say she was being (dangerously) overprotective, even though I don't eat fast food myself. Acknowledging facts is not the same thing as inculcating shame and fear. The OP has suffered sexual trauma--when her child is significantly older, I think it would be perfectly reasonable to discuss sexual predation and even to draw on her own experiences. But, if it was me, this conversation would involve facts, research, and realistic solutions and ways of coping, not scare tactics and extremism that is more likely to cause harm than do good.

Finally, sexuality, body image, and gender relations are not cheeseburgers, television, and plastic toys. The latter are EXTERNAL things that we choose to consume or not, that we talk to our children about, that they will ultimately make their own decisions about; the former have to do with our internal perceptions of self, our biology, the most fundamental aspects of humanity. These categories are not simply interchangeable.
ComaWhite's Avatar ComaWhite 05:11 PM 02-14-2008
What I heard:

"My personal experiences have colored my life for the better and cause me to make sound, ethical, intelligent decisions, while your personal experiences have skewed and perverted your life for the worse and cause you to make irrational, abusive and unhealthy decisions."


ETA: you still didnt answer my question: "why not support and help each other instead of stomp on a mama with superiority when she reaches out to the mothering community?"
NYCVeg's Avatar NYCVeg 06:23 PM 02-14-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea View Post
What I heard:

"My personal experiences have colored my life for the better and cause me to make sound, ethical, intelligent decisions, while your personal experiences have skewed and perverted your life for the worse and cause you to make irrational, abusive and unhealthy decisions."


ETA: you still didnt answer my question: "why not support and help each other instead of stomp on a mama with superiority when she reaches out to the mothering community?"
Forget it. I'm not sure you even read my post. I said nothing about my personal experiences. I discussed research I have done. The OP said that her personal experiences skewed her perspective--she said it, not me. And as I said in my earlier post, I DO read this thread as support for the OP. I think everyone has been sympathetic to her experiences. But she asked if she was being overprotective...so should people not give her an honest assessment of this question, based on their own research and experience? Sometimes support means offering books or ideas or new perspective to think about--gently telling someone that something they're doing might have harmful potential (when they ask!) is not the same as "stomping on them."

I have a lot more I'd like to say, but I think I'll duck out of this thread and go do something productive.
StarJune's Avatar StarJune 12:34 AM 02-15-2008
andrea: I agree with your analysis of this thread. I was amazed at how harshly others were critiquing the OP on her fears and concerns in trying to protect her child so I had to write a positive post to encourage her. There were a few others too but most told her in essence that she was abusive :. While I would not make the same decisions that the OP has, I do respect her commitment to protect her daughter from something that has so devastated her. And people do change and grow and make better decisions as they move towards healing.

I roll my eyes at the venom at which some talk about McDo and such when this is a valid person who needs support and info.

OP- I do recommend the book Protecting the Gift also. It is fabulous and focuses on getting in touch with our instincts.
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