How would you deal with another mom who is a "helicopter parent" to *your* child? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 47 Old 03-19-2013, 08:34 PM
 
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I think I'm in the minority here but I don't see anything wrong with this situation. Why was it "wrong" for that mom to do what she thought was best for the situation.... might not have been how you handled it, but maybe you were wrong in her eyes not stepping in. And, if so, then who is "right?" Neither or both, but not one or the other.
 

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#32 of 47 Old 03-19-2013, 08:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LaotianMama View Post


Not much help but thank you anyway.


Why, because it's not what you wanted to hear?

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#33 of 47 Old 03-19-2013, 11:39 PM
 
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Personally I would be really peeved, but I have no idea what what I would say! My son is 2.5 and very capable on his little blaence bike and I get comments and looks all the time! Drives me crazy. My son is OVERLY cautious, so he rarely get hurt actually doing anything. But ramdom strangers feel the need to but in and say things like "Hes way too little for 2 wheels" and "Where are his knee pads?" 

 

Good luck mama! 


- Mom to Baby Mark (9/18/10) and 4 wonderful dogs!
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#34 of 47 Old 03-20-2013, 03:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Fair enough but of course how could she have let you know in the few milliseconds before her child was going to slide down and she had to help yours out of the way? If she had taken the time to locate you (and how would she even have known you were that child's mama? Sometimes at the playground it's unclear) and ask you about your son's abilities or your preferences, her child would have already been down the slide and possibly kicked your child in the face.

*sigh* I feel as though this thread is clearly void of what my intention was: to get suggestions of what to say and maybe do next time to make it clear to other mom(s) that my kid can climb, play, run as he does without two adults on him like white on rice.

Not that I even need to justify this but this playground is enclosed and is the quarter of the size of a full-sized basketball court. I was literally trailing my son the entire time and actually went and grabbed him from an off-limits ledge. So, yes, I made it quite clear I was his caregiver. Again, I appreciate your input but if you're just going to criticize my blog post and my internal feelings about (wrong or right) then I think it's defeating the reason for interaction on this particular thread. Thank you.

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#35 of 47 Old 03-20-2013, 03:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Why, because it's not what you wanted to hear?
No, because it's not what I asked help with. Thanks though. Bye.

Laotian girl, who went from heavy partying to peaceful parenting, to 'Humnoy' (3/13/2011) and 'Lanoi' (2/05/2013)

 

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#36 of 47 Old 03-20-2013, 03:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Personally I would be really peeved, but I have no idea what what I would say! My son is 2.5 and very capable on his little blaence bike and I get comments and looks all the time! Drives me crazy. My son is OVERLY cautious, so he rarely get hurt actually doing anything. But ramdom strangers feel the need to but in and say things like "Hes way too little for 2 wheels" and "Where are his knee pads?" 

Good luck mama! 
Thanks, I've gotten great ideas so that's helpful. I don't think it'll be an issue once I do communicate toward her beforehand instead of letting it get to me like that. wink1.gif Maybe this thread can help you out too!

Laotian girl, who went from heavy partying to peaceful parenting, to 'Humnoy' (3/13/2011) and 'Lanoi' (2/05/2013)

 

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#37 of 47 Old 03-20-2013, 05:12 AM
 
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Look. At a playground, with random parents there supervising their children, it's not at all realistic to think you can make those there treat *your* child a specific way. As long as the parent is polite and respectful, be content. There are a few jerks out there among the well-meaning folks, so one day you may find out for yourself what I'm trying to get through to you. There are other things more important than this incident that you described.
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#38 of 47 Old 03-20-2013, 06:01 AM
 
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It's tricky to negotiate playgrounds. On one hand, when you're there with a very small child, the older children can look big and scary and like bullies, even if they're being good. On the other hand, when you're there with a big kid, the very small children can look very delicate and more like babies than toddlers. I know I would not expect a child that young to know to get out of the way when big kids were coming down the slide, or to know not just to sit on the slide and get hurt.

I think the best we can do is try to assume best intentions when practical (not when someone is obviously being mean), and go from there. If a mom moved my toddler off a slide, unless there was a strong reason to think she was intending to be mean, I think I'd try to assume she was trying to save my toddler from getting hurt. I think it makes playground interactions go a lot smoother when we react in as positive a way as practical (again, so not when someone is obviously over the line.) I would have been annoyed by someone moving my child - I won't lie there - but I think I would have tried to assume good intentions, and I would have said in a cheerful voice, "Oh, he'll be ok! He's actually really good at getting off the slide on his own."
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#39 of 47 Old 03-20-2013, 08:48 AM
 
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It's tricky to negotiate playgrounds. On one hand, when you're there with a very small child, the older children can look big and scary and like bullies, even if they're being good. On the other hand, when you're there with a big kid, the very small children can look very delicate and more like babies than toddlers. I know I would not expect a child that young to know to get out of the way when big kids were coming down the slide, or to know not just to sit on the slide and get hurt.

I think the best we can do is try to assume best intentions when practical (not when someone is obviously being mean), and go from there. If a mom moved my toddler off a slide, unless there was a strong reason to think she was intending to be mean, I think I'd try to assume she was trying to save my toddler from getting hurt. I think it makes playground interactions go a lot smoother when we react in as positive a way as practical (again, so not when someone is obviously over the line.) I would have been annoyed by someone moving my child - I won't lie there - but I think I would have tried to assume good intentions, and I would have said in a cheerful voice, "Oh, he'll be ok! He's actually really good at getting off the slide on his own."

My thoughts exactly.
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#40 of 47 Old 03-20-2013, 11:28 AM
 
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I was just at a playgroup watching my nearly 2 year old walk out of the main room. It was important to me to watch, obviously because she was wandering around outside of the toddler space, but also because I wanted to see how far she would go. A parent (or I think it may have been a nanny) ran from WAY across the room to rescue my child. I was kind of in a daze watching her that I didn't realize what was going on. One one hand I thought it was a bit dramatic to run like that. On the other hand, if I hadn't been watching her attention would have been greatly appreciated. So, I explained to her that I didn't realize why she was running at first and that I had been watching. I told her that I was watching to see how far my toddler would go. And, I thaanked her for her help. 

 

I sometimes, probably like many of you, prefer to watch so I can get a better feel for what my young child will get into, how high and how far she will go. I think just watching is a great way to go for a lot of children. I also don't help on the playground the way some parents do. I'm a fan of the theory that if they can get up on something they can probably get down.  I also think that if a child can't get up on something by themselves they shouldn't really be up there without adult supervision. I usually just make my kids wait to play on something until they are ready to do it by themselves. 

 

I've been happily watching my child on the playground when a parent would help her get up on something, which is a tiny pet-peeve of mine because that's not what I would do and then I also have to parent differently once my child is on a structure they didn't climb themeselves. 

 

I ALSO think that kids tend to live up to expectations. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a kid fall, just as a parent is telling them to watch out. There's something weird about that...and I don't like to get all hippie, metaphysical but that's how I feel and what I've observed. But it's not just that, when I'm close to my DC there is a implied agreement that she can rely on me to help her. She is less cautious and only her dad, sister and I know her well enough to have that sort of dynamic. We know when she is going to jump into our arms, or when she's going to let go of something and fall on us. Other people don't know that and it's not safe, IMO, for someone who doesn't know my DC to hover. Not that you can say all of this on the playground...

 

All of that said...I think other important lessons are learned on the playground and some of them are accepting different parents, theories, values and etc.   What to say has a lot to do with what you're trying to accomplish. 

 

One tip I've learned is that you can sometimes talk to parents though your child, which feels really non-confrontational, IMO.  So, you could say something like, "Peter, would you mind playing over there for a while because you are making that mom and her young child nervous?"  Then you can look to the mom and explain that he plays here all the time and loves to climb up the side or whatever.  

 

In the case of a parent helping my child get up higher than she could go on her own, I may step in and teach her to get down but I may say something like, "Let me help you because it's hard to get down from something by yourself when you've had so much good help getting up here."  


Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#41 of 47 Old 03-20-2013, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think the best we can do is try to assume best intentions when practical (not when someone is obviously being mean), and go from there. If a mom moved my toddler off a slide, unless there was a strong reason to think she was intending to be mean, I think I'd try to assume she was trying to save my toddler from getting hurt. I think it makes playground interactions go a lot smoother when we react in as positive a way as practical (again, so not when someone is obviously over the line.) I would have been annoyed by someone moving my child - I won't lie there - but I think I would have tried to assume good intentions, and I would have said in a cheerful voice, "Oh, he'll be ok! He's actually really good at getting off the slide on his own."
Most suggestions have been along this idea, which I like so it gets an idea across without being mean. Thanks for the input.

Laotian girl, who went from heavy partying to peaceful parenting, to 'Humnoy' (3/13/2011) and 'Lanoi' (2/05/2013)

 

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#42 of 47 Old 03-20-2013, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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IdentityCrisisMama, I love everything you said. It covers both aspects of this 'incident' so I appreciate that. Great conversation lines too, thanks!

Laotian girl, who went from heavy partying to peaceful parenting, to 'Humnoy' (3/13/2011) and 'Lanoi' (2/05/2013)

 

Mama behind the Breastfeeding Toddler Positions meme and blogging about non-mainstream ideas of parenting at TheLaotianCommotion.com

 

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#43 of 47 Old 03-21-2013, 02:34 AM
 
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I understand that it's not easy to hear other viewpoints to our own, but I feel that the feedback you've gotten here has been friendly and constructive. People have offered a different perspective. No, it was not what you were expecting or specifically asking for, but please remember we are on the world wide interwebs here and when you put yourself out there on a blog or a massive forum like this, it is reasonable to expect that differing views may be expressed. This thread has not turned into a debate or anything "hot" like I have seen around here. But yes you have gotten some feedback and differing views. I don't think anyone here is advocating helicopter parenting or unnecessarily touching others' kids. It's just that, to many, this specific incident looked nothing like helicopter parenting and we have simply tried to point that out. You were asking a question: "What do I say to helicopter parents all over my child?" and those of us who did not see this as a helicopter situation said so. It makes perfect sense. That doesn't mean it's easy to hear.

 

I once started a thread about how it hurts my heart when I see mamas pushing their newborns around in a baby carriage while the baby screams its head off and the mother more or less ignores it and goes on shopping. 90% of the responses were: "You have no idea what's going on in that mama's life. You are only seeing a 5 minute snippet of her day. Maybe you don't need to judge and feel so hurt". Boy was I surprised! And annoyed. But you know what? They all had a point. It still hurts me when I see that situation and I still believe that in most cases it's negligence, but I remember now that maybe just maybe there's more than meets the eye and it's not the tragedy I believe it to be.

 

We can really learn something and broaden our horizons and perhaps evolve our viewpoints if we are open to hear honest feedback. It's not easy though. I am not saying you should change your feelings but it doesn't hurt you to openly listen to what others are saying and at least consider it for a moment. You are free to dismiss and feel certain about your own views but really there's no need to get defensive.
 


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#44 of 47 Old 04-01-2013, 02:57 PM
 
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Goodness gracious.  LaotianMama didn't say this woman was a horrible terrible person who did an evil evil thing.  She said she didn't like the way the other mother acted with her own child (and I think we can all agree that a mother has a right to feel protective of her child), and wondered how best to handle the situation in the future. A pretty reasonable request.

 

LaotianMama - I hope you find a way to politely bring up this topic if it happens again.  I have another helicopter parent in my life (my mother in law), but haven't been able to figure out how to communicate with her, but that's a whole other story.

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#45 of 47 Old 04-01-2013, 03:20 PM
 
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Goodness gracious.  LaotianMama didn't say this woman was a horrible terrible person who did an evil evil thing.  She said she didn't like the way the other mother acted with her own child (and I think we can all agree that a mother has a right to feel protective of her child), and wondered how best to handle the situation in the future. A pretty reasonable request.

LaotianMama - I hope you find a way to politely bring up this topic if it happens again.  I have another helicopter parent in my life (my mother in law), but haven't been able to figure out how to communicate with her, but that's a whole other story.

I just read about a grandmother who put a soon-to-be crawling baby on a kitchen counter, and the kitchen has a tile floor, and turned her back on him. Given the choice between a helicopter parent and a dangerous one, I'll take the helicopter parent.
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#46 of 47 Old 04-01-2013, 03:25 PM
 
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I just read about a grandmother who put a soon-to-be crawling baby on a kitchen counter, and the kitchen has a tile floor, and turned her back on him. Given the choice between a helicopter parent and a dangerous one, I'll take the helicopter parent.

 

Well, yes, but that's a silly choice.  Given the choice between a grandparent who leaves a kid on the kitchen counter and a grandparent who sexually abuses a kid, I'll take the countertop grandparent.  Just because there are always worse things in the world doesn't make less bad things ok.

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#47 of 47 Old 04-11-2013, 03:31 PM
 
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Honestly, to me, being free range includes not freaking out if another mom picks up my kid at the playground. I really don't think that would even register on my radar nowadays. that other mom was probably in "mom mode". Annoying? Sure. Worth getting your feathers ruffled? Probably not.
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