I'm feeling a little lost... - Mothering Forums
Parenting > I'm feeling a little lost...
swd12422's Avatar swd12422 02:56 PM 07-05-2012

I was at a barbecue yesterday at a friend's house and am SO confused. I didn't know the other families there all that well, but my friend is pretty GD/natural living/AP and has mentioned that these friends are like-minded. None of us knew each other, so I can't really vouch for that, only for what I saw.....


Which was, one child had been in the pool and had climbed out to vomit. I looked over, and just saw her crouched on the ground near the pool, vomiting in the grass. Her mom didn't get out of her chair, and her dad didn't leave the pool or even go over to her. If my child was vomiting, I'd be right there to rub her back/help in any way I could. Obviously, she was fine, and I didn't go over b/c she didn't know me, but I really just wanted to go and give her a hug and whisper to her that she'd be okay. (She's about 3-4 years old, not sure.) Am I crazy? Shouldn't SOMEONE have gone over there? (The parents said she wasn't sick, just swallowed water or ate too recently or something.)


Then there was a scuffle over toys. Everyone agreed, let them work it out. (Kids were all between the ages of 3 and 6, with the exception of the babies.) One child was despondent over having to share his stuff; he just couldn't let it go even though he was using other kids' toys too. When his mom tried to talk to him about it, the other moms told her to let it go and let him figure it out on his own. Well, yes, the sharing part, but he was crying and very upset, having trouble sorting out what he needed to do. Isn't it our job as parents to help them sort things out and learn to think things through so they can fix their own "problems," no matter how silly they seem to us?


Just b/c it's "normal" and "age appropriate," does that mean we leave them to their own devices?


There was another incident between two of the boys who were friends. I didn't see what happened but apparently one boy was hit in the face by accident and was upset. He wasn't hurt, and his mom just let it go since he didn't come crying to her for comfort. Fine, I can see that being a good time to let them sort things out. But then suddenly the boy who had done the accidental hitting was sobbing harder than his friend. He was SO upset he couldn't speak. His mom made no move to comfort him or even to find out what the problem was. I thought maybe he was upset that he'd hurt his friend -- shouldn't he have had someone reassure him his friend wasn't badly hurt? Obviously, he could see that, but still, these are LITTLE kids, not 10-year-olds. I really wanted to give the kid a hug and couldn't believe his mom wasn't right there to comfort her little boy.


Am I crazy to think that these moms should have done a little more for their kids in these situations? I know I enjoyed letting the kids play and chatting with other moms/dads but I also made sure that my kids were happy and safe and behaving nicely. And when they weren't, I took care of it. Or maybe I do need to lighten up (I often think that) and these moms are right -- they definitely seem to be more laid back and relaxed than I am! What do you all think?

Peggy O'Mara's Avatar Peggy O'Mara 04:35 PM 07-05-2012

I'm with you. This sounds more like detached parenting to me. I agree that reassuring, touching, would have been appropriate in these situations. What a disappointment, when you were looking for new friends. You'll have to sort out who you really have something in common with. What did your friend think?

swd12422's Avatar swd12422 05:15 PM 07-05-2012

She agreed with me for the most part, and the irony is, she's the one who yells at her kids the most! (Well, she claims to. We both work on being more gentle with our kids, but she always says she's "that mom" who yells at her kids and is terribly impatient. I have seen some evidence of this, but overall she is a good mama and she credits some of these same friends of hers as being a "good influence" on her parenting. I don't get it. These moms are MORE GD than she is, she was the only one who scolded/yelled at her kids yesterday during the all-day barbecue, she says they (and I ) are "calm" and set a good example for her to be more calm around her kids, but she seemed to be the only one  who gave any of the upsets any attention. And maybe it was only b/c she was the hostess, but still...)

mamatowill's Avatar mamatowill 09:00 PM 07-05-2012

It is hard to say since I was not there. I know that I have a kid who does not want me there when they are vomiting- even that young so I can see the parents not going to her at that time. Also the parents in the neighbourhood and I don't step in right away. We wait to see if the child is able to calm themselves before we step in so we might not step in immediately either. Now I don't leave my children to sob but I also have one kid who needs to be by themselves for awhile before they are ready for me to comfort them. I have learned the hard way to back off and let them calm down and come to me. I do want to comfort kids though when I see that.

meemee's Avatar meemee 09:15 PM 07-05-2012

you know swd being the parent of an almost 10 year old, i have found i dont let single incidents irk me very much. because it truly does not tell you what's going on. 


yes in general i would have agreed all the incidents should have had the parent run over...


.... but with life being so hard the parents had had it and wanted a time to themselves and some downtime. 


i can see myself being the parent of the crying child and not going to her. she could be tired and just needs that time to let it all out. and no she would not want me near her. its when she stops crying that's when she would need me. 


vomiting. perhaps that girl is a regular vomiter and can take care of herself. 


i am helping a friend who has her own issues along with being a new parent. there are some things she does that ugh irks me to death, but i know its because she as a parent is way too overwhelmed and is struggling to take care of herself as well as her child. which means sometimes she has to take care of herself first before her child. she has helped me sooo incredibly through my frustrations to see that there might be another point to the story which i am not aware of right now. 


it isnt a question of mom is right or you are right. its a question of could there be other possibilities that you are not aware of. 


there are so many possibilities. i dont want to limit mine reaction to what i think is wrong or right. 

swd12422's Avatar swd12422 07:01 AM 07-06-2012

You all are right, as usual, which is why I always ask you to point out the errors in my thinking! Of course there is always more to the story, but I just couldn't see that at the time. My mommy instinct had taken over and all I could think was, "This kid needs someone" where of course now I see that's not necessarily true. Although one mom made a comment about hoping no one thought her crying child was "annoying." Yeah, it's not fun to be around a whiny 6 year old (or a whiny any-year-old, for that matter, but the older they get, the less tolerance people have), but the child wasn't whining, he was genuinely upset about something that had happened and was crying like his little heart was breaking. IDK, maybe that IS whining and he puts on a good show. (I know my kids are able to gear up the drama, but with them I can tell it's forced. This kid didn't seem to be forcing it, but what do I know?)


But I'm so grateful to see different perspectives on this.

reezley's Avatar reezley 02:06 PM 07-09-2012

I would have felt how you do, that someone should have offered to help in those situations.  I feel like some moms (maybe dads too) feel they have to look overly calm and nonchalant around other parents.  I suppose there could be special circumstances around all those incidents you mentioned, but taken together I would have reacted as you did I think.

APToddlerMama's Avatar APToddlerMama 02:18 PM 07-09-2012
Honestly I'm right with you thinking that is odd. I really cannot imagine not stepping in when a kid is vomitting or sobbing. Very strange.
Mummoth's Avatar Mummoth 07:11 PM 07-09-2012

My kid IS 10 and I go to him if he vomits. This past winter, I woke up in the morning and he'd brought a bowl to his room during the night and I was so upset that I'd slept through him being sick several times over a few hours. I think I'd have gotten involved in all of those situations, even with my 10 and 8 year old. 

swd12422's Avatar swd12422 05:53 AM 07-10-2012

I try very hard not to be a "helicopter mom" and on the one hand I think it's great that a 10 year old just takes care of business himself like that. But on the other hand, I would be worried -- I would want to at least be aware of the situation so that if something was really wrong or it got worse I'd be able to act quickly and correctly. And make sure he stayed hydrated. And be able to tell the doctor what time it started, how frequently/how much he was vomiting/if there was blood (would a 10 year old know if he was vomiting fresh or dried blood?)/ whatever else is important. Or does that just make me crazy b/c of course your son is just fine b/c it was probably just the same flu everyone else got last winter...? ;-)

Mummoth's Avatar Mummoth 08:31 PM 07-10-2012

Oh yeah, for sure! I told him to wake me up next time so I can at least take his temperature and give him some Tylenol. He puked up some purple cookies his sister made another time and was scared that it was his guts, so I'm pretty sure if he saw red blood he'd freak out. I don't think it's helicopter parenting, I like being taken care of when I'm sick, too!