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#31 of 51 Old 05-10-2009, 11:31 PM
 
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I tend to be more closely involved in my DD1's activities when we are in a new situation, or around new people. She is spirited, high energy, and 2.5 She is very tall and agile and very well spoken, and strangers assume she's 4. So yeah, sometimes I need to help guide interactions to keep everyone safe.

We werre just at story time at the library Friday. I'd had to take her home the week before because she would not sit down, she would not listen to the librarian or to me and she was being very disruptive. This week, she did a lot better, though she's still high energy, antsy, always on the move and LOUD. I go the evil eye from a nanny more than once during the 30 minute event, but when it was over, I was talking to a dad and mention she was only 31 months (this story time is for 30 months and up, so she was at the vey young end of the age range). The nanny was shocked and said "She's only 2.5? She looks so much older!"

I know people tend to expect different behavior from her than she's capable of - especially when she's excited/interested/wound up - because of her perceived age. Yes, she's tall, she's very verbal, she's interested in the older kids and she is very bright. But emotionally and developmentally, she is still very much a 2.5 year old. So when I have to remind her that hands are not for hitting, and remind her to wait her turn, I'm not trying to be a helicopter parent, I'm trying to help her have smooth and peaceful interactions with others.

And yeah, one time at the park, DH was Blackberrying and I was, well, I have no idea what I was doing, but not closely monitoring everything DD was doing. I looked over at her and she was playing with the wood chip playground covering. You know, getting dirty, experimenting with gravity and wind direction, etc. Park was empty, no big deal. DH and I remarked about how other parents we know would be all "Stop playing with DIRT! We brought you to the park to swing and slide! So go swing and slide! NOW!" Eh. It's dirt, no biggie, you know?
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#32 of 51 Old 05-10-2009, 11:52 PM
 
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It totally depends on the situation if i'm a "helicopter mom" or more relaxed. It also depends on what kind of mood my kids are in too.
New situation, new kids= more supervision

In the op, i think what you described is a little over board.

you(in general) can watch your kids without directing every move, and you can be a relaxed parent without letting your kids be little heathens to all the other kids, there is a definite balance. It seems like the kids at the library were playing fine and the other parents intervening was just unnecessary- that i can't stand.

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#33 of 51 Old 05-11-2009, 10:07 AM
 
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I see that at the playground a lot. I kind of laugh to myself and hope they're all first timers who haven't gotten the hang of it yet... or that they've adopted all their kids at once if they have some older ones.
It only makes me mad (I don't know if mad is the right word but anything other than amused, I guess) when they try to do it to my DS. If he falls, I leave him be. He shakes it off. If he falls and cries then I'll go over and help him. Sometimes other parents will "OMG are you ok? You really bonked your*whatever*" and DS looks at them like they're... annoying

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#34 of 51 Old 05-11-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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Guess I'm middle of the road. I'm super hovery when y YDD is in an area with lots of things to eat ( allergies) or crafts that she can damage a public area...no matter if its set up for kids or not.

I did though have a mom come over and let her kid play with my electrical outlets ( age 4) , we were selling our house and he was unplugging and plugging things back in. Broke my CO2 detector ( so I had to buy another one) , she corrected me when I asked him to stop and said he knew how to do it a safe way ...

so I also think it has to be about respect of property also. I will let my kids play , interact with others as they see fit...if they choose to color on someones wall I think that's out of line and will intervene.
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#35 of 51 Old 05-11-2009, 12:57 PM
 
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If parents are berating their kids or hitting them, I care how they parent. If parents are telling MY kid what to do, I care how they parent. If parents are yelling their kids' names with critical direction, I care how they parent.

Then, if appropriate (see telling MY kid what to do), I interact with the parent about it.

Otherwise, it's none of my business.

ETA: You don't know whether their kids are working through aggression or anxiety or ..... So their proximity to their kids means nothing about your proximity to yours.
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#36 of 51 Old 05-12-2009, 11:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
If parents are berating their kids or hitting them, I care how they parent. If parents are telling MY kid what to do, I care how they parent. If parents are yelling their kids' names with critical direction, I care how they parent.

Then, if appropriate (see telling MY kid what to do), I interact with the parent about it.

Otherwise, it's none of my business.

ETA: You don't know whether their kids are working through aggression or anxiety or ..... So their proximity to their kids means nothing about your proximity to yours.
Yes, it should be a case of minding your own business but helicopter parents affect everyone around them. The tension and the disjointed play created from their over-involvement sucks energy from all in the room, or creates negative energy in those susceptible.

I have become a helicopter occasionally and each time I have retreated quickly when it became clear behaviors became worse, not better. For instance, dd was playing with a friend who had trouble waiting for turns with a toy so I started using a timer. Any ounce of generosity and good-will disappeared as the kids hoarded the toy for the allotted time, not even playing with it. When I went back to "you'll get a turn when he/she is done" they worked it out themselves.
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#37 of 51 Old 05-13-2009, 08:31 PM
 
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How I wish I could do this, or even just sit at a bench when my kids are enjoying themselves in the playground!
Well, my kids are considerably older than yours are. This is the FIRST year (now that they're 5 and 8) where I could do that. Otherwise, I've pretty much been right there, playing with them. Not to prevent conflict (though that does happen) but because they wanted me there. Like you, I joined in their play. And sometimes I still do.


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I typically find that parents are the "let them work it out themselves" kind until it is their child being bullied/pushed/bitten/excluded/not fairly treated.
Well, I don't think the opposite of helicopter parent = not ever intervening. And it's different for kids of different ages. I expect parents to watch out for their kids, especially if they're likely to be bullied (got one of those!). And again, it depends on the age.

I'm really talking about the 'control every movement of your child's play because they aren't doing it right' kind of parenting.

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#38 of 51 Old 05-15-2009, 11:15 PM
 
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I typically find that parents are the "let them work it out themselves" kind until it is their child being bullied/pushed/bitten/excluded/not fairly treated.

I have a very mellow daughter. I love this about her, but on the other hand, it can be to her detriment when she is with children who are either type "a" personalities, or who maybe come from homes where 'might makes right' and where life is a "survival of the fittest (read: meanest)" scenario.

On one hand, I allow dd to navigate her own comfort level and social interactions. I certainly don't stop her from climbing/exploring/licking shopping carts ... I am cool with that stuff.

On the other, I do almost always have one eye on her in situations like a park etc, because more often than not, she is the kid getting the short end of every deal because your kid (collective you) is "navigating their world" at the expense of being a jerk to my kid .

So yeah, I advocate for my kid. That is part of my job description. My aim is to do it in such a way that respects all parties involved.
Saved me a lot of time that you already wrote this for me

I really enjoy having play dates with other parents of children where we can give them their space.

But that being said it is a constant learning opportunity when dd is with her type "a" personality relative that also has lots of negative behaviors of aggression and teasing/ bullying type play. You better believe I am going to hover. I did make the mistake of letting them have their space at a family gathering with older children present. But I decided that it is poor parenting on my part after dd came in with a bleeding lip after being pushed from behind to the ground I was more angry at myself than anything. I should have know better. Now my dh and I have an agreement that one of us follows and one of can stay with the baby. It also gives us lots of opportunitys to talk about what we saw happen and teach her through example how to be her own advocate.

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#39 of 51 Old 05-17-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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I have a very mellow daughter. I love this about her, but on the other hand, it can be to her detriment when she is with children who are either type "a" personalities, or who maybe come from homes where 'might makes right' and where life is a "survival of the fittest (read: meanest)" scenario.

On one hand, I allow dd to navigate her own comfort level and social interactions. I certainly don't stop her from climbing/exploring/licking shopping carts ... I am cool with that stuff.
I'm pretty much like this too. My 2 year-old son is very sweet and we have a pretty mellow home so yeah he often gets the short end of the stick at the playground. For instance a few weeks ago a 4 yo girl stood at the stop of the steps to the slide and wouldn't let him on and was making bossy comments about how it was just for her friends, etc. Since the mom wasn't paying attention I intervened in a nice way: "Sweetie, this playground equipment is for all of the children." I don't think the kid was a brat, just going through her own stage of development, but her behavior was still not appropriate.

I often follow my son around the playground because he's only 2, and very physically capable, but often thinks he's much more capable than he actually is. It would be neglectful for me not to spot him climbing on certain equipment, etc.

OTOH, I try not to manage social interactions. In fact I think a lot of parents create drama. If my son bumps into another kid and the other kid doesn't even notice (or vice versa), then why do we have to do a big apologizing scene?
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#40 of 51 Old 05-17-2009, 09:55 PM
 
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Oh such a pet peeve of mine! This sort of thing happens to us on a regular basis. I just thought it was a Florida thing.
Parents shouting "No running!!" while they are on the phone (Ummm, it's the park, where should they run? hello!) yelling out instructions on how to climb the equipment. Drives me nuts!
Don't get your clothes dirty! Don't touch that tree, where are your shoes. Aww heck lady, go back inside.
Let me just say. I watch my son from the sidelines (no book, no phone) when he is playing, he is very agile and rarely needs me when he is climbing. Truthfully I enjoy watching him play. When he is playing with other kids, I watch and don't get involved unless sand or fists are flying.
I can't tell you how many times my son has been playing and someone has told him that he is going to fall. (I hate hate hate that!). Mind your own kid, you know? Of course at that point I have to go stand closer if he is doing "one footed flippy twisters". I mean, they SAID he was going to fall, now what if he does?
Sorry for the rant, it must annoy me more than I think.

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#41 of 51 Old 05-17-2009, 10:03 PM
 
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omg i hate hate hate that...that kind of annoying helicoptering is why we don't do storytime anymore. or museum time either.

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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#42 of 51 Old 05-17-2009, 10:48 PM
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I'm really talking about the 'control every movement of your child's play because they aren't doing it right' kind of parenting.
We agree on that, then
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#43 of 51 Old 05-17-2009, 11:52 PM
 
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omg i hate hate hate that...that kind of annoying helicoptering is why we don't do storytime anymore. or museum time either.
You allow the way other parents parent their own children keep you from taking your children to museums and storytime? That seems so intolerant and punishes your children for the actions of others that you judge to be inappropriate without knowing anything about their circumstances or the reasons behind why they parent the way they do.
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#44 of 51 Old 05-18-2009, 02:12 PM
 
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I have learned to watch my child more closely during play with some kids or in some contexts. For example one day, a child who was visiting for a playdate was wailing on DS in the other room and DS was fighting back tears in silence. Had I not walked by, he would have just let it go on .... another day DS was crying on the slide because a child had hit and kicked him .... it's not to blame the other child/parent ... but to be there to help my child find his voice when he's been hurt.
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#45 of 51 Old 05-18-2009, 10:09 PM
 
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OK, I guess I'm alone here, but reading the OPs post, I don't see helicopter parent (like the dad and the sand throwing) but a parent trying to teach her young child social skills.

***snip***

So no, hovering parents don't annoy me at all. I'd much rather have a hovering parent than a parent who lets their child do whatever he/she likes as some sort of learning experience. Having a 2 y/o bite, for example, is real life, but I'd prefer to avoid that, y/k?
No, you are not alone.
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#46 of 51 Old 05-20-2009, 06:11 AM
 
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This thread has been helpful to me. After reading it I realized I've been a little to far on the hellicopter side of the parenting continum.

Part of it is because I'm trying to navigate the cultural norms of a new country.

But so he is and I should give him the credit and space for being able to learn this. In fact he will much likely learn the culture and it's subtle nuances much faster and complete than I will ever be able to.

I agee that their are situations, for example bullying that require hovering, but I think the OP is talking about parents that not only hover but our calling out the shots for their child.

Anyway thanks for this great discussion.
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#47 of 51 Old 05-20-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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You allow the way other parents parent their own children keep you from taking your children to museums and storytime? That seems so intolerant and punishes your children for the actions of others that you judge to be inappropriate without knowing anything about their circumstances or the reasons behind why they parent the way they do.
yes i most definitely do !
those parents dominate the atmosphere of the local storytime/activities, and the directors of the programs have similarly overbearing personalities. lol, im not punishing my LO's-it's not fun for them, so we don't go. i don't find that to be the least bit intolerant, not in the way you are saying it. i dont have to subject myself and my kids to someone else's interfering, negative behavior-why go if it's no fun? honestly, if someone is micromanaging their child's(and mine) every move, i really could care less their internal dialogue or motivation or history. i would just prefer to say, live and let live, and walk off, and skip their company altogether.

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#48 of 51 Old 05-20-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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no doubt there are other threads venting about parents who are too busy with cell phones and other distractions and turn blind eyes to their children's bullying behaviors. my SIL quit going to the library b/c of these kinds of parents.

.

that would have been my vent today. We actually had the opposite situation in which perhaps the parent should have been more *there* not to hover but maybe a flyby once in a while as there child screamed,banged computer keyboards against the wall and rudely replied to the librarian she wasnt leaving when asked to step out of story time due to the distractions
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#49 of 51 Old 05-22-2009, 11:38 AM
 
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I think I am with several of you pp's who are middle of the road. I am a hover-er in certain situations - not to control or limit my ds' play, but to support him to expand his horizons in ways he wouldn't without my close presence. I probably look like a helicopter parent at the playground, but I don't care, I do it because I know my ds.

On the other hand, I let him play with dirt/tools/make a mess and deconstruct stuff (not all at other people's homes, unless they're ok with it). I dislike when people come to my home and ask ds "are you allowed to have those scissors?" or say "be careful!" all the time. Or direct how their kid's drawing should be etc. That is overbearing to me.

I agree that hanging out with friends who are like-minded can make these social experiences less stressful.
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#50 of 51 Old 05-23-2009, 08:53 AM
 
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I thought about this when mine was younger too. I don't think all parents do it because they are overbearing but also because they probably don't want something to happen to another person's child and then after the fact it's their child's fault. So in a way it can be a good thing to atleast keep a watchful eye out, but it can become hovering at some point if the parent is too overprotective. There's a fine line.

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#51 of 51 Old 05-23-2009, 09:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mikanmom View Post
This thread has been helpful to me. After reading it I realized I've been a little to far on the hellicopter side of the parenting continum.

Part of it is because I'm trying to navigate the cultural norms of a new country.

But so he is and I should give him the credit and space for being able to learn this. In fact he will much likely learn the culture and it's subtle nuances much faster and complete than I will ever be able to.

I agee that their are situations, for example bullying that require hovering, but I think the OP is talking about parents that not only hover but our calling out the shots for their child.

Anyway thanks for this great discussion.
me too... and the fact that at the playground it is always new kids, and a new language (that dd and I don't speak) I personally don't believe in "they will fight it out" pack mentality. My dd is an alpha type so she def tends to overbear, and I want her to learn to observe first and not just sit in the middle and take what she wants. At almost 3 she needs help using her words and not her hands, and so I try to help her. But I guess since we are in a new environment it's hard to let her go and get into those kinds of scraps since really they are instructing her too.

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