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Did anyone else read this article? What were your thoughts on it? I thought it was very interesting.<br><br>
Do you think that "overparenting" is the problem that this article makes it out to be? Do you know helicopter parents? What is the prevalent parenting style around you, "helicopter" or "free-range"?<br><br><br>
The original article can be found here:<br><a href="http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1940395-1,00.html" target="_blank">http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...0395-1,00.html</a>
 

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I didn't really like the article. While it is an interesting concept, I thought they treated it very poorly, quoting the most extreme examples of 'helicopter' parenting as if they were the norm. Are there really a lot of preschools under pressure to teach Mandarian?<br><br>
I wonder if the examples are more from a particular socioeconomic class than the country as a whole, because many parents are working very hard just to make ends meet, and don't have the luxury of being too involved in their kids lives because they're working two jobs just to pay the rent.
 

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That was an interesting read.<br><br>
One thought I had recently was when do I let DD play on her own? Especially outside? Given that we have sex offenders in the area? I don't want to hover, but I need her to be safe too.<br><br>
I ran all over the place by myself. Almost no supervision, but I had a good head on my shoulders.<br><br>
I can't picture just letting DD go off and running.<br><br>
There's a logical fallacy imo in the statement (paraphrasing slightly b/c I can't remember the exact wording) "crime was down; but parents watched their children more than ever."<br><br>
And I just wanted to say, umm, ever think it's harder to commit crimes under watchful eyes?<br><br>
V
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>onemomentatatime</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14730832"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I didn't really like the article. While it is an interesting concept, I thought they treated it very poorly, quoting the most extreme examples of 'helicopter' parenting as if they were the norm. Are there really a lot of preschools under pressure to teach Mandarian?<br><br>
I wonder if the examples are more from a particular socioeconomic class than the country as a whole, because many parents are working very hard just to make ends meet, and don't have the luxury of being too involved in their kids lives because they're working two jobs just to pay the rent.</div>
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I do hear about a lot of 'enrichment' type classes at daycares. My friend's kids take a preschool Spanish class. (They also offer a music class and art class for an additional fee.)<br><br>
But is that helicopter parenting or simply providing a stimulating environment? Especially considering we now know kids learn languages much better when they are younger?<br><br>
I don't think educational experiences can really be categorized as helicopter parenting. Even if they seem precociously young. To me, it's more the fact that Ernst and Young has to cater to parents of potential employees. That's weird imo.<br><br>
And I would hate to have my childhood play level be evaluated during a job interview.<br>
V
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Violet2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14730920"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There's a logical fallacy imo in the statement (paraphrasing slightly b/c I can't remember the exact wording) "crime was down; but parents watched their children more than ever."<br><br>
And I just wanted to say, umm, ever think it's harder to commit crimes under watchful eyes?</div>
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Yes, I have the same thought every time I read one of these articles, because every single one has some variation on the theme, "The incidence of problem X has reduced dramatically, yet parents are still using problem X prevention strategies." Um, duh.<br><br>
That said, I really liked the article.<br><br>
The problems I see are a lot of parents (including myself -- I struggle with this) (a) trying to control the uncontrollable, (b) focusing on tiny probabilities and ignoring large ones, and (c) ignoring the risks of intervention, notably the loss of free play and undirected activity. This happens in both dramatic and subtle ways.<br><br>
Points (a) and (b) are really more about priority-setting and parental sanity; point (c) is the one that I think would be best hammered home. There are vast swaths of research that show how incredibly productive it is for children's growth to have time in which they are free to think, learn, play, explore, make mistakes, learn how to negotiate with peers, solve their own problems, and so on. Time spent on those things is far more valuable for future life skills than yet another structured class, no matter how educational it's supposed to be.<br><br>
For some kids, a structured program might be preferable for reasons to do with that child's personality, cognitive skills, interests, and/or home situation. However, the majority of children are best served by free time, preferably with a minimum of screens (video, tv, etc.) and lots of time outdoors.<br><br>
And while I agree that it would be uncomfortable to be asked about your child play in a job interview, for engineering, it does matter if you've spent time building things and taking things apart. It's actually relevant to job performance, and so I think that's fair game in an interview.
 

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I did not like the article. As PP mentioned it seemed like it was taking the most extreme examples and using them to imply that this has somehow become the 'norm.' As for language programs, European counties have taught multiple languages in school as the 'norm' for many years. Parents in the US didn't just recently arrive at that idea as a way to over-parent their children.<br><br>
I think articles like this are a bit like fashion spreads - they make you feel bad over some unatinable ideal that doesn't exist in reality.<br><br>
I would say the normal parenting style around me is "happy middle ground" and I don't know anyone who is a helicopter parent as described by this article nor a free-range parent.
 

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Here's my favorite piece of the article:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Parents need to block out the sound and fury from the media and other parents, find that formula that fits your family best."<br><br>
Read more: <a href="http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1940395-4,00.html#ixzz0YC1x12S6" target="_blank">http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...#ixzz0YC1x12S6</a></td>
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As a type-A person myself, I found the article interesting in that I think that a lot of parents put a lot of pressure on themselves to succeed at parenting, and in doing so, probably set themselves up for failure in many areas. What I got from the article was less about protection of one's children and more about the competitiveness of parenting and the fear of failure. God knows we all want to see our children not only make it through life, but to succeed. I'll be the first to admit that I want my child to do much, much better in life than I have (and I'm not talking monetarily). I want her to make all the right choices at the right times and to find satisfaction and happiness in her adult life. I don't want to flub up as a parent. I can see why people can take the whole parenting thing to the extreme.<br><br>
Granted, even coming to MDC sometimes makes me feel inadequate! Sometimes the best thing to do is to just block out how other people are doing things and to set specific, reachable goals. We, as parents, are exposed to soooo much information now. Much, much more than my own parents were.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>annekevdbroek</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14731113"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">As for language programs, European counties have taught multiple languages in school as the 'norm' for many years. Parents in the US didn't just recently arrive at that idea as a way to over-parent their children.</div>
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Of course not. We're a multilingual family and I deliberately don't speak any English with my DS, so I'm much more sympathetic to the language issue than many of the others. If you don't have easy access to multiple languages in your community, it's reasonable to try to get that implemented in your child's school or preschool. There is a definite window for learning languages.<br><br>
But I will point out that European countries (as well as many other non-US countries, including my own) teach multiple languages in school because they have large communities of people who speak them right there. There is community exposure, which is a big part of why that approach works.<br><br>
The example in the article was about parents insisting on Mandarin instruction in nursery school. If the goal is to have your child speak Mandarin as an adult, I would think that learning any tonal language will likely have a similar effect for priming their brain, tongue and ears appropriately. And if you can't manage a tonal language, any other language would still help. Why the need for Mandarin, specifically?<br><br>
I guess my point is that the drive to add more language exposure doesn't have to be quite so frantic -- unless you want your child to be perfectly fluent, in which case, a class in nursery school really isn't going to be enough, anyway.
 

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Hmm, personally I see a lot more underparenting than I see overparenting. But whatever. I think this is just the new trend. It's like those articles about people confessing to their bad parenting things and that woman who wrote the book about drinking wine out of sippy cups or something.
 

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I really liked this article. Then again, I work in a high school, so I see a lot of this stuff firsthand.<br><br>
My sister is one of those parents whose kids are scheduled every minute of every day. I have no idea how she does it. I want my son to be much more free-range, although I do worry about him getting hit by a car or drowning in the pond down the street. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Haven't figured out how to manage that yet. I also want him to experience disappointment and failure and hurt with little things when he's young, so he can cope with the bigger hurts and disappointments and failures when he gets older.
 

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I think the article is really confusing two phenomena: 1) heightening fear/protectiveness/whatever you want to call it and 2) over scheduling kids and excessive involvement on the part of the parents. I consider helicopter parenting to be #2, not necessarily #1. For myself, personally, my mother was very much a protective parent, not allowing me to spend the night at friends' homes, etc. But, she was in no way a helicopter parent. She had no input in what classes I took even when I was in middle school, much less in high school or college.<br><br>
Maybe it's because I tend towards over protectiveness myself, but I don't think it's a bad thing, compared to the parents who baby their children. Yes, I watch my 3 yo son out in the yard. But he's also can get himself a snack from the fridge, use a real steak knife to cut his dinner, and decide what he's going to wear to school. I try not to step in if he has a fight with another child. By watching him, I'm not taking away his ability to make decisions or learn to deal with problems on his own--I think that is where the difference lies.
 

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Why does having your kids in activities make you a helicopter parent? I can't see how I'm a helicopter parent because I let my DD swim on swim team or sign my DS up for gymnastics.
 

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My DH works in residence life for a college and helicopter parents abound. I can't tell you the number of times that the 1st time he hears of a problem it is from a parent - not from any of the students involved. Anything from a roommate conflict to a facilities issue. The kids are so tied into mom and dad via texting/cell phones that mom and dad are their first go to instead of trying to actually solve the problem themselves.<br>
He also gets the parents calling up demanding some sort of information about their child (grades, roomate info, what have you) and the parents become absolutely livid when DH can't give them the info. Because you know, their kid is now an adult and that info is private. The parents can't seem to even begin to understand it....
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>snoopy5386</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14734818"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My DH works in residence life for a college and helicopter parents abound. I can't tell you the number of times that the 1st time he hears of a problem it is from a parent - not from any of the students involved. Anything from a roommate conflict to a facilities issue. The kids are so tied into mom and dad via texting/cell phones that mom and dad are their first go to instead of trying to actually solve the problem themselves.<br>
He also gets the parents calling up demanding some sort of information about their child (grades, roomate info, what have you) and the parents become absolutely livid when DH can't give them the info. Because you know, their kid is now an adult and that info is private. The parents can't seem to even begin to understand it....</div>
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Our friend is the assistant dean of the engineering department at a uni. He told us that if the parents could come and take the tests for their kids they would. And that they really can't grasp that this is suppose to prepare their kids for life in the real world, in a job. I have been out of uni for 6 or so years now but I don't remember it being like this for me and my friends. I never complained about this and even if I did I don't think my dad would have known who to call.
 

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On balance, I liked the article, but I think it was really about over-anxious parenting, not overparenting (well, since that's not a real word, I guess the author can use it however he likes). Of course, a less ambiguous word would have made for a less enticing cover.<br><br>
I thought that, as a hsing parent, I would hate the article. But actually, its "don't worry, let your kids be themselves" message was fairly in line with my parenting and that of many other hsers. Also, because I grew up in the Upper East Side of Manhattan (which I have concluded is the target audience for Time), have known "helicopter parents" like he describes.<br><br>
That said, I agree with all the pps who said they see a lot more underparenting than overparenting. So I wouldn't say this was the world's most useful article, but at least it didn't make me angry (like so many mainstream parenting articles).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>snoopy5386</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14734818"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My DH works in residence life for a college and helicopter parents abound. I can't tell you the number of times that the 1st time he hears of a problem it is from a parent - not from any of the students involved. Anything from a roommate conflict to a facilities issue. The kids are so tied into mom and dad via texting/cell phones that mom and dad are their first go to instead of trying to actually solve the problem themselves.<br>
He also gets the parents calling up demanding some sort of information about their child (grades, roomate info, what have you) and the parents become absolutely livid when DH can't give them the info. Because you know, their kid is now an adult and that info is private. The parents can't seem to even begin to understand it....</div>
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To offer another perspective... I have always found universities to be much more responsive to parents than students.<br><br>
I had an issue with a roommate who basically kicked me out and had me sleeping in the hallway and got nothing more than 'talk therapy' with the roommate.<br><br>
I finally got a new room when my mom got involved.<br><br>
I had a professor dicking me over--threatening to fail me <i>after</i> agreeing to excuse me for participation in Model UN despite As on my exams--and nothing was done until my mom got involved.<br><br>
A prof refused to worry about or wait for a missing student at the Model UN at Howard University after the student was last seen with a stranger who had a gun. (She was found safe, thank goodness, but the prof would have totally left her and when I asked him if we should do something he said she wasn't our responsibility).<br><br>
I know of many cases where young women complained of sexual harassment from professors and nothing was done. It was to the point where older students let younger students know which profs to watch out for. I myself was solicited by a professor and believe I was down graded because I refused to go skinny dipping with 2 profs while on a university trip overseas. That was the only C of my entire college career and I was an honors student.<br><br>
So, you know, I'm okay with parents pestering the university. Because, ime, universities do not really listen to their students and the tenure system lets inappropriate behavior fester.<br><br>
And I've lived/visited/attended dozens of universities from Yale to Harvard to Kansas Sate as my step father was a prof. I've seen some flavor of this kind of stuff at most universities.<br><br>
So while parents need to stay out of the day-to-day, they also should advocate for their kids when necessary.<br><br>
V
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lindberg99</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14733853"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Why does having your kids in activities make you a helicopter parent? I can't see how I'm a helicopter parent because I let my DD swim on swim team or sign my DS up for gymnastics.</div>
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I didn't read the article that way. My DS is in activities that he enjoys. I'm certainly *not* a helicopter parent. My take on the article was that you're a helicopter parent if your kid has little unstructured free time to just play, decide for him/herself what to do and how to do it, and learn by playing. Basically, if your kids' every moment (or near to it) is scheduled full of activities then, yeah, you're a helicopter parent. I doubt many parents here on MDC would fit that criteria, though.<br><br>
Just my take . . ..
 

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Did anyone else find this juxtaposition hilarious?
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"I wanted parents to realize they are not alone in thinking this is insanity, and show there's another way." (See the 25 best back-to-school gadgets.)</td>
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Stop the insanity!...but make sure your child has these 25 essential gadgets. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao"> Then there's this one:
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Then build breaks of calm into their schedule so they can actually enjoy the toys. (See how to plan for retirement at any age.)</td>
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Quit worrying about what colleges your kids get into and jump right into planning their retirement! Well, I guess if your kid has been going to that preschool that teaches Mandarin and assigns homework, he's about ready for retirement by age 5. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
But those are probably muckups from the Web interface. I thought the most absurd idea in the actual article was this:
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Dear Abby endorses the idea, as she did in August, that each morning before their kids leave the house, parents take a picture of them. That way, if they are kidnapped, the police will have a fresh photo showing what clothes they were wearing.</td>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
Violet2 wrote:
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I would hate to have my childhood play level be evaluated during a job interview.</td>
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I think it's very appropriate to ask interviewees what they did for fun as kids because it reflects their true interests and the skills they've been developing for a long time--at least, if they weren't so overscheduled that they never got to choose a self-directed activity! For example, I spent a lot of my childhood free time poring over address lists, cataloguing my books and toys, and playing games in which numbers represented concepts; I am now a research data manager. One of my friends spent lots of time setting up camp activities for dolls in her backyard; she is now a Girl Scout camp director. The example in the article is about engineers; my dad is an electrical engineer, and he spent much of his childhood taking apart electrical things to see how they worked.<br><br>
Anyway, overall I think this article is what journalists call a "trend story" that mixes a little solid information with a lot of speculation, hype, and mushy understanding of what the topic really is in the first place. It confuses over-involvement with over-scheduling with physical safety over-protection.
 

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OP here, finally back to post on this!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>EnviroBecca</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14737831"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
Anyway, overall I think this article is what journalists call a "trend story" that mixes a little solid information with a lot of speculation, hype, and mushy understanding of what the topic really is in the first place. It confuses over-involvement with over-scheduling with physical safety over-protection.</div>
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I think that this is very true. I went into the article liking it but after the first bit I started liking it less. It seemed to jumble issues, some of which I don't even believe are issues.<br><br>
I also agree with PPs that I see a lot more underparenting than I do "overparenting" on a day-to-day basis with just the general populous of my area but I have totally known helicopter parents. I lived with them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> and a LOT of my friends in high school had helicopter parents.<br><br>
To the PP that felt like the article was slamming all activities, I don't think that scheduling kids to do things that they enjoy is harmful, I know that there were a few years that I took ballet SIX DAYS a week, one day for something like 8 hours! This was not something my parents pushed me into or even wanted for me though, I just enjoyed it. I would probably have been considered an over-scheduled child with my tutors, violin lessons, ballet, swimming, and gifted school but I had a ton of unstructured time to run around outside because I wasn't allowed to sit around and watch TV when I was home. I think the problem is when the parents are forcing the kids into things they don't want to do and not letting them have any time for themselves to just be.
 

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I know SEVERAL helicopter parents, both as relatives and friends and just people I know from the parenting scene. Such as, dance class, preschool etc.<br><br>
SIL/BIL have one child. Major copter parents as DH calls it. He actaully calls them M1 (for marine 1, the copter that the president uses). Now at age 7, they are getting a bit better since she is in school ft, but man, they would not be 3 inches away from this child. And if she was, he would have a cow literally. I remember one time another SIL was in from out of town, and she even joked to the SIL- What is she duct taped to you or something? They would not just let the kid explore. One time when my dd requested for her 5th bday a McDonalds party, I got an email saying she "would be purchasing other food that day for her dd". My dd wanted a treat for her bday, something we dont get to have that often. When I called to question, she said she was only trying to teach her daughter what was right. Whatever.<br><br>
A neighbor who has a dd in my dd's class. Will not let kids out of sight, Will not carpool, even with her BFF to dance 3 blocks away, wont leave her alone at the brownie meeting. If the child is invited to a bday party, the mother drags the whole family and stays. That is unless the hosting parent lets her know its a drop off party and then the child stays home. Cannot believe other parents hire a babysitter and go out with each other. Cannot believe we sent our kids to school, events etc even though the swine flu was going around.<br><br>
I also have older kids- age almost 4 and 7 1/2 so I may have a different experience w the copter parents than the moms of tots. Now that I am on my second shift of preschool, its amusing to watch the new parents. I was them 4 years ago, so I can answer questions etc but I also chuckle inside at how wound up you are when you start the process. ANother neighbor who went to her 3rd kindy roundup last spring said her and her DH were amazed at some of the questions but them remembered 7 years before being right there.
 
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