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  1. #11
    Posting Addict cactuswren's Avatar
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    First of all, let me just say that I don't think keeping your kid from screaming and running around in a restaurant, or not letting them bolt in a parking lot or playgroup counts as "Helicopter Parenting"...that's just good, appropriate parenting in a society. Kids need boundaries or else they'll grow up to be hellions. Or get run over. That's just REALITY.

    Helicopter parenting is not letting your kid have any independence, not letting them make their own choices and follow through, not letting them try and fail and learn from it. Doing their homework for them. Filling out their college schedule for them. Or at this age, helping them up that play structure they can probably handle on their own. Etc.

    I would say I am very laid back about most things, and I try really hard not to hover around her learning new tasks--THAT is my biggest struggle: not stepping in to help too soon when she is struggling to do something just outside of her comfort zone. But I try hard to fight it because I know it's incredibly important for her to have the space to learn perseverance!

    As for the other stuff--food I don't think is really helicopter parenting either, but as long as we're talking about it I guess I'd say I'm medium crazy on that one--we keep our house full of pretty healthy food, at least in the sense of preservatives, food dyes, sugar substitutes, and other crap. I'm a label reader, and I have a hard time shopping at conventional grocery stores (I mostly shop at Trader Joe's, because I am also not wealthy). We're not vegetarian, although we do try to limit our meat consumption and have many meat-free days every week, and buy conscientiously. I'm a label reader, but I figure as long as MOST of her food is healthy, I'm not going to worry about the occasional whatever meal or snack that she ends up having at someone else's house or out and about. Everything in moderation.

    As far as other people watching her...that's a tricky one. She is just so young, still, and until she can fully articulate her needs in a way that other people can understand (not to mention go to bed without a whole involved routine, not wake up in the night crying, etc.--no overnights for a while yet!) I don't think there's anything wrong with being really careful about who I entrust her to. Again, I think that's just good parenting. However, as she grows, I do think that I'll allow her to spend more and more time with other people alone, as long as I know them and feel comfortable with them. Just going to have to feel this one out as we go. That said, she does of course go to daycare, stays with my mom and MIL sometimes, and she has had a couple of paid babysitters, including a college student and a high school student. But both were extremely experienced and came with glowing personal recommendations from people I trust. I'm still leery of just hiring a stranger, or someone without a lot of childcare in their background.

    I guess if I had to sum it all up, I think that's a good balance and very age-appropriate. If I'm still acting exactly the same way as she gets older and earns more independence, then that's where it starts to get out of whack. But at two? Heck yes--a good balance.
    Last edited by cactuswren; 09-11-2012 at 12:12 PM.
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  2. #12
    Posting Addict BuckeyeK's Avatar
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    I'm probably a 5. In the house, I pretty much just let them go. When they disagree, I let them handle it unless is escalates to hitting/biting (Lainey) or if Claire is taking stuff from Lainey (she is HORRIBLE about this) or if they are destroying the house.

    I don't let anyone but family watch the kids. One time we absolutely HAD to have someone else watch DD1 (it was before DD2). It was a nightmare and cemented my belief in no one but family. She (the sitter) was always taking her kids/my kid in the car to different places, and wouldn't clear it with me first. The last day when I went to pick her up (she watched her for 2 weeks), I heard voices in the back of the house and when around back. I found the sitter's DD (age: almost 2) playing in their unfenced back yard alone, and my DD came running out the back door to me. The sitter and her other 2 kids were in the front part of the house, or maybe upstairs. I went in looking for her, and she met me saying, "Oh, there they are. I wondered where they went." ANYONE could have come and taken those girls, or they could have gotten lost or hit on the road, and she wouldn't have known. Thankfully, that was the last day she had to be there, because I would NOT have taken her back.

    In public, they have to stay within sight of me. Outside at our house, they also have to be within sight, but we don't have a fenced backyard, there is a small creek to one side of our property and we live in the country and the speed limit on our road is 55.

    DH is worse about the staying clean thing. I have had to tell him numerous times to just let them be kids, and they come clean in the tub. He's better than he was.

    As far as overnights, we would have to know the parents VERY well to even consider it. The kids would have to be old enough that I could trust them to call me if anything wasn't right. The main issue isn't that I don't trust my kids, it is that I don't trust other parents.
    Last edited by BuckeyeK; 09-11-2012 at 03:13 PM.

  3. #13
    Posting Addict ange84's Avatar
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    Most of the playgrounds here Ronin needs help because they are just not designed for little kids, but I do still gon buy a coffee and let him go for it and only try to help when he is struggling or yells out Mummy hand
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  4. #14
    Posting Addict TiggersMommy's Avatar
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    Leigh & I were just talking about playground hovering the other day. We were at a playground that had a very tall upper platform (my short self could barely reach up to the floor) with open areas that toddlers could just fall out of. It made me incredibly nervous. She kept trying to step out onto this series of elevated steps that had a railing she couldn't quite grasp and I swear she was trying to give me a heart attack. T hasn't honed her playground skills yet (ie, knowing not to step off the 6 foot platform or to step out of the way of pre-K kids running towards her) so I hovered big time. That's just responsible parenting. I'll sit back and relax when I know T can handle it or when we're at a different playground that's toddler friendly. I also worked on encouraging her to go down the slides. She's got this fear of heights things going on right now and slides freak her out. I try to show her its OK and encourage her to do it herself but that sometimes means holding her hand and walking her up to the slide.

  5. #15
    Posting Addict cactuswren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiggersMommy View Post
    Leigh & I were just talking about playground hovering the other day. We were at a playground that had a very tall upper platform (my short self could barely reach up to the floor) with open areas that toddlers could just fall out of. It made me incredibly nervous. She kept trying to step out onto this series of elevated steps that had a railing she couldn't quite grasp and I swear she was trying to give me a heart attack. T hasn't honed her playground skills yet (ie, knowing not to step off the 6 foot platform or to step out of the way of pre-K kids running towards her) so I hovered big time. That's just responsible parenting. I'll sit back and relax when I know T can handle it or when we're at a different playground that's toddler friendly. I also worked on encouraging her to go down the slides. She's got this fear of heights things going on right now and slides freak her out. I try to show her its OK and encourage her to do it herself but that sometimes means holding her hand and walking her up to the slide.
    Yeah, that was totally great parenting on your part, Erin. You were letting her TRY things while being near enough and paying enough attention to avert disaster (which was a real potential!) She was making me nervous too, dangling herself off the platform over those crazy open stairs. That wasn't hovering, that was keeping your child from certain destruction.

    It's always just a trick of finding that delicate balance...letting them have a lesson learned moment here and there, but not a super dangerous one! Especially when you know them well enough to know they CAN'T quite handle it yet.

  6. #16
    Posting Addict BuckeyeK's Avatar
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    We were at soccer practice the other day. The teams are 4 & 5 year old girls. So they don't know what they're doing, and half the time they're goofing around not paying attention but they're learning. This one mom sits on right up on the sideline and barks directions and corrections at her kid constantly. Not over big things, but every little thing. I noticed at one point that the kid glances at her mom before she does anything. She doesn't even trust herself to follow the coach's directions without checking with mom first to make sure she's doing it right. That's helicopter parenting, to me.

  7. #17
    Posting Addict cactuswren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeK View Post
    We were at soccer practice the other day. The teams are 4 & 5 year old girls. So they don't know what they're doing, and half the time they're goofing around not paying attention but they're learning. This one mom sits on right up on the sideline and barks directions and corrections at her kid constantly. Not over big things, but every little thing. I noticed at one point that the kid glances at her mom before she does anything. She doesn't even trust herself to follow the coach's directions without checking with mom first to make sure she's doing it right. That's helicopter parenting, to me.
    EXACTLY.

  8. #18
    Posting Addict TiggersMommy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactuswren View Post
    EXACTLY.
    Yep. That's classic helicopter parenting. I sure hope I don't end up like that. Though I'm more likely to be shouting things at Teagan while she's at school taking a math test

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactuswren View Post
    First of all, let me just say that I don't think keeping your kid from screaming and running around in a restaurant, or not letting them bolt in a parking lot or playgroup counts as "Helicopter Parenting"...that's just good, appropriate parenting in a society. Kids need boundaries or else they'll grow up to be hellions. Or get run over. That's just REALITY.
    .
    oh good, that is what makes me an 8 at people's houses we always go to people's houses that are not child friendly and there are drinks, cups, plates and food all within his reach.

    Anna, that is HORRIBLE!! honestly, it's stuff like that that makes me terrified for him to be independent and on his own.
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  10. #20
    Posting Addict alwayssmile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeK View Post
    DH is worse about the staying clean thing. I have had to tell him numerous times to just let them be kids, and they come clean in the tub. He's better than he was.
    My husband is veeeery lax at home (how the kid got into sugar and spread it everywhere right in front of him!), but outside of the house? Total helicopter parent. Drives me nuts. Kid can't go down the slide without being right there holding a hand as he goes down. Aiden can totally sit down, get himself down the slide, and get off just fine. Even when he falls off the end he usually laughs about it. DH panics.

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