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Old 05-31-2012, 05:29 PM   #21
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I think you have to strike a balance of exposes your kids to a variety of experiences without endangering them. I think most people become less protective as kids get older. Of course older kids need less supervision and constant monitoring, because they are more capable. I think the problem comes when parents still treat their 14 year old like a 2 year old. But I also see so many parents with unreasonably high expectations of very small children because they have no actual knowledge of typical child development.

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Old 05-31-2012, 05:42 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by happysmileylady
Yes, I absolutely think that so many parents today are so over protective and I do think that's going to hurt us as a society, if it hasn't already.

The thing is, people learn by doing. Kids learn to be independent by being independent. A child cannot learn to cross the street by themselves until they start crossing the street by themselves. They cannot learn how to handle themselves at a party without mom until they are at a party without mom. They cannot learn how to pay their own bills until they pay their own bills. When we put off teaching kids how to do these things because they are "just kids" then we end up with adults who are still kids, because we haven't raised them to be adults.
Yep!

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Originally Posted by pumkinsmommy
Yes I do. I have recently been giving a lot of thought to this. My 13 year old niece lives with us. I have begun to allow her to do things that before I would have not even considered. In order to be competent and capable one needs to practice. I am starting this with my daughter as well. It is a process.
Agreed that it is a process.

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Originally Posted by escapethevillage
I see it already. (as a society)

Have you seen that Pinterest picture that says "I'm not saying we should go out and kill all the stupid people, I'm saying we should remove the warning labels and let the problem sort it'self out".
I love it!

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Originally Posted by MamaNae
Maybe I'm a bad or a mean mom...but at 7...I've stopped searching for/keeping track of/helping out with basic stuff with my son.

If he forgets his water bottle on the table before baseball...well he'll be awful thirsty once we get home. If it's really super hot and I'm genuinely worried about him getting seriously ill or dehydrated then I will let him take a drink of mine, but if he forgets he forgets. Same goes for his cleats...he's worn regular tennis shoes twice, he's had to wear ankle socks once or twice (that's fun when you need to slide!) and gone without his ball cap once. He learns, he'll figure it out. Enough times of being uncomfortable or in pain he'll figure it out.

I read an article about college students whose mothers call their cell phones each morning to ensure they're out of bed!

And judging by the number of times I've left black marks on the road because I had to slam on my brakes to avoid running over a 20 year old college kid in my town I know they're not smart enough to look both ways (I'm not a reckless driver, I abide by the speed limit and even drive below on residential streets but when a 19 year old just flat steps right out in the street 5 feet off my bumper there is very little I can do aside from slam on my brakes...). I don't know if they're not taught or if they're just lazy...

I just saw something like this today, I watched a rerun of 19 Kids and Counting and they had commentary from some Today show host who was a Duggar for a Day and he said something about "Most parents watch their kids like a hawk when they're outside" and I'm thinking "Say whaaa" If I had a hundred acres fenced in with a gate I'd throw my kids out of the house after breakfast and tell them I'll blow an air horn around 12 for lunch, don't come within 100 yards of the house unless someone is bloody.
Yes, my kids already know their basic responsibilities. If they have swim team practice they pack their own bags and are held accountable for having what they need.
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:45 PM   #23
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I grew up in a household that was not over protective. Since having children, I have been constantly surprised by people (judgmental moms online and a few times in person) who want me to control my children's actions more. I am not permissive, but children are curious by nature and their job is to explore.

I think there will be a lack of common sense and critical thinking skills on the part of sheltered children for sure. I'm betting that condition will benefit my children, and truthfully those are the children I am most concerned with.

I recently had occasion to observe a 17 year old who was fuzzy on whether you had to open the can of carrots before microwaving them. That's kind of shameful imo.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:11 PM   #24
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Yes, I'm pretty shocked at how many what I call extremely overprotective moms there are. And this is coming from a "mama bear."
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:26 PM   #25
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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Originally Posted by EmilytheStrange View Post
<snip>

And the fact that it seems to have gotten worse is either a myth and it's just because our media is better at publicizing it. Or it's because our sense of entitlement on a selfish level has superceded our value on communities and treating others with respect.

In reality, violent crime has decreased over time. But the age seems to have decreased as well.
NPR did a piece on how violence has decreased greatly and we are actually in one of the most peaceful times in history. Fascinating stuff.

As to the OP, I think that this age of overprotectiveness stems from a lot of things.

First, there's the incorrect perception that the world is so much worse than it used to be. Naturally, if it's worse then we as parents must get better at protecting our children. So we do.

Second, there's the trend of parents making sure that everything goes right for their children, because if their children fail at any little thing, then they have failed as parents. This is where you get the parent who defends her child's wrongdoing to the teacher in front of the child. The parent who won't allow the child to get a poor grade even if the child played video games instead of working on his report, etc. The parent who DOES the project for the kid so it is better and gets a better grade. It's pretty telling when the instructions for a project include something about ensuring that it is the child's work and for parents not to assist!

Third, parenting has become this huge thing in the last hundred years and the celebrity parenting explosion has encouraged it. It's turned into a competition on many levels and goes beyond what your kids wear, or eat, or even what activities they are involved in. It's like running yourself into the ground because you are so busy doing everything for your kids somehow makes you a better parent. (BTW, I see this same thing in corporate America with basic work schedules. People are expected to work very long ours in order to prove their commitment to productivity and show they are interested in advancing.)

Fourth, there's this unrealistic sense of control and responsibility we place on parents in regard to their children. When I was little, I rode my bigwheel all over my driveway with my mother in the house. By the time I was 5 I was riding to school on my bike alone. Now, if we did that and something happened, CPS would be called and the parent would be blamed for not properly monitoring their child. I will never forget the thread about the 3yo who fell out of a window to his death during his nap time. Apparently, the mother was completely at fault for allowing herself the luxury of napping herself while her child she thought was sleeping climbed out of his crib and fell out the window. If we parent in a society where this is the attitude, of course we are going to tighten the reigns for fear of being labeled unfit parents.

So, yes, I think that we can definitely be overprotective to the point that we stunt our children. Personally, I am trying to take my children's lead. As they show me they can work within their boundaries, I slowly expand them. When they violate them, they get reigned in, regain trust, and the boundaries continue to expand. And I do push them to take responsibility in certain areas. Really, you're 5. You can wipe your own rear!
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:37 PM   #26
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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Originally Posted by ajane View Post
I'm just curious and figured I would get other viewpoints on it.....to talk it through. I'm wondering if our society's overprotectiveness with our children will end up doing more harm than good. So basically, will sheltering (you can use protecting) what our children do raise them to be less confident/independent when they are older? At what age are they able to start doing things on their own or with friends that we (the parents of our children) don't know really well.

I'm kind of guilty. I would say I'm overprotective, but apparently not as much as others on this board from other threads. I'm not saying being more overprotective is a bad thing though, so don't get me wrong. I will say that my "level" of overprotection is changing (decreasing, lol) as the kids are getting older. Maybe that is normal? I do know that I said somethings when the kids were young that I take back now. Obviously, ages of the kids, scenarios, and situations change that alter our parenting decisions.
I know which thread you're talking about, mama, and while I think we came to a different conclusion regarding that matter, I do agree with you here for the most part.
However, maybe a little clarification as far as what everybody means by "overprotective"? I think we are all looking at this different ways, but I see three different definitions, here.
I think in some of these posts, we're talking about parents who maybe monitor their kids beyond what is healthy for the child, in order to control the world around their child.
In other posts, it seems like we're talking about parents who are trying to control their child.
In a couple of other posts, it seems like we're talking about kids who aren't necessarily sheltered, but were raised in such a way that everything was done for them (maybe overly indulged, which is very different than overprotective).

I think what you meant was the first one, right? Technically, I think the other two are kind of a different circumstance.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:19 PM   #27
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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Originally Posted by mibarra View Post
I think you have to strike a balance of exposes your kids to a variety of experiences without endangering them. I think most people become less protective as kids get older. Of course older kids need less supervision and constant monitoring, because they are more capable. I think the problem comes when parents still treat their 14 year old like a 2 year old. But I also see so many parents with unreasonably high expectations of very small children because they have no actual knowledge of typical child development.
This is great.
I think a lot of us assume that just because we made it through childhood, it means that whatever our parents did was fine.

Protectiveness is a sliding scale. My personal belief is that, when a child is very little, it is really hard to be "over" protective. Not impossible, certainly, but the littlest ones have no way of protecting themselves - that is the parents' job. However, I think the difference comes when you look at the reasons for their decision. Is it an unfounded fear that is causing the parent to lean a certain way? Their own life experience? Or something else? Without sitting down and quizzing the parents about their reasons, we can't really know.

On the other hand, I think we (not just other mamas, but me, too) have to be careful when we start labeling other parents' motives for their decisions. A situation that looks "overprotective" to us may actually have a legitimate reason behind it. Again, it is a sliding scale - not just as a child ages, but from child to child as well. Yes, there are parents out there that are protective of their kids when they probably don't need to be. But, I have not walked in their shoes or parented their child. So, I really can't make a judgement about their decision. And yeah, there are definitely some airheaded college students out there. I live in a college town, too, and yes - it is ludicrous how many of them meander across the street as though cars don't exist!!! ...but who are we to assume that we know how they got that way?

I don't know. Like I said, I'm still trying to work this through as it relates to my own life, but I prefer to err on the side of caution. Pun totally intended.
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Last edited by TooBusyBearcubs; 05-31-2012 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Edited because - FOR CRYING OUT LOUD - the walker example was NOT the point. Thank you. :)
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:31 PM   #28
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On the other hand, I think we (not just other mamas, but me, too) have to be careful when we start labeling other parents' motives for their decisions. A situation that looks "overprotective" to us may actually have a legitimate reason behind it. Again, it is a sliding scale - not just as a child ages, but from child to child as well. Yes, there are parents out there that are protective of their kids when they probably don't need to be. But, I have not walked in their shoes or parented their child. So, I really can't make a judgement about their decision. And yeah, there are definitely some airheaded college students out there. I live in a college town, too, and yes - it is ludicrous how many of them meander across the street as though cars don't exist!!! ...but who are we to assume that we know how they got that way?
Too true. Take car seats. Many people I know would call me over protective for having my 17 month old rear facing. However, having seen the videos of forward vs. Rear facing for 1-2 year olds in an accident, how could I not?

I often look like a helicopter parent with DD1, who is 3. In a large group, noisy, or crowded situation, I am never more than a few feet away. I always know exactly where she is and what she is doing. I will often step in and physically re direct her if she starts to wander too far. What you can't tell from just watching me and DD1 is that she is hearing impaired. And while she is hearing very well with her implants, her ability to hear me adequately in a noisy setting, even on a windy day, is greatly reduced from a hearing childs, even with amplification. So if I'm across the park from her and she takes off toward the street, I better be able to catch her because she WON'T HEAR ME if I scream stop. Even my closest friends often forget this, and wonder why I 'hover'. However, since DD2 CAN hear me for safety reasons, I let her roam farther afield.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:34 PM   #29
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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Second, there's the trend of parents making sure that everything goes right for their children, because if their children fail at any little thing, then they have failed as parents....

Third, parenting has become this huge thing in the last hundred years and the celebrity parenting explosion has encouraged it. It's turned into a competition on many levels and goes beyond what your kids wear, or eat, or even what activities they are involved in....

So, yes, I think that we can definitely be overprotective to the point that we stunt our children. Personally, I am trying to take my children's lead. As they show me they can work within their boundaries, I slowly expand them. When they violate them, they get reigned in, regain trust, and the boundaries continue to expand. And I do push them to take responsibility in certain areas. Really, you're 5. You can wipe your own rear!
This, too!
I wanted to add that I completely agree that we have to let our kids fall down once in a while so they can learn how to get back up.
My personal feeling is that my own fears (of injury, failure, or embarrassment) should NOT dictate how my children learn about life. I have to own those and work through them, but my kids shouldn't have to struggle with them too.
Love the give and take with responsibility, too! I had to do that with my DS yesterday. "Sorry, buddy, you need to show me that you can handle this..."
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:35 PM   #30
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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Originally Posted by mcpforever View Post
NPR did a piece on how violence has decreased greatly and we are actually in one of the most peaceful times in history. Fascinating stuff.

As to the OP, I think that this age of overprotectiveness stems from a lot of things.

First, there's the incorrect perception that the world is so much worse than it used to be. Naturally, if it's worse then we as parents must get better at protecting our children. So we do.

Second, there's the trend of parents making sure that everything goes right for their children, because if their children fail at any little thing, then they have failed as parents. This is where you get the parent who defends her child's wrongdoing to the teacher in front of the child. The parent who won't allow the child to get a poor grade even if the child played video games instead of working on his report, etc. The parent who DOES the project for the kid so it is better and gets a better grade. It's pretty telling when the instructions for a project include something about ensuring that it is the child's work and for parents not to assist!

Third, parenting has become this huge thing in the last hundred years and the celebrity parenting explosion has encouraged it. It's turned into a competition on many levels and goes beyond what your kids wear, or eat, or even what activities they are involved in. It's like running yourself into the ground because you are so busy doing everything for your kids somehow makes you a better parent. (BTW, I see this same thing in corporate America with basic work schedules. People are expected to work very long ours in order to prove their commitment to productivity and show they are interested in advancing.)

Fourth, there's this unrealistic sense of control and responsibility we place on parents in regard to their children. When I was little, I rode my bigwheel all over my driveway with my mother in the house. By the time I was 5 I was riding to school on my bike alone. Now, if we did that and something happened, CPS would be called and the parent would be blamed for not properly monitoring their child. I will never forget the thread about the 3yo who fell out of a window to his death during his nap time. Apparently, the mother was completely at fault for allowing herself the luxury of napping herself while her child she thought was sleeping climbed out of his crib and fell out the window. If we parent in a society where this is the attitude, of course we are going to tighten the reigns for fear of being labeled unfit parents.

So, yes, I think that we can definitely be overprotective to the point that we stunt our children. Personally, I am trying to take my children's lead. As they show me they can work within their boundaries, I slowly expand them. When they violate them, they get reigned in, regain trust, and the boundaries continue to expand. And I do push them to take responsibility in certain areas. Really, you're 5. You can wipe your own rear!
Yep, totally agree with everything. Pshhhhh, they wipe their own butts at 3.
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