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Old 05-31-2012, 08:38 PM   #31
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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 TooBusyBearcubs View Post
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.
Yep, the first one. There were a few other posts also. But, yeah.....that is what I meant.

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Old 05-31-2012, 08:46 PM   #32
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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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?

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.
Yep, I agree with that. This is kind of what prompted this thread. Where I am a mama bear to my kids and want to be with them all.the.time., I also know it is unreasonable and unrealistic. I have to let them go and it is easier to do it little bit by little bit. Here I would refer to myself as overprotective, but I also let them run around the playground on their own. But, here I still walk my girls down to the pool area in the gym and wait until swim team practice starts and their coaches are right there. Maybe I'm just weird.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:47 PM   #33
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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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.
Example: Walkers with wheels. Those awesome little things that our parents put us in to roll around the house, squealing with delight, and learning what the floor felt like under our feet? Our parents put us in them, and we came out fine, so they must be ok, right? Yeah...as research has gotten better, it has become apparent that wheeled walkers are one of the highest contributors to falls down the stairs and kids reaching onto the counter to pull steaming hot cups of [fill in the blank] on their heads (the problem here is actually that it would lift them to a height that they were not ready for). Thousands of kids ended up (and still do) with broken bones and skin grafts. For what? Something they don't need and won't remember years from now...and yet, I still got the overprotective thing thrown at me for that decision.
I used a walker with all of my kids, I also process a functioning brain and didn't use them in the kitchen, didn't use them around stairs and kept stuff that was hot/heavy/whatever off the edges of counters/tables that they'd pull off on themselves, it's completely possible to use them safely. I only used it with DS2 on the patio, he loved tooling around after his brother and sister and being able to see them play. Not saying every single parent on earth HAS to use a walker, but the issue isn't the walker, it's the operator. (and I must either have VERY short children or I bought VERY short walkers, even in the walker my kids weren't ever tall enough to reach anything aside from a chair seat or the sofa...and even that was a stretch because of the tray on the walker. Of course the walker I have is a circa 1996 yard sale find, love that thing)

My cousin's teenage sister in-law put my cousin's baby on a counter in a bouncy seat and the baby flipped herself out, broke her arm. This isn't an issue with bouncy seats, it's an issue with my cousin's SIL making a very stupid choice.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:50 PM   #34
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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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.
I agree with this completely. And other parts unquoted, but especially this.

It's really hard when people call CPS for every little thing. I have no personal experience with this, but just reading the people on this board, I don't understand how people got the idea that CPS was created to make people parent the way that you want them to. CPS is for real, actual child endangerment and neglect.

anyways... kids learn about their abilities when you allow them to try things out. They get self confidence, they believe that you believe in their abilities.

Never do for a child what they can do for themselves.
Unless you plan to continue that course of action until the end of time.

and I do think that the rise in teen suicides (mentioned elsewhere in this thread) is often because kids lack coping skills because their parents never allowed them to learn them. You most absolutely do have to teach your child to get back up from disappointment. And it's a lot easier to do this with the small things as a child than later in life when they've reached adolescence and they're so hormonally unbalanced that you can't hardly get them to listen to you without overreacting.

You can't wait until you think your child is ready for some things - they're probably past ready. I have always believed in teaching things at a higher level and watching kids rise to the occasion. And they often do. It often requires a little more time and explanation, but those conversations are wonderful. Watching light bulbs happen.

on a similar note, I used to work in informal education and we'd do fairs and such. I remember so many times that I'd ask a child a question that I knew was probably above their knowledge level. And mom or grandma would whisper the answer in their ear. So frustrating! I finally stopped one parent - I was like 'please let the child answer' (the parent got super pissed and walked off, but left the kid behind). I knew how to lead the child to the answer. I asked the initial question to get an idea of where they were, then I backtracked and lead them to it. When parents didn't interfere, the kids learned so much and you could see when they really understood - the light in their eyes would shine. but the kids who were just fed the answers? they are never going to truly understand until someone stops whispering in their ears. Besides the fact that the parents often had incorrect conclusions that they were feeding the kids. but that's another issue.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:52 PM   #35
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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I used a walker with all of my kids, I also process a functioning brain and didn't use them in the kitchen, didn't use them around stairs and kept stuff that was hot/heavy/whatever off the edges of counters/tables that they'd pull off on themselves, it's completely possible to use them safely. I only used it with DS2 on the patio, he loved tooling around after his brother and sister and being able to see them play. Not saying every single parent on earth HAS to use a walker, but the issue isn't the walker, it's the operator. (and I must either have VERY short children or I bought VERY short walkers, even in the walker my kids weren't ever tall enough to reach anything aside from a chair seat or the sofa...and even that was a stretch because of the tray on the walker. Of course the walker I have is a circa 1996 yard sale find, love that thing)

My cousin's teenage sister in-law put my cousin's baby on a counter in a bouncy seat and the baby flipped herself out, broke her arm. This isn't an issue with bouncy seats, it's an issue with my cousin's SIL making a very stupid choice.
oh golly, we used a walker and we will use a walker again. It's not that hard to make sure they're downstairs and that all items on tables and counters are pushed back.

Biggest problem I found was that she would try to go under the counter and hit her head.. but guess what? she learned quickly not to do that!
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:16 PM   #36
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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I used a walker with all of my kids, I also process a functioning brain and didn't use them in the kitchen, didn't use them around stairs and kept stuff that was hot/heavy/whatever off the edges of counters/tables that they'd pull off on themselves, it's completely possible to use them safely.
My cousin's teenage sister in-law put my cousin's baby on a counter in a bouncy seat and the baby flipped herself out, broke her arm. This isn't an issue with bouncy seats, it's an issue with my cousin's SIL making a very stupid choice.
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oh golly, we used a walker and we will use a walker again. It's not that hard to make sure they're downstairs and that all items on tables and counters are pushed back.
Biggest problem I found was that she would try to go under the counter and hit her head.. but guess what? she learned quickly not to do that!
My point wasn't the walker example itself, though. (Naturally, if we had decided to use them, I would have been careful about when and where.) And I don't judge other moms for using them. That is up to them as the parent.
My point is that one person's idea of being "protective" can be very different than the next person's. Given the myriad accidents, and that a walker isn't developmentally necessary, and that a child isn't going to remember whether or not they even sat in one, and given that most of the decisions that we make as parents tend to fall into the same gray area...can we really, truly feel good about ourselves for judging other parents as being "overprotective" when they decide to do things differently than we do?
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:40 PM   #37
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

Absolutely I believe that overprotectiveness is already causing oroblems in society and will continue to do so. I believe that people rarely exceed expectatuons, so if you want excellence, you have to expect excellence. And, you don't get excellence by protecting your children from experience. Chldren and even babies and toddlers are capable of much more than we give them credit for if we don't hold them back with our own fears and insecurities.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:43 PM   #38
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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Yep, I agree with that. This is kind of what prompted this thread. Where I am a mama bear to my kids and want to be with them all.the.time., I also know it is unreasonable and unrealistic. I have to let them go and it is easier to do it little bit by little bit. Here I would refer to myself as overprotective, but I also let them run around the playground on their own. But, here I still walk my girls down to the pool area in the gym and wait until swim team practice starts and their coaches are right there. Maybe I'm just weird.
I don't think you're weird, mama. I think you know your girls and you go with your instincts. Considering most parents love their kids just like we love ours, can we really assume that they aren't simply doing the same, even if that takes a different shape than what we ourselves would do?
(I will say here that active, apparent abuse is a completely different matter entirely from being over- or under-protective, and should be handled appropriately.)
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:37 PM   #39
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

Crime stats are actually down from when we were kids and there are more helicopter or overprotective parents now in general than in the past. Obviously not everyone is like that or falls into that catagory but in general it is a trend. I do think in general that falling to far on the overprotective side is not good in the long run. There are even studies that show that having a perfect childhood where you are protected from everything and everything is all about the child's happiness actually leads to adults who battle depression. I think that learning to deal with adversity is good in some ways. It is easier said than done sometimes and I admit I worry about my kids and things do revolve around then.

As my kids get older I would love to give them the freedom to explore the neighborhood in developmentally appropriate stages. I worry more about nosy nellies then I do about giving them appropriate freedom based on their age and maturity levels. There is also a big problem with parents that advocate for their kids even when they are in the wrong with their behavior or demand that the teacher is wrong when the child got a certain grade even though it was the child that didn't put in the work. There is less accountability nowadays. Today's college kids are more narcissistic than in the past and a big part of it has been the different types of over protectiveness.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:45 PM   #40
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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Do I think the overprotectiveness does more harm than good? Yes, I do. I don't like where our communities are headed at all.

I live on a military base. We have old empty base houses and then all the new housing. The old housing was set up for reasonable privacy, but all around huge parks and very community type oriented. All the new stuff is set up completely different with tiny empty parks out back doors and huge streets so your neighbors seem as far away as possible.

That's just an example. But I listened to something on NPR years ago about how our music media shows the changes in our culture over time. The difference of when boom boxes were devices that people would congregate around, share musical tastes, talk, dance, etc. and now everyone is privately listening to their iPod. I'm not saying I want loud music everywhere, it just shows how society is closing in on itself. Our sense of community is lessening. Our interactions with others are lessening and we're increasingly suspect of others around us. We are more depressed and all alone in a sea of people who generally feel the same way.

Forums like this thrive on people's need to be social without inconvenience. Social without fear. We close in on ourselves, we see neighbors as scary, etc. friendly people on buses or at grocery store are weird and creepy.

And I think it's all going to implode someday. I think it would be better to teach our children to trust themselves and others (with respect and wariness when needed) instead of teaching them that we fear their actions, we fear their friends' parents, etc.

We create things in our mind that don't exist and teach our children to do the same.

I hope that all made sense as I meant it.
I totally agree with this too. Our communities are built around cars and not to foster a sense of community and we are getting more and more isolated. I think that is a very bad thing both in terms of losing a sense of community and for sustainability and resource use. Depression is so high in this country because of our isolationism. It gets worse over time instead of improving. You can't walk anywhere. I think that is so sad that the base used to be community oriented with lots of parks and now it sits abandoned and what took over to replace it has lost that.
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