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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Helicopter Dad

This week, I'm linking up with Shell at Things I Can't Say.

This is my very first time linking up with POUR YOUR HEART OUT..
I decided to join this week as I feel pretty strongly about this subject. Although I'm not pouring my heart out nearly as much as I would like to,or as much as some others, I think that I'll feel the waters out first!!
If this goes okay, next week, I'll REALLY pour my heart out! Deal??

                                                         





Okay! So, I could go on and on and on about how I don't agree with parents who "hover" over their children.

I won't though!

It's way too touchy of a subject.

My feeling though, is that kids have to make mistakes. Kids have to fall. Kids have to experience bumps and bruises. This is how they learn, this is how they grow.

Like I said though, I won't get into it too much.

My hubby is the opposite.  He's like helicopter dad. He hovers. If he is around the kids, I swear he doesn't breathe. He's so on edge. If it were up to him, they would never climb, they would never play on a hard surface, they would never swim and well, they should probably just wear bubble wrap.

I can't help but laugh at him.

Sometimes I get mad though. I get defensive. He's so on edge when he's around, it sometimes makes me feel like he's saying that i don't watch them enough, that I'm not being cautious.

For Example:
Tonight, when I told him that we would be spending tomorrow afternoon around a pool, his response was
"Well be careful!"..  (very firmly)

My response? "What do you mean? Are you worried about Sun Stroke?"

"No, I mean, be careful with the girls around the water and in the pool!"

Really??!!
I wanted to say "Nah, I think I'll just throw them in the deep end without life jackets and go have a beer, see how well they make out!"

Idiot!

Instead, my response was "What a stupid thing to say to me!" lol... not much better?!!

Subject was dropped..

I have always tried to explain to him that there is no way we can always protect the girls. Accidents are going to happen. Falls are going to happen. Cuts and scrapes are going to happen. Blood is going to happen.

Obviously, we're going to do our best to keep them safe and avoid something serious, but my gosh, we have to let them live! It's how they learn! There are going to be times that we're not there, that we're not looking, or that we have to turn our heads for 5 seconds.

I think he may have finally "got it" this weekend.
I went to get my haircut on Saturday morning.
The second I got home, I could see the stress on his face. Lylah was screaming and he looked like he wasn't far from tears himself.

I'm so getting him this shirt for his Birthday!!
I ran in and asked what had happened?

She was stung by a bee. Her poor little finger was swollen, red and very sore.
After being stung, she came inside to get a cracker. While reaching for the box, the whole shelf fell off and everything tumbled to the floor. She wasn't hurt, but she was very frightened by it.

This is when I walked in.

All of the pointless worrying that daddy does,, and the two things that could have potentially been really bad,  he had no way of avoiding.
Why??
Because accidents happen!!
Those 2 things that happened were 2 things that he wasn't worrying about at all..

So there you have it! My point!! We can waste all of our time running behind our children, making sure they don't get hurt, making sure they are safe and that no harm ever comes to them, but we can never fully protect them.

When we're busy worrying about the chair they are climbing, a bee can come and sting them.
It happens!!!

Are you a Hovering type of parent, or a more relaxed "wait for it" type of Mom???!


Also take a look at this great article on "Bubble Wrapping our Kids"

12 comments:

Minivan Mama said...

Hmmm...I'd say I'm a mix. My son makes some really interesting decisions that often put him in peril. I have to be a bit cautions with him. But I agree about them needing to work things out for themselves and learn to get back up from falling.

Kate F. said...

I am overly cautious with my kiddos but learning to step back more lately. And stepping back, giving my kids the room they need to grow is personally very HARD for me - but necessary. I've found that I have always learned the best life lessons through experiences. Other peoples stories and advice only go so far. It is your own actual experiences that are the best teachers. So why should I expect anything different for my kids? This concept alone - that experience is the best teacher - has forced me to remove some of the "bubble wrap" that I have put on my kids.

Oh, and I totally agree with you - we can NEVER fully protect our kids. Because when we least expect it, the panty shelf WILL fall :)

Tara R. said...

I'm a worrier, but I also try very hard to not keep that from letting me 'let go' where my kids are concerned. You're right, if they don't ever fall, or fail, they won't learn how to be independent. They have to learn from their mistakes. We can't live their lives for them.

(stopping by from PYHO)

therealhousewifeofoxfordcounty said...

Oh Sarah my husband would have our kids go to college never eating solid food as they may just may choke..

I am of the school of natural consequences,now I will not let him learn the natural consequence of running out in the road but still there are times where you teach, times when you stand back and let them learn and times when you have to scream at the top of your lungs out of fear :) ha ha ...


Great post friend..

Shell said...

I'm definitely more of a laidback mom. I watch my kids, but I know I can't stop everything.

I am a total stress case at the pool or on the beach, though. B/c there are three of them and one of me and a kid can drown so fast. While I don't make them stay right beside me, I'm constantly doing a headcount, over and over. It makes me anxious just thinking about it.

But, for everything else- way laidback. LOL

Katina said...

I thought I was the ONLY one with an OVER protective husband. When my girls were smaller, I was always on edge because I am more laid back with them than he is. You are right, accidents happen. His anxiety has transferred to me many times even to the point of questioning my own mothering. Good that you keep things in perspective.

Katina said...

following you!

MEL said...

I go back and forth as well. It depends on the actual situation.

If we're around the house, I'll tend to be less of a hoverer b/c it feels relatively safe.

But outside amongst the playground and unfamiliar areas, I do find myself more on alert for potential harm. This also has to do with her age, I think, as she's only 20 months and still totters around a bit, especially when excited!

I definitely like her to explore and discover though, so I'm trying to loosen up a bit...

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

You're post made me laugh! Only because I see a bit of myself in your husband! Though I agree more with you.

I do think accidents are unavoidable, but around water I'm a little intense. I saw a girl almost drown once, at swimming lessons, with the teacher and the life guard, in the pool right next to her, and they didn't notice! It just shook me. So, I can't help myself.

"Be careful!"

Kristin @ What She Said said...

I'm not a hoverer. Not by a longshot. That said, I took my first trip to the pool with a toddler this past weekend and it was a total stressfest. I was hovering and chasing and grabbing and then hovering some more. It was completely outside my normal laidback parent comfort zone. Going to the pool just isn't what it used to be with a toddler in tow.

A Glimpse of Gwendalyn's World said...

Are our husbands related?! This sounds very familiar. :)

Sadie said...

I am a mix, but my husband is easily far more uptight about some things that I just don't get. The scariest part is seeing your impact on your children. My oldest is pretty uptight, not very easy going and gets really anxious about little things. Dirty clothes, face and hands drive her crazy, she likes things to plan and ask before doing EVERYTHING. None of these things are really life shattering, but sometimes I feel sad that she isn't more a free spirit. More of a kid at heart instead of an old soul. Thanks for a good one.

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