Helicopter parents - activities all weekend. Why?

(58 Posts)
Cutitup Sun 06-Oct-13 20:05:49

My DD goes to a lovely school which has high academic demands so she is busy all week doing homework in the evenings. I give her a break on the weekend and she can do what she likes. She often does 2-3 hours of homework on a Sunday.

I have invited the neighbourhood kids round many times on the weekend but they're too busy with clubs, extra tuition and the like. I feel like the parents are trying too hard to mould their kids into something. Just give them a decent rest.

Can't kids just be kids anymore?

onepieceoflollipop Sun 06-Oct-13 20:08:54

I guess it is just different priorities for different families.

My dds do quite a bit in the week, sports and church group and after school club when I am working. I work at least 1 w'end per month and prefer to have low key family time when not at work.

Sparklingbrook Sun 06-Oct-13 20:09:49

What age group are you talking about?

gordyslovesheep Sun 06-Oct-13 20:09:57

maybe they are being kids who enjoy doing activities?

Cutitup Sun 06-Oct-13 20:12:37

Yes, of course, there are some activities that are fun. But Mandarin lessons and math tuition don't count in my book.

I just wish parents would leave schooling to the school and stop trying to create mini geniuses. Of course, I do appreciate that not all schools are created equally. I guess I just feel so sorry for my neighbours kids who always look pretty miserable and tired.

Sparklingbrook Sun 06-Oct-13 20:15:14

There are so many variables it's impossible to say.

Hulababy Sun 06-Oct-13 20:15:19

2-3 hours homework on a Sunday??

How old are we talking?

Considering the 2-3 hours weekend homework I am assuming it must be secondary school age. If so then surely the children are old enough to make their own choices if that is what they want to do.

If primary - well tbh I am more concerned about the excessive level of homework required.

2468Motorway Sun 06-Oct-13 20:15:29

If the kids in the neighborhood do less in the week it probably evens out. What age?

auntmargaret Sun 06-Oct-13 20:15:42

I agree, I think kids need down time.

Madeyemoodysmum Sun 06-Oct-13 20:15:52

I agree. Weekends are for fun and family time. We do 3 clubs after school. That's plenty. Two nights free and no clubs at weekends is my rule.

Sparklingbrook Sun 06-Oct-13 20:16:43

What are 'high academic dem?nds'? Don't all schools have them.

Cutitup Sun 06-Oct-13 20:21:27

Well, I grew up in the 80's in northern England and went to two grammar schools and one comprehensive in Liverpool (my parents moved a lot grin). I can definitely attest that not all schools have high academic demands.

CailinDana Sun 06-Oct-13 20:21:57

Totally totally agree. I taught so many worn out children whose parents never gave them a moment's peace. The really sad thing was while these children were working all hours for their future their present was being totally squandered.

Only one girl I grew up with parents like that. She was an amazing musician and became a surgeon, then quit and became a pathologist (still a great job but much less stress/long hours). When I asked her why she said it was because she wanted a life as she never felt she'd actually just lived, she was always struggling to "better" herself. Her parents were disappointed and refused to come to her wedding (but made it up since I think).

Cutitup Sun 06-Oct-13 20:24:09

FWIW I think it's shit that there is not just ONE standard of school for all children and that your child goes the the school in their catchment area. Final.

I think it's shit that parents have to (pay) scramble to get Grammar school positions. I think the whole system is shit. Basically.

nomorecrumbs Sun 06-Oct-13 20:26:07

Kids do need time to be bored to stimulate creativity.

Saying that, I had no activities at all as a child and wish my parents had put me in for piano or swimming...I was desperate for lessons ever since I was small, and am no great shakes at either now.

Jinsei Sun 06-Oct-13 20:27:41

I am all in favour of kids not being overscheduled and having time to just do what they like, but some kids may want to spend their weekend doing clubs. My dd spends a good part of each Saturday doing dance, as well as twice during the week, not because I want her to do it because she absolutely loves it. She has been free all day today but has chosen to spend around three hours practising her dance, unprompted - for her, dancing is recreation in its truest sense. Yeah, some parents are really pushy but sometimes kids just have hobbies that they really love and enjoy.

ringaringarosy Sun 06-Oct-13 20:28:19

it does sound like a lot,tbh,the hours of homework during the week and sunday nights sound too much aswell.poor kids.

Sparklingbrook Sun 06-Oct-13 20:29:02

i know nothing of Grammar schools-there aren't any around here. perhaps i have missed out on the 11+ angst.

Had a discussion about this with my parents this weekend about DS, who is 4. They want to know why he doesn't do swimming & rugby & gymnastics. My father said that this was 'part of the sacrifices of being a parent'. I'm not of the same mindset at all, I love our downtime together. I told them I'd schedule them in if they were happy for us to never come and visit them at the weekends.

meditrina Sun 06-Oct-13 20:31:18

If the parents at helicoptering DC who are old enough to have hours of weekly overwork, then something is very wrong.

But, if no helicoptering (mentioned in title, but not body of thread), them there are probably as many permutations in when homework and activities are fitted in to evenings and weekends as there are families.

YABU to assume that what suits you will suit everyone, or that any one pattern is intrinsically better than others.

YABU as well to assume that earning Mandarin can't be fun. You DC might not respond to it, but that doesn't mean no children like it.

YouTheCat Sun 06-Oct-13 20:34:53

I did no out of school activities. I'd have loved to have learned the piano but money was tight.

So I used my brain and got a book from the library and taught myself.

Kids do need downtime. They need time to chatter and run about freely. Time for getting their noses stuck in a good book and time just to build massive structures from Lego.

I feel really sorry for over-structured kids. I don't care if you say they enjoy it because I reckon they have no choice in the matter most of the time and have never known any different.

RainierWolfcastle Sun 06-Oct-13 20:36:02

maybe its not helicopter - maybe the kids are jsut very very sporty and LOVE it

VinegarDrinker Sun 06-Oct-13 20:37:51

Aren't you basically just sneering at parents whose kids go to a different (?non selective) school but then choose to do some "academic" type extra curricular stuff?

I'd rather an hour or two of "scheduled activities" than no free time at all in the week due to excessive homework demands.

FWIW I went to a grammar and still had time for Scouts,dance, music etc after school.

cory Sun 06-Oct-13 20:42:12

it could be that the kids love these particular activities and they are only available at weekends

or that the family want together time

or that it's a polite excuse: I noticed a few years ago that ds suddenly became incredibly busy when nextdoors boys started calling: he didn't like their behaviour but clearly didn't like to say so

I also noticed he told a friend last weekend that he had been grounded (he hadn't, only had his montly allowance taken off him)- he is fond of his friend but was too tired to want to do things with him or anyone

I remember doing something similar years ago when I realised I and my bf were growing apart but couldn't think of a way of saying so without hurting her feelings (she was lovely but we had nothing in common)

though I have to say, Mandarin lessons would have seemed like great fun to me when I was junior/secondary school age: I would have bit anyone's hand off to have those

conorsrockers Sun 06-Oct-13 20:50:44

Well, I would have agreed with you a few years ago, BUT, I have 3 boys that LOVE sport and music. We used to have 'sacred Sundays (not religious!) - that were left free for us as a family. We now spend every Sunday on the Rugby pitch, Saturdays are filled with footy in the morning, dance and drama in the afternoon and swimming in the evening. Our only evening 'off' is on Wednesday's. they also all play instruments (2 each) at school. It's ridiculous - certainly not by design, but because the boys ENJOY it and WANT to do it. And in their few spare hours they go make dens and do 'boys' stuff together ..... does that make me a 'helicopter parent???' I have never once had to drag them out the house to any of their clubs ..... so ........

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