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To ask for examples of helicopter parenting

(237 Posts)
lesley33 Fri 27-May-11 15:25:41

I am amazed at how over protective some parents are. For example, my 14 year old nephew is not allowed to be outside without a supervising adult. He is desperate to join his friends who play football on some grass right outside his house, but his mum won't let him as she is worried about what could happen to him.

What are the worst examples of helicopter parenting that you have come across?

Oblomov Fri 27-May-11 16:09:14

The worst ones are not specific, grandeur, discreet, which makes it worse. My pet hate and I'm not sure why.
Not allowing a 6 yr old to go to his classmates disco party, in the school hall, on a saturday night, between 6-8pm, 'becasue its too late. He normally goes to bed at 7pm'. Yeah, so do mine on a schoolnight. Its a one off. Good god, give in woman. Stupid people.

CharlieCoCo Fri 27-May-11 16:33:37

just to confirm helipcoptor parents mean they hover over their kids all the time and never give them the freedom? over protective etc...
i hate that attitude with some parents who dont let their kids do something because it means going to bed half an hr later. yes routine is good but a flexible one is better. what if an emergancy happened and the kids couldnt get to bed on time, would it really be the end of the world (bot the bed time not the emergancy). some people are really stuck in their ridget routine that they dont allow their children freedom and to 'live life' and they end up missing out on some wonderful experiences. its a shame.

Pandemoniaa Fri 27-May-11 16:54:54

We did used to have one child at parties who, even at the age of 8 & 9, wasn't allowed to stay alone (despite the fact she lived three houses away) because her mother needed to stand behind her chair and briskly remove any items deemed unsuitable from her hands. No matter how near these items had got from plate to mouth. There were no allergies or food intolerance issues to warrant this behaviour, by the way. Eventually, we stopped inviting her because her mother was making such a buffoon of herself and simply refused to believe that any of us could be trusted with her pfb.

Rather ironically, this child grew up to be the first in the peer group to smoke and when at uni was almost obsessed by the need to stop by Macdonalds every time her and her friends went out.

TattyDevine Fri 27-May-11 17:00:45

In a nutshell, it is hovering over one's child, either literally or metaphorically.

Literally is usually when they are toddlers and preschoolers - they can be found in play parks, spotting them on the climbing frame or slide. Shadowing them at soft-play.

It can progress onto restricting their freedom as they get older as well.

Ensuring their safety is one thing but letting go as they grow is ultimately better for them in the long run I feel.

There is a balance but some parents can't achieve it. Some go too far in the opposite direction too.

LaWeasel Fri 27-May-11 17:16:19

Someone else's parent caught the little boy I was looking after as he came down off the slide.

I was confused

There are some quite lax parents at that park, I have caught DC as they fell off the climbing frame before, but wtf would you need to catch a child as they come down a slide?!

turkeyboots Fri 27-May-11 17:22:57

I had a 24 year old work for me for a while. Her mum used to call in when she was off sick, called to get directions for her DD's training venue and once even called my boss to complain that I wasn't giving her the "work she deserved".

I'm playground hovering with my own two pre-schoolers, but plan to stop by the time they enter the working work!

turkeyboots Fri 27-May-11 17:24:31

Oops "playground hoverer" even.

CuppaTeaJanice Fri 27-May-11 17:26:21

I saw a parent squeeze a 3 or 4 year old into the baby seat on a swing, then she held the bars and walked back and forth, holding it the whole time! Poor child didn't get to swing properly.

munstersmum Fri 27-May-11 17:28:48

Was in stitches at a kids under8's tennis afternoon last weekend. DH was asked to 'umpire' for one of the matches (asking random parents in attendance is common). Another mum leapt up and said oh DC's dad always umpires DC's games.

Game started & the other DC's dad was clearly sent over - said to DH 'you don't mind if I hover do you?'

MillyR Fri 27-May-11 17:29:52

There was a month or so when DS was a toddler when he would sometimes hit other children at playgroup. I admit that I did follow him around the room and hover to intervene when he raised his hand to hit somebody.

LaWeasel Fri 27-May-11 17:33:35

I think that's different Milly, since it saves you from the horrified faces of PFB parents!

And you're not doing it forever, which is the important part.

TigerseyeMum Fri 27-May-11 17:41:50

My sister is a bit helicoptery at times, especially about the children 'hurting' themselves. Any hint of a banged knee etc she rushes over saying 'Oooh, ooh, it's OK, here let me rub it better' etc etc but tbh it makes them cry more.

It is at the point where they look to her to judge whether they should cry or not. I always downplay it, and say Ooh dear, never mind, and try to carry on, but even if I do this and they seem fine my sister will stil rush over. Then they start crying.

I don't think it helps them 'toughen up' for the real world (and they are a bit cry-babyish but sh, don't tell my sister I said that) wink

SenoritaViva Fri 27-May-11 17:42:58

Only a month MillyR? I think that means your strategy worked! Sorry, but if you want to join the parent hoverer club you'll have to do better than that!

saffy85 Fri 27-May-11 17:45:01

Once sat confused with my sister at a mum at soft play with her DD aged around 2 who wouldn't put her child down at all to actually play. She carried her round pretty much the whole time, and the few times she let her DD down to play with the stuff and the little girl attempted to zoom off and enjoy herself, her mum would immediately pick her up again whenever another child ran in their general direction. Not a big kid, another toddler. Seemed bloody ridiculous to pay for the session at (this very pricey) soft play just to watch other children enjoy themselves.

The maddest have to be the parents of some of the temporary staff my store have employed for christmas. Girl of about 19 was sacked on her 2nd or 3rd shift for coming in hungover and having a shitty attitude. Fair enough (I mean she was snapping at the customers and being a lazy cow), her mum didn't see it that way though and rang up to have a go at my manager for being horribly unfair to her DD. Said she would take them to a tribunal etc etc and sue for unfair dismissal. Not her daughter, her. The mum would take them to a tribunal and sue the company. hmm Fucking nutter.

MillyR Fri 27-May-11 17:48:52

Well now that my eldest is at secondary school I admit that I am a revision hoverer. There is no way I am allowing a 13 year old boy to organise his own revision and do it without supervision, unless somebody turns all school subjects into an xbox game.

TheFlyingOnion Fri 27-May-11 18:09:58

Milly when I did my GCSEs we lived in a bunglaow and my dad used to sneak round the outside of the house and peer through my bedroom window. If I wasn't sitting at my desk he'd start banging on the window.

Didn't make any difference and I didn't do a scrap of work. Just sat at my desk and daydreamed....

wordfactory Fri 27-May-11 18:22:15

I knew a woman who used to feed her DS huge amounts before evry children's birhtday party so he wouldn't eat any of the party food.

She also insisted on driving him to playdates after school so she could 'check he was okay.'

He was the only child who didn't go on the school campover.

He also had to tramp around school with a bottle of water at all times to avoid dehydration and was slathered in sun block from March to October.

MillyR Fri 27-May-11 18:27:12

Flying onion, that has really made me laugh, but I actually sit next to DS to make sure he is filling in online mock tests properly, so I am much worse than your Dad. Although DS likes having me around to revise with, particularly when I get all the maths wrong. One of the best ways of learning anything is to explain it someone stupider than yourself.

TigerseyeMum Fri 27-May-11 18:34:35

My sister on the other hand is sad that her friend won't allow her toddler any TV, chocolate, cake or party food sad

Not that that is all she should have, but it seems a bit harsh sad It is to encourage good habits, rather than a disorder etc. and I know it is commendable to bring your child up healthily, but it was very sad at the birthday party. Mind you, the mum was stuffing cake down her like there was no tomorrow, but the child wasn't allowed any and mm kept hovering to say 'no'. angry

balia Fri 27-May-11 18:48:16

My 9 year old DSS's mum still stays with him at parties to make sure he doesn't eat 'the wrong things'. And he's not allowed to select his own clothes, or choose his own haircut, and he has to come in from the garden if there are any wasps. And he's not supposed to feed the ducks because of bird flu.

pigletmania Fri 27-May-11 18:52:50

I admit to hovering over my dd aged 4 at times, she has suspected ASD with speech and lang developmental delay. There are some things that her peers can do that I won't allow just yet because of her emotional immuturity, like leaving her at a kids party on her own, or playing outside on her own with friends (not that she has many). In the park I sometimes hover, as dd has a habit of picking up other kids bikes and scooters and using them, or will try and jump in the duck pond. I really don't want to do this forever. I am more lax now she is older, but my dh hovers a lot.

HattiFattner Fri 27-May-11 18:53:16

we've had parents not send their 8 year olds to Cubs because it finishes too late (8pm).

And heaven forbid they go to Scouts at 10 and a half, because that finishes at 9pm! Shocking for a child who is a year away from secondary school.

pigletmania Fri 27-May-11 18:53:29

Oh and I shadow her when she goes to soft play as she does meltdown if she becomes stuck or in unfamiliar surroundings.

saidthespiderwithahorridsmile Fri 27-May-11 19:00:19

I was at the park once ignoring with my children. A woman and a boy of about 5 came in, both looking very solemn. They went round all the bits of equipment one after the other, wordlessly and without smiling, the boy "did" the task (couple of minutes on the swing, up and down the climbing frame etc) then moved on to the next one. The woman stood and watched. Then they left.

It was really bizarre. I think of them often grin

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