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To think this type of helicoptering is OTT at kids parties?

(274 Posts)
minxofmancunia Tue 19-Jul-11 21:26:36

I'm prepared to be flamed about this, I know a lot of parents like to hyper supervise every single calorie and morsel that passes their childs lips otherwise....oh i don't know hell might freeze over or something but surely you can back off at a party??

One of the reasons I send dh with dd to parties rather than go myself is because I find the anxious, hectic, hyper controlling helicoptering of other parents too much to bear esp at the mealtime. So what of they just eat a handful of doritos 3 breadsticks and a piece of cake? It's ONE MEAL. It's a PARTY.

<<disclaimer here if your child is diabetic has allergies or genuine (not imagined) food intolerances, totally understand>>

Dh went to a party at a play centre recently, one that's renowed for having healthy good food, carrot sticks proper baker chips, pitta bread, hummus etc. It was for a 5 year old. every parent bar him stood "OVER" their child monitoring and co-ercing every, single, mouthful and flapping if they didn't take adequate intake of grapes/veg etc. Above anything else i actually think it's embarrassing. get a grip people.

At my dds 5th party I'll be asking that they're left. No staying and special GENUINE dietry requirements aside I ain't monitoring them all at food time.

AIBU, I'm I a terrible mummy, benign neglectful harridan?

Oh and BTW I work in child health and am fully aware of opinions amongst my colleagues and myself who think that this kind of parenting can actually contribute to food issues in adolescence which i believe to be true.

TastyMuffins Tue 19-Jul-11 21:39:39

YANBU, I totally agree with you there and often wonder why I am the only parent who goes to the children's parties just to chat to the other parents. Don't think I noticed what my 6yo child ate last time he went to a party, if he comes up to me at the party, I might suggest he tries something and I do wish the sweeties and chocolate weren't put out alongside the other food but saved to last but hey, it's a party!

Ismeyes Tue 19-Jul-11 21:40:00

Lol, I was just about to type out a response about the whole controlling food thing and eating disorders and then I realised it was you minx, and I know what work you do (I name change frequently but have spoken to you many times, am also RMN, not stalker!).

YANBU. However, I also have a child who would happily hoover the whole party table up, so I do need to do some limited helicoptering at times with her especially as we have a party to go to most weekends. However, the behaviour you describe is way way over the top and unhealthy!

TakeMeDrunkImHome Tue 19-Jul-11 21:41:24

I wish I knew what helicopter parenting was. It sounds tiring.

everlong Tue 19-Jul-11 21:42:21

yanbu

unless like you say there are specific health/allergic reasons, children should be allowed to eat what they like at a birthday party.

worraliberty Tue 19-Jul-11 21:43:44

In all my 19yrs as a mum, I've never experienced these people shock

Thank fuck grin

Serendipity30 Tue 19-Jul-11 21:43:59

i see this all the time in my area, hence one of the many reasons i don't look forward to kids party's,parents behaving like this usually make it difficult for their child to enjoy the party and stresses out the parent throwing the party in the first place, that's exactly why my dd is not having one this year we are for for a birthday treat, cheaper and less stressful grin

Carrotsandcelery Tue 19-Jul-11 21:45:17

I completely agree with you Minx.

Good luck getting the children left though. I tried this for my ds's 6th party and a few parents point blank refused to leave. I was quite clear that I expected them to go and they totally ruined the party for me and the adults I had asked to help.

They then sat and hoovered up all the party food on the table themselves. shock

Surely if you are unhappy about a child going to a party or what they will eat at a party you just say you can't make it?

HappyDoll Tue 19-Jul-11 21:46:38

The first party I went to was a 4th (I was a young mum with DS1) but it was in a type of hungry horse pub place with a soft play area. I absolutely thought the point of having it somewhere so nasty was that it was licensed so at least we could drown out the noise of 30 4yo's with a glass or 2 of cheap plonk.
So, I deposited DS and loudly declared, "right, my round first!" I honestly thought we were all going to sit in the bar for 2 hours while DCs ran around like loons.
Can you imagine my shock as it slowly dawned on me that the expectation was for me to hover over DS, monitor his food intake and pick apart his social skills whilst wittering on to all the other mums about just how genius DS was because he was already free-reading war and fucking peace. hmm
I didn't bother going to any more until I know it was a drop and run!

HappyDoll Tue 19-Jul-11 21:47:36

Oh and YANBU (as if you hadn't guessed)

Don't think you can ban others from doing it at your party though...

minxofmancunia Tue 19-Jul-11 21:47:44

takemedrunkimhome I expect it is bloody tiring! It also seem like a huge commitment...."I perfect parent therefore vow to control every aspect of my childs life to the nth degree so he/she wil become as anxious, neurotic, perfectionistic and controlling as me....hey otherwise i might not pass my parenting school exams and get kicked out"

messymammy Tue 19-Jul-11 21:48:07

Yep, am soooooo sick of this too. On the way out of leaving her dd at my dd's party, one mother said to another mother just coming in that "the kids were eating all kinds of rubbish"....eh it's a kids party?!

I had a cake (obviously!) and cupcakes, and then homemade pizza and wedges, no fizzy drinks- choice of orange or blackcurrant squash, it really wasn't as bad as it could have been, but still "rubbish" hmm

It's one day fgs, and usually the kids run it off under the party holder's supervision!

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 19-Jul-11 21:48:46

Gosh, I didn't realise that parents stayed at 5 year olds parties. They never did when mine were younger. We dropped them off and scarpered for a couple of hours.

When my kids had their parties at I could could always spot the kid who was never allowed a chocolate biscuit in their lives - they had to be stopped from grabbing the whole plate!

I always thought the whole purpose of party food was that it was "naughty" and a treat for the child who had a normal healthy diet for most of the time.

These will be the parents who turn up at their kids univeristy interviews with them....(the ultimate in helicoptering)

minxofmancunia Tue 19-Jul-11 21:51:28

We are having 10 little girls in all at dds party there will be me, dh, 2 close mates of mine a good enough ratio me thinks. Clearly I can prevent hoverers from staying but i won't be laying on booze.tea and excess grub for them though! They can have a glass of water!

Roo83 Tue 19-Jul-11 21:52:16

I'm far to busy trying to sneak cocktail sausages and party rings for myself to notice what the dc's are doing! I always thought parties were chance for Ne to have a rest while dc's were entertained

HappyDoll Tue 19-Jul-11 21:54:50

I did a jug of Pimms for DDs 5th. Quite a few stayed although that was fine IMO - they did hover and I was glad I didn't have to deal with all the fussy eaters and cry babies. Not many indulged in the Pimms, except me and the heavily pregnant lady shock

mercibucket Tue 19-Jul-11 21:55:48

sorry to disappoint, amothersplaceisinthewrong, but sometimes the children who have to be stopped from grabbing the whole plate really do scoff huge amounts of biscuits at home as well grin mine is a biscuit monster with no self control - takes after his mother

tbh 'party food' and this whole idea of a 'treat' (one of my most despised words in the English language grrrrr) is a bit out-dated. kids have parties and party food all the flipping time these days. every other day is some celebration or other - school birthdays, school celebrations, out of school birthdays, out of school celebrations, birthday parties blah blah endless blah

but, yeah, do agree op, once they're past the toddler years you may as well step back and let them stuff their faces. luckily everyone round here 'drops and runs'

Serendipity30 Tue 19-Jul-11 21:58:49

i took my dd last year to the cinema with five of her friends , four of the parents were happy to leave them as i had two other adults to help, one insisted on hovering in the background with her other child at the film, even though he clearly did not want to be there and was unaware they would be going along with us

Ragwort Tue 19-Jul-11 22:00:17

We are obviously not invited to these sort of parties - it is very much drop and run where I live grin - thank goodness. Can't recall any of my alcoholic friends acting like this if they did hang around, they were only looking for the next bottle of wine to be opened, couldn't care less what I fed the kids !

minxofmancunia Tue 19-Jul-11 22:04:48

ragwort i want some of those Mum friends, the one here are all nice people but last time we went tout one bottle of wine lasted four of us for nearly 3 hours!! I was chomping at the bit!

I don't want to get paralytic and I get about work the next day etc but making 1.5 small glasses of wine last so long so i didn't look like a lush by ordering more was hard hard work.

HeyYouJimmy Tue 19-Jul-11 22:04:59

Apart from the conditions the OP mentions and children with Prader-Willi Syndrome (who never feel full because that part of the brain controlling that, doesn't work properly), I'd say that children should be let to get on with things at a party.

superjobee Tue 19-Jul-11 22:07:57

i avoid helicopter parents at all costs we went to my friends wee girls party and they had orange and blackcurrant juice pizza slices mini sausage rolls rice crispy cakes and a load of different sandwiches.. entertainment was provided by my friends OH who allowed a load of 1-10 yr olds to lungeat him grin not got a clue what DD ate i was far too busy nattering and stuffing my face

DogsBestFriend Tue 19-Jul-11 22:10:30

Is it just me or do the rest of you think that sometimes this behaviour has far more to do with a parent trying desperately to prove to other parents what a good, concientious soul they are than a genuine belief that a handful of Walkers Crisps is going to turn their 5yo into an obese, junk-food dependent teenager? grin

"Look at ME! LOOK AT ME! Look! LISTEN TO ME YOU LOT! Aren't I a wonderful Mummy?"

PumpkinBones Tue 19-Jul-11 22:11:03

Hmmnn. Well, I have to excercise a bit of supervision over DS at buffet food parties - we went to one on Saturday, and there was a plate of chewits, he filled his plate with them and was stuffing them in his pockets. He also put ALL the jaffa cakes. He has sweets and stuff at home, so it's not like he is deprived of sugar and I don't really care what he eats at parties, but he has no control at parties at all and it isn't good manners, especially when he is taking ALL of one thing, and the parents have catered the party themselves, and it needs to go round. He is 5, btw and I do stay at parties because he wants me too. All of the parents bar one or two have stayed at all the parties we have been to thus far, although I imagine (hope) this will probably change over the next year.

minxofmancunia Tue 19-Jul-11 22:12:47

Totally dogsbestfriend you've hit the nail on the proverbial head. but it baffles me, I just don't get it, and because I don't get it I find it irritating.

It's just people being competitive through their kids...as if they have no identity..no life in fact.

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