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To not like other parents helicoptoring my DC at the park?

(71 Posts)
alowVeraWithPurpleTwuntyPants Wed 03-Aug-11 00:19:05

dd is 3,
has been walking since 18mths, but due to balance problems when walking, looks like she learnt to walk last week. Dd gets up and carries on whenever she falls over, which is pretty much every 10 or so steps.
Dd is a climber, and a very confident one, will climb up the climbing frame (to get to slide, even though there are steps too) has been doing this on her own for months. Dd has no fear. Seriously she's skipped that developmental stage.
Now to the point..
In this lovely holiday weather, park is busier, with parents helicoptoring their children, and I am starting to notice said parents getting all jumpy (for want of a better word) when dd is climbing up, and reach out as if she's going to fall. (she is monkey child and will hang off a pole by her hands for at least 3 minutes)
Now I get that they want to helicopter their own child, but AIBU to not want them to try and helicopter mine?
And AIBU to not want to have to helicopter DC just to stop them doing it?

thursday Wed 03-Aug-11 00:20:59

helicopter has now lost all meaning for me.


Birdsgottafly Wed 03-Aug-11 00:22:13

I was what could be described as a lax parent, but my DD's never had accidents, i knew their capabilities.
All i can advise is, ignore.

Solo Wed 03-Aug-11 00:23:58

People just worry and care about kids; all kids and I think it's just instinctive in some people.
I don't do it with my Dd, didn't do it with Ds, but some people just do do it.

AgentZigzag Wed 03-Aug-11 00:24:35

You're bothered by other people getting jumpy when they think your DD is about to fall off a climbing frame?


Both to ascribe all those thoughts to the other parents, and for being pissed off with them caring about your DD.

alowVeraWithPurpleTwuntyPants Wed 03-Aug-11 00:26:36

But she isnt going to fall off it agent

AgentZigzag Wed 03-Aug-11 00:28:08

And how would they know that OP?

alarkaspree Wed 03-Aug-11 00:28:57

I can understand why you don't like it, because it's easy to imagine an implied criticism of you in their looking out for your dd. But look at it from their point of view - they see a child who looks as if she might fall, they get ready to catch her - they mean well. I'd just wander over to them and say 'don't worry about her, she is a confident climber,' and they will probably stop.

Or just try not to let it bother you. I think this is something that happens to every parent, I get it sometimes because ds is very small for his age.

alowVeraWithPurpleTwuntyPants Wed 03-Aug-11 00:29:34

I'd get it if it actually looked like she was going to fall, but she doesn't, she is a confident climber.

RobynLou Wed 03-Aug-11 00:33:04

well to them she obviously looks as though she may fall,

YABU to get annoyed at other people caring about your child, the world would be a better place if everyone kept an eye out for everyone else.

FabbyChic Wed 03-Aug-11 00:37:46

YOu say yourself she is not confident in walking, so these so called parents see your child falling over when walking so they know she is not good on her feet, yet you want them to ignore her? Sorry mate you are being unreasonable.

alowVeraWithPurpleTwuntyPants Wed 03-Aug-11 00:40:05

Didn't say I was annoyed or pissed off.

I just haven't come across it/noticed it before the last couple of weeks.

Think I took it as more of a criticism of my parenting rather than properly considering their POV.

Probably am being a bit unreasonable.

TillyIpswitch Wed 03-Aug-11 03:55:15

Yeah, sorry - you are being a bit unreaonable! The other parents don't have the background knowledge you have; they're simply being nice - keeping an eye and arm out for your girl.

Imagine the alternative scenario - she does fall, and no-one bats an eye and leaves her to it. I know which world/society/neighbourhood/community I'd rather live in. smile

pinkthechaffinch Wed 03-Aug-11 07:14:04

ds was like this at the same age and I had the same problem with others interfering and being over- protective to my son.

He was very nimble and had no fear whatsoever. I was very proud of him and happily sat down with my book in the park whilst he climbed with much older dcs.

Until one day he waved to an approaching girl from the top of one frame, slipped through the bars and fell to the ground. His teeth went through his bottom lip -luckily that was all but there was tonnes of blood and an ambulance had to be called and he needed stitches.

It was a lesson to me especially as I had to borrow a mobile from one of the interefeing mums.

The saddest thing, though is that ds never really regained his physical confidence after his fall, he is a very cautious boy now.

CalmaLlamaDown Wed 03-Aug-11 07:41:59


It's natural instinct to feel worried if you see a child falling over every 10 steps or so and then see that same child start to climb...

Why is 'helicoptering' often talked about as a negative thing? We follow ds 4yo around the park or softplay aeea because we enjoy the interacting with him, it never occured to me before i found this forum that i could be judged for it! Several times I've had other children run up to me and ask me to play with them too, push them on swings or help on obstacle course,etc but i usually tell them to ask their parents as i don't want to read a thread on here saying 'helicopter mums playing with MY child...'

peggotty Wed 03-Aug-11 07:53:34

Yabu. You can't expect them to know your dd is a confident climber despite the fact they may have seen her falling over every 10 steps. It's just instinct in (most) adults to look out for what appears to be a vunerable child.

MackerelOfFact Wed 03-Aug-11 07:53:40

Sorry, YABU. The other parents don't know she's confident but wobbly, they just see a child who looks, to them, like she's about to fall off. I would be horrified if adults just ignored a child who looked like they might hurt themselves, just so as not to be seen as 'interfering'.

I also think YABU to describe the other parents as 'helicoptering'. On the flipside, another child might look confident and able but be a massive accident-prone liability who is down at A&E every second week. They are perhaps just excercising the appropriate level of supervision for their child too. You don't know, just as they don't know about your DD.

Sirzy Wed 03-Aug-11 07:59:14

People would be quick enough to complain if another parent saw a child about to fall and didn't try to help them.

Sometimes you really can't do right for doing wrong!

theotherboleyngirl Wed 03-Aug-11 08:04:14


You say she's got balance issues... if I saw a child who was falling over every 10 steps or so near me in a playground on a climbing frame I physically wouldn't be able to stop myself from keeping a protective eye at the ready.

I have 3 DC and my eldest was incredibly physically able. Still is. Now I have a little one, with balance issues and frankly, despite her having no-fear and able to climb anything I hover, because it takes one momentary loss of balance and she has a serious injury. I have stopped 2 such ones - one where her balance went and she toppled off a 6 foot climbing platform, and one where she toppled and fell through some monkey bar gaps - split seconds. Given I have another little one (and older one) to be watching as well, I would be positively grateful if another parent had her on their radar as well. And I would even go so far in this circumstance to say it's not the correct use of the term 'helicopter'... I would have thought that was more reserved for instances where it ISN'T necessary to be physically close to the child.

Callisto Wed 03-Aug-11 08:08:10

Well I'm probably one of those helicopter parents. When DD was small (and even now when she is 6) she liked me to be right next to her, especially if she was climbing anything. So your implicit criticism of helicopter parents compared to your 'much better' hands off approach is wrong. All children are different, just because your child is fearless, doesn't mean everyone elses is too.

Also, if I saw a 3yo child on a climbing frame with no adult near I would be concerned for that child (and wonder where the parent is) because it is a 3yo child with weak muscles, slow reaction times and little or no judgement on what is safe and what is dangerous. hmm

BluddyMoFo Wed 03-Aug-11 08:14:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

yoshiLunk Wed 03-Aug-11 08:33:59

If it's not pissing you off or annoying you just let them get on with it, - if they feel strongly enough that she should be closely followed they may approach you and you can explain how capable she is.

I wouldn't say I was a helicopter mum by any means but I know I have offered to help other children on/off apparatus if I've been right there and they looked like they would harm themselves trying.

this could just as easily be AIBU to be pissed off that this other mother let my child fall and hurt herself when she was right there and could have helped grin

notso Wed 03-Aug-11 08:42:54

I don't think you (OP) knows the difference between a 'helicopter' parent, and a regular 'helping their child in the park so they can go home with no broken limbs' parent.

DS1's friends Mum is a helicopter mum, she tells her 3 yo DS2 not to run, to be careful, not to climb, not to jump etc so often that before I knew her I thought he had a brittle bone condition.
If he trips she sprints at full speed to him, scoops him up and he is no longer allowed to play, because when he was 18 months he fell and got a nasty graze!

hanahsaunt Wed 03-Aug-11 08:43:05

I feel your pain, mainly because I was subjected to another parent helicoptering [sic] ds3 yesterday and when I persisted in my slack parenting she made exasperated comments in a loud voice to no-one in particular. Thankfully, the two nearest parents sniggered and clearly thought thank goodness she's picked on you and not me ... There are few places in life for unstructured free play and if you can't let them learn to take risks in the park then where?

exoticfruits Wed 03-Aug-11 08:44:48

Have you not thought of speaking to the other parents? How are they supposed to know otherwise?hmm
I remember a woman talking to me about her little tot and saying that people are surprised, but she was quite capable. I then knew she was being watched.
DS3 was the same, he copied his brothers and he was climbing etc far too early and I didn't want to hover- but I was watching. I would tell people.
They are not mind readers! You should be pleased that people are bothered about a DC who appears young with no adult assistance.

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