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Helicopters in the park

(76 Posts)
deliakate Thu 25-Aug-11 15:55:16

the parents, I mean. This bugs me - DS is just 2, and I think he is old enough for me to be able to sit down on a bench whilst he plays. Keeping an eye obv for the one dangerous area - the swings - where he could get kicked. Normally I am the only mum attempting this, despite many of the kids there at the moment clearly being 5+. Sometimes dads are the worst. Can't kids learn to push each other around the roundabout, and actually have fun and make friends with other kids without their parents guiding them around what is essentially a small space designed specifically for kids to explore safely on their own???

Sorry if this has been done before.

StrandedBear Thu 25-Aug-11 15:56:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

deliakate Thu 25-Aug-11 15:56:45

Ok, but say why you think that....

eurochick Thu 25-Aug-11 15:57:13

YANBU. They will never learn if they cannot expore by themselves.

AuntieMonica Thu 25-Aug-11 16:00:46

YABU, sometimes a trip to the park is the best way for parents to have quality time with their DCs. it's positive interaction and should be encouraged.

maybe they thought you'd gone and dumped your DC to get on with it, without you paying much attention?

i'm sure you that wasn't the case at all, but see what happens when you react on a snapshot?

pjmama Thu 25-Aug-11 16:01:03

Parents are the best judge of whether their child is capable or not, plus it's their right to let go at their own pace. Just because you are comfortable letting your child explore doesn't make you right and the "helicopter" parents wrong - you're just doing what you think is best for your child and so are they. Let them get on with it, why should it bother you?

Shakirasma Thu 25-Aug-11 16:02:47

Perhaps some parents live to play, teach and interact with their kids, rather then dump them to get on with it.

Sassyfrassy Thu 25-Aug-11 16:03:59

I love the idea of sitting down to relax. DD1 is 6 and does her own thing, but dd2 who has just turned 3 is a menace. She has no sense at all and will run straight into swings. There is also the fact that she doesn't speak at all, which can be tricky for her at times as most kids around the playground don't understand her grunts and makaton signing. So, yeah, I hover. I do try to hover at a bit of a distance though.

deliakate Thu 25-Aug-11 16:05:57

True auntie, people may have thought that about me. Mine is not a snapshot reaction I don't think, however - its a small town and I see the same parents there time and time again. We go to the park a lot.

I am a sahm, so we get lots of quality time. The park is a good place to let DS run and explore and be himself, and I love watching him - I just don't want to guide his every move like a lot of the folks around here seem to.

TobyLeWolef Thu 25-Aug-11 16:07:22

They're probably judging you just as much for sitting on your arse while your child runs around the playground on his own. Just saying.

LemonSlice Thu 25-Aug-11 16:08:11

I thought this was going to be about actual helicopters landing at the park! blush

AuntieMonica Thu 25-Aug-11 16:08:46

if that's what your'e happy with, then that's fine.

it's really not an issue if other people do differently, is it?

nancy75 Thu 25-Aug-11 16:09:58

You call it helicoptering - most people call it looking after their kids. Your child is probably the one everyone else is looking at and thinking where is the parent

pjmama Thu 25-Aug-11 16:11:17

So don't "guide his every movement" if that's what you want to do. But why look down your nose at others because they're doing it their way? It's nobody else's business.

Marymaryalittlecontrary Thu 25-Aug-11 16:18:14

I think it's up to the parents and the children. When my nephew was 2 I 'helicoptered' him around my local park. If I hadn't there was some equipment he wouldn't have been able to use as he wasn't very good at climbing steps etc. He also would have pushed other children if they were in his way. I saw it as my job to be there to stop pushing before it occurred, or if that was not possible to apologise to the child/parent, and take my nephew off the equipment if necessary. I also think he had a lot more fun with me there smiling, waving, explaining etc than he would have done if I'd left him completely alone.

Aged 3 he still pushed so I had to be nearby to teach him not to, and to teach him how to take turns. Aged 4 I think he would probably be alright but while I might not stand right by him I would still make sure I was constantly watching him so I would know exactly what had happened if he did misbehave.

Another nephew of mine I took to the park when he was six. I didn't 'helicopter' him but he wanted me to join in his imaginary game of sailors, so I did. We played for about an hour, and I don't think he would have had as much fun if he had played by himself.

When my niece was 6 my mum and I took her to a park she didn't know. It was quite spread out and busy, and when my mum and I sat down my niece would go and do one thing, such as one turn on the slide, before coming back to us. The equipment she hadn't used before she wouldn't go on. So I went with her and she was suddenly a different child - using everything and talking and laughing. She was just a bit shy to explore properly on her own.

I personally think that if you're happy being with your child, and the child's happy to have you there then everyone has fun. It's only a problem when the parents being there means the child can't play properly because the parents are always saying "no, that climbing frame is too big for you," or "don't climb the steps, Mummy will lift you," etc.

Tee2072 Thu 25-Aug-11 16:18:36

YABU. At 2 there are waaay more hazards are our park than the swings. The climbing frame, for example, is about 6 feet high and most of it has nothing but open space at the sides. There isn't a lower one for smaller kids and I would never let me son up there on his own.

I don't hover, but I do stay close to him and follow him as he plays. He is also too small to get onto a swing by himself so I help him with that and push him.

Half the fun of taking him to the park is playing with him!

AnotherJaffaCake Thu 25-Aug-11 16:19:13

I thought that too, LemonSlice grin. Wouldn't want to play in a park where real helicopters were landing!

From our experience, DD (5) goes off to do her own thing and can be trusted not to run in front of the swings and get her teeth knocked out. DS (2) on the other hand has about as much common sense as a butterfly. I have to watch him constantly. The only place I can leave him for a couple of seconds is on the baby swings. Otherwise, he's a total menace!

Panzee Thu 25-Aug-11 16:21:25

Guess your two year old doesn't constantly want up the "big" slide then. Mine can't get up there without a leg up!

youarekidding Thu 25-Aug-11 16:26:52

Depends on what you mean by helicoptering and guiding a child's moves?

Watching closely to interact imo is fine.

I do find it a little OTT when I see parents in a park telling thier child/ren which equipment to go on and dragging them around.

At 2yo DS would need me near as he was a daredevil - still is!, but psurely to catch him when if he fell, not to guide him to equipment and tell him to do X now.

So YAB a little U but I think you are discussing the extreme in which I agree with you about.

Oh and blush another thinking you meant real helicopters.

tethersend Thu 25-Aug-11 16:28:24

Real helicopters DO land in our park.


Boysboysboys Thu 25-Aug-11 16:30:54

we had a helicopter land in our park. An air ambulance. It was the highlight of our holidays!

Boysboysboys Thu 25-Aug-11 16:31:28

It wasn't needed in the end BTW... i'm not being insensitive!

AnotherJaffaCake Thu 25-Aug-11 16:38:01

DS had to be taken to hospital by air ambulance when he was very little. I'm still a little freaked out when I see it flying overhead looking for somewhere to land. Saw it this morning when we were at the hospital, but DS gets very excited when he sees it - for him it was the highlight of the morning.

OurPlanetNeptune Thu 25-Aug-11 16:50:12

YABU to look down your nose at the other parents. How other people parent their children is none of your business.

Quenelle Thu 25-Aug-11 16:52:44

If I didn't walk round the playground with 2yo DS he would hardly be able to go on anything, it all seems to involve needing a leg up. And he obviously can't get into a baby swing and push himself.

We had a helicopter land on the front lawn of the vicarage once. That was a special day.

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