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to think that we should all parent a bit more like...

(81 Posts)
GoldenAutumn Wed 24-Oct-12 22:53:07


Well I'm not saying that 'we' all 'should', but I know* I'd* like to parent a bit more like that - more free and free-range, more accepting that sometimes experimenting results in survivable pain and injury, less fearful.

I know that's not as easily achievable in deepest darkest Surrey, as opposed to the wilds of South Africa, where this guy is. Still, there are aspects I'd like to extrapolate.

When DD last stayed with my Dparents, she told me she'd been racing around the fields on the farmer's quad bike, rounding up the sheep. On closer questioning, it transpired that she hadn't been wearing a helmet or any kind of safety belt. When I pointed out that this didn't sound very safe, she said 'it was fine mum - I was holding on to the dog.' hmm

I bit my tongue because what a great experience that must have been... despite the obvious safety issues (I did have a word with my DM though...).
Danger vs fun and exploration... it's a tricky one.

PumpkInDublic Wed 24-Oct-12 23:01:07

I remember DS climbing his first mountain. Some steep drops and tricky bits. He was only 3. We just tried to drive as much safety information into him as possible and went for it. He's 8 now and still talks about how he did that first climb. To be fair he now shows a lot more common sense in regards to mountain safety than some adults.

WelshMaenad Wed 24-Oct-12 23:02:39

My husband parents like this. It's simultaneously liberating and terrifying. His philosophy is that he never died of a broken bone...

HandMini Wed 24-Oct-12 23:06:38

Hmm, don't know about parenting like that blogger...threw a cup of petrol on a fire? Set fire to a cigarette lighter? Sounds like a muppet.

That's a bit different from supervising a three year old up a mountain which sounds fine.

baskingseals Wed 24-Oct-12 23:06:49

golden - what's stopping you?

freddiefrog Wed 24-Oct-12 23:07:41

My husband also parents a bit like this.

His catch phrase is 'they'll be fine'. They usually are.

Despite his best attempts we've actually got to 7 and 11 years old without anything worse than the odd bruise and scrape.

I've only ever put my foot down once and refused to allow the kids to take part in one of his hair brained schemes

mrscumberbatch Wed 24-Oct-12 23:13:08

We are lucky enough to have access to amazing woodland, wild animals, farm animals and terrifying rope swings off of steep hills.

DD is nearly 3 and is very adventurous, normally has bruised or skint knees and is a bit of a midden wink

It's how I grew up, and DP too. We're adamant that she won't have the sanitised childhood that seems to be in vogue at the moment.

That said, she won't have the same freedoms that we did. Which is sad, but we try to do it as best we can.

noblegiraffe Wed 24-Oct-12 23:27:33

If she had killed her son by running over him in a landrover (as was, let's face it, a possibility) would she still be lauding it as a brilliant event and testimony to her wonderful parenting?

impty Wed 24-Oct-12 23:28:35

Yes we should... But I'm of the stress and panic style of parenting! Having said that i try an encourage freedom and trying things...i just remove myself from the area.

GoldenAutumn Wed 24-Oct-12 23:32:34

basking - fear!
Not just fear that she'll die/be maimed etc, but fear that she'll hurt herself, I guess. I'm not good with pain and I'm therefore scared of anything that I think might result in pain. It's sad and limiting. sad

Except adders - I know they can really hurt me yet I seek them out. Other than that, I'm pathetically risk averse!

GoldenAutumn Wed 24-Oct-12 23:34:47

hand he was a child at the time, I think. If he's still throwing petrol on fires, then more of a muppet, yes!

GoldenAutumn Wed 24-Oct-12 23:39:33

mrscumber that's the kind of experience DD has at my DParents'. I try to give her as much as possible of that at home, and try not to fret when she does potentially dangerous things. I try to frame it positively, too - 'hold on tight' rather than 'don't fall!' when she's half way up a tree. It's counter to my instincts though!

noble she's a he, and yes it could have turned out badly. There's always the potential for accidents though, aren't there?

MrsWolowitz Wed 24-Oct-12 23:45:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsWolowitz Wed 24-Oct-12 23:47:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

noblegiraffe Wed 24-Oct-12 23:50:47

I won't be taking the child locks off my car anytime soon. I don't think that's a positive risk.

Accidents do happen. Parents should risk assess and minimise any potential impact through judicious use of safety equipment and not allowing dangerous recklessness.

WorraLiberty Wed 24-Oct-12 23:57:30

The blogger seems quite extreme in how lax his attitude is.

Then again, some MumsNetters seem quite extreme in how they bubble wrap their kids.

There is a massive grey area inbetween and I think that's where parents should be headed.

I think what stops some people giving their kids more freedom to climb, run off, explore the judgey pants of others.

"My 5yr old DC broke their ankle yesterday"

"Really? The poor thing. How?"

"Climbing a tree...they fell out and hit the ground"

Cue hoiked bosoms and whispers amongst other parents about how they would never allow their child to do that.

GoldenAutumn Wed 24-Oct-12 23:58:50

mrsW I don't think he would have blogged about it had his son been seriously injured - it's a humorous blog!

noble I see your point, but I do think that there's a middle way; if you eliminate all risks then life ends up pretty boring, doesn't it?

whethergirl Wed 24-Oct-12 23:59:37

My dad was like this. During my childhood, for example, I nearly burnt the house down. Three times. I often wonder, if he'd actually told me off or something the first time, maybe the other two times wouldn't have happened.

However, I'm not like this. When my dad came over to help me with the gardening one time, I was shock to see he had given 4 year old ds a pair of shears to run around with.

GoldenAutumn Thu 25-Oct-12 00:00:18

Echoing what worra said about the grey area being the bit to aim for.

WorraLiberty Thu 25-Oct-12 00:01:19

See I would have given my 4yr old some sheers and asked him to cut the hedge.

I wouldn't let him run around with them and if he did, he'd know I'd take them off him.

whethergirl Thu 25-Oct-12 00:08:06

It's a wonder how me and my sister survived. The incident in the blog also reminded me of the time when, embarassingly, I was 17(!) and was sitting on a train on the way to college, and wondered what would happen if I just opened the latch on the train door (it was an olden times train). STILL didn't get told off, warned, grounded, shouted at or anything by my dad (he even paid the fine for me). In fact I think he chuckled.

It's not that he wasn't caring, he was an amazing dad, just very very laid back.

MrsWolowitz Thu 25-Oct-12 00:11:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GreyTS Thu 25-Oct-12 00:17:19

Conflicted on this, on one hand I grew up like this, also in Africa and had a fabulous childhood but as a parent I shudder when I think about the things we did, that my parents did and what they allowed us to do. Lots of our childhood friends are dead after incidents like this, and I know my mother looks back and wonders what they thought they were doing. I know I wouldn't like to be stuck in the bush, 5 hours from medical help with a seriously ill baby like she has been. I would still love to give my girls the childhood I had though, a little safer maybe, with seatbelts and carseats for a start.

BeingBooyhoo Thu 25-Oct-12 00:28:20

that read to me like someone who just likes to hear the sound of his own voice (or keys tapping) except all he has to tap about is that he's a bit of an idiot and he's now proud that he's also managed to raise an idiot to take -part in his idiotic 'adventures'. no mention of his DD in all that. is she too sensible to be proud of?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 25-Oct-12 00:48:27

I think that the running over incident was one of those "you'll laugh about this later, when the shock has worn off" scenarios. I dont get that he is bragging so much as doing that slightly relieved nervous giggle! Its not pride so much as awe that they survived!
I dont think that what he is talking about is a parenting style so much as a growing up style!

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