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Share with Dettol your tips for how to find the right balance between being there for your child and being over protective - £300 voucher to be won!NOW CLOSED

(244 Posts)
EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 10-Oct-17 17:12:47

Finding the balance between protecting your child and letting them have independence is something many parents find difficult. To kick off the launch of their ‘Protect Like a Mother’ campaign Dettol would like you to share with them you and your partners’ tips and experiences on how you find that oh so tricky balance.

Here’s what Dettol has to say: “We know that a mother’s protection of her child is unconditional and just like an animal in the wild, she will do whatever it takes to create a safe environment for her family. We provide mums with that same unconditional protection for the whole family throughout the home.”

Watch their new ‘Protect Like a Mother’ campaign video here

Do you ever wonder if YABU about leaving your child home alone? Do you and your partner have to stop yourselves from constantly checking in on your newborn when they’re sleeping? Did you give your child a mobile phone as a way of giving them some freedom but still being able to check up on them? At what age did you let your child go out by themselves? When do you let them solve their own problems?

Whatever your experiences/tips Dettol wants to know. Share them in the thread below and be in with the chance of winning a £300 voucher of your choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!


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UpOnDown Wed 11-Oct-17 17:43:03

Fade out your support gradually.

Beach11 Wed 11-Oct-17 20:11:50

We let DS make mistakes so that he learns from them & help when necessary. And that there are are also consequences to actions. Overall, be supportive & loving

ScaryMary81 Wed 11-Oct-17 20:41:31

Ask yourself if your worries are to protect your child or to calm your own projected fears!

Fizzyxo Wed 11-Oct-17 20:42:13

Sometimes yes I do think I'm a bit overbearing. I was always that parent who'd have one eye constantly on her child. Right now, I'm trying to be protective but also willing to allow DS to make those mistakes that will only help him later in life and better him as a person. I know I can't always coddle him and it's best to teach him to be independent. He's still too young for all that however, and I'm still learning as I go.

I think it's all about finding the perfect balance. You still want your kids to be able to know that they can come to you no matter what, but not to the extent that they just rely on you solely.

ApocalypseNowt Wed 11-Oct-17 20:45:01

I try to give my DD's as much freedom as possible (within an age appropriate range). So DD1 (5yo) can play out on the street if our NDN's children are out too but DD2 (3yo) can only go out if an adult is present too.

I'll always be there for them, give them lots of love and support, show them I make mistakes too while gently encouraging their independence.

I did the bare minimum of baby proofing so essentials like stairgates, etc but I'm not one for wrapping them in cotton wool.

As DD2 likes to say...we are big, tough GIRLS! (Girls is always shouted for some reason..!). smile

StillCantDecideOnaUsername Wed 11-Oct-17 21:19:56

I had a baby monitor that had a sensor pad underneath the cot mattress. Best £65 I ever spent for peace of mind whilst my first dc slept. She had it in her cot until she was 2 years old, I almost had to wean myself off it! Second dc only had it until he was 6 months as I was far more relaxed with him.You are naturally going to be be far more anxious with your first born but I learnt to control my fears once my second baby came along. Experience and having a better understanding of what to expect is also a massive help!

duck22 Thu 12-Oct-17 10:06:08

My son is 3 so I am encouraging him to try and do things on his own whilst I watch. He knows he can still ask for help if he needs it

kateandme Thu 12-Oct-17 10:58:37

id rather be too overprotective than miss something.i no from when I was young I now appreciate mum and dads rules and thoughts when at the time I thought they were being totally unreasonable!
to treat every child different though is a biggie.they are all more sensitive or all more boystrous or more independent than there is a baseline I think for what to do and whats within your boundaries but then for each you have to work out what suit you and them in their own right.
I know for a fact that one dc could have been left almost years earlier than her sibling
and one need more reassurance.
and once need telling not to iron themselves with the clothing on!!hence having to be more careful here smile
and don't feel quashed or forced or pressured by the parental rules of others.or tv.or celebs.

theresamustgo Thu 12-Oct-17 13:29:08

I think that allowing children independence, giving them confidence, trusting them is a way of being protective. We can't be there always - but we are there for them if they need us. My 9 year old goes on a bus to school now - with his talk and text phone. he loves it and it makes him feel more responsible for himself in the world. he knows how to summon help and we wait for his phone call without letting him know how anxious we get.

MakeTeaNotWar Thu 12-Oct-17 15:13:39

This is a source of conflict in our house - DH loves adrenalin sports and lets the kids take more risks that I'm comfortable with. All within normal boundaries but he encourages them to climb trees, explore rocky paths, jump into water etc - things that make me quite nervous as the instinct to protect and prevent them from hurting themselves is v strong

sharond101 Thu 12-Oct-17 17:33:06

Going over the top with caution can scare children unnecessarily and affect their confidence. It's about assessing risk and allowing for flexibility.

Hmumto3 Thu 12-Oct-17 18:25:38

I think experience definitely counts for alot with the first kid you tend to be overcautious but then you learn to relax a bit more with any other kids you have however you are always learning and it's in a mother's nature to always worry and protect their children. My eldest is 5 he is learning to take responsibility for himself and his siblings but we are always there to guide them all. He will pick his own clothes get dressed himself and help his siblings get dressed. Will do the odd chores here and there. Encourage them try not to force them

Hairq Thu 12-Oct-17 20:03:05

DS has been allowed to play outside with his friends for a couple of years now. I just make sure that I keep an eye on them, as do the other parents on our street. I found it hard at first because my tendency is to panic and be over protective, but he really enjoys it and I love that he gets out in the fresh air and the independence, so I'm happy with that.

Falconhoof1 Thu 12-Oct-17 20:17:23

I think I may baby my 8 yo DS a bit much so am trying to let him do more on his own. Eg he always leaves his homework on the dining table when it's finished. I would put it in his bag for him, then realised this is really something he should remember himself so now just remind him. Small things bit they are important for learning a bit of personal responsibility! When my DD was his age she did a lot more on her own, like making her own breakfast. It's probably because he is my younger child but I'm now thinking of need to train him to be more responsible.

Cintacmrs Thu 12-Oct-17 20:54:47

DD so much support so timid and thinks everything out and checks twice so just a lot of you can do it and smiley face.
DS panic no sense of fear and a love for danger a lot of holding myself back from stopping him and just letting him try things way beyond his year (so far he has succeeded)

sealight123 Thu 12-Oct-17 21:13:33

I've slowly given my daughter responsibilities and let her do things on her own. Starting with me helping her, then just being there and then just being about if she needs help.

I think this comes in waves as there is also a new challenge up ahead but its really just going to your own family's pace smile

FlowerTink Thu 12-Oct-17 21:21:02

I give DD little "jobs" to do around the house with me and when we are out so she can join in and explore on her own but still be supervised incase she needs any help smile

Whyisitsodifficult Thu 12-Oct-17 21:23:39

I try very hard to remember that my job as a mother is to give them the skills to become independent. So my oldest two make their own packed lunch which takes twice as long and twice as messy but it's life skills I remind myself!

del2929 Thu 12-Oct-17 21:38:35

i think as ive got older and had more children i have come to gradually realise most of my fears are/were irrational

i think the best way to deal with them is to talk about them

vickyors Thu 12-Oct-17 22:53:15

We try and err on the side of relaxed parenting. My OH is South African, and he tends to be very relaxed. We let the kids play in the garden without us- they are one and four. We allow them to make mess, and fall. We tell them to brush themselves off and get up. We learn when we fall.. and we have cuddles!!

TellMeItsNotTrue Thu 12-Oct-17 23:40:35

blush I don't think we do have the right balance, I am too over protective but it is something I am trying to work on. My parents were over protective of me and I don't really feel I missed out on anything and I always felt safe and confident, so I suppose that is in the back of my head and I wonder why do I need to be different.

I try not to let them see my concern, and if I do let them do something that I'm not sure about then I make sure whatever it is will be safe and then I remove myself, the urge to stand and watch is so strong but if I do that I might as well just say no

I do try to let them make their own mistakes and just make sure I'm there to help with the consequence of that, e.g. battle with oldest one over homework all of the time so I stepped back and she missed handing a piece in, she only got a warning (and I had let the teacher know beforehand what I was doing and she agreed with me that it was a good move) and told a detention if she missed another piece, homework time became less of a battle after that

I also make sure they have all the necessary skills for their age, things like having them cook with me, then them cooking and me helping, then me just watching and hopefully soon me just being told that oldest is baking and being around if help is needed. When we are out I let them take the job of deciding when it's safe to cross, and where is best to cross, after speaking about why I thought this was a good place/time on previous walks. My thinking is that if I do things in stages like this then when they are going out on their own or with friends it will be ingrained in their mind, and I feel more confident because I can tell myself that they know things like that because I've seen them do it so many times before when I was there with them

FlukeSkyeRunner Fri 13-Oct-17 07:10:01

I haven't found the balance yet - I'm naturally risk agrees and anxious, i check the kids ask the time and constantly tell them to be careful etc.

asuwere Fri 13-Oct-17 08:48:45

Best way to get the right balance is experiment with 1st DC then get it right with DC2! wink
Really though, you just have to be realistic; way up risks but try to let DC have confidence to make mistakes and learn from them.

NerrSnerr Fri 13-Oct-17 09:09:38

I do find myself over protective and I need to let go. My 3 year old is shy and we are now encouraging her to push her boundaries especially with school next year. We are starting her on clubs and activities, I’m more nervous than here!

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