Now that the days start off full of sunshine ,and bird songs it’s Park time! I love to go to the park when it’s not busy. By the time peak hours hit and the playground is bumping I know Im going to end up having to school someone else’s kids. We have gotten into to this war on Helicopter Parents. If you have no clue what that is I found this great definition for it. on dictionary reference.
“A style of child rearing in which an overprotective mother or father discourages a child’s independence by being too involved in the child’s life: In typical helicopter parenting, a mother or father swoops in at any sign of challenge or discomfort.”
We have learned to roll our eyes at these people in shame. I could give a shit about a helicopter parent. I like them much better then the Parent sitting across the playground while thier child who just learned to not shit themselves runs free.
I am most certainly not a Helicopter parent, however I get labeled one because I SUPERVISE my children while they play at the park. I’m not to sure how we’ve gotten to the point in our society that we reprimand each other for actually watching our children.
I understand being at the park with older kids and parking your ass on a bench with a book, or knitting needles. I myself dream of those days where my kids are old enough to not be little selfish douche bags at the park. But, how can I expect them to learn this if I spent the teaching years letting them run wild?
The park is a great way to teach kids how to interact socially with other kids. How to take turns, how to share, how to be courteous toward others. One day at the park and you have a slew of life long lessons to roll through.
This past Monday we took Lady Baby to one of my favorite tot parks. It is designed for kids under 6. Iron gated, huge sandbox, and a vast array of hammy down climbers for her to fall off of. As soon as we got there I saw a Dad camping out with his iced coffee, feet up on a picnic table and he had music playing from his phone. Judgy or not I automatically knew that his kid was going to be a pain in the ass.
Lady Baby wanted to swing first, and as I scanned the playground I had no idea whose kid belonged to feet up Dad. Then I heard a Mom tell her daughter it was time for Story time. She had been walking around the park with two kids and left with one. There was feet up Dads kid, and as soon as that family left he went in search of another one to hang onto. These kinds of kids never come near my kid. Apparently I exude the “I aint got no love for ya” vibe. The kid eventually settled on a Mom and her Daughter playing in the sand box.
Of coarse, Lady Baby wanted to then play in the sand. Not more then ten minutes into our sand adventure this kid walks up to her and takes a shovel out of her hand. Feet up Dad makes some arbitrary comment about not doing that, and then the kid walks away with the shovel. Hubbs was with me so he gave me a hand squeeze as to say let it go babe. The kid throws sand hitting a newly walking baby in the eye. another “don’t do that.” I finally convinced Lady Baby to get out of there before I told this Dad he sucked at life.
While swinging her again I saw the Dad leave his post and go to his car for a while. At that point his kid lost a shoe and was hoping around looking for him to help put it back on. He settled on asking a random Grandma for help. I’m supposed to be mad at the Parents hovering over their children like they need to be put in a bubble, but think this Dad is perfectly fine? NO.
Kids have no idea how to be people. It is our job to teach them this. We are supposed to teach them that we should treat each other the way we want to be treated. We take turns, we don’t climb up the slide when someone else is going down, we don’t cut, we don’t push, and we most certainly do not take toys out of other kids hands.
A day at the park is not a break form parenting your baby. If you want a break go join a class where a teacher is in charge of them for an hour, or better yet join the YMCA. you can leave them in their up to two hours while you work out. I follow my kids around the park. Not to help them do things I think they can do for themselves, but to teach them all things considerate.
Unsupervised children have no idea how not to be a little asshole, because no one is teaching them! We are already raising babies off of the most entitled generation of our time. If we don’t teach them to treat each other with respect the world sure won’t. We will just create another generation of self centered douche bags who think texting and driving is completely acceptable.
I think our opinion on helicopter parents is a little backwards. You probably should be a helicopter parent when your kid is under 5. If you are still doing it when the kids in middle school well you’re just crippling them into Adulthood. Kids do need space to grow and make mistakes, but its not when they are under 5 at the park.