Monday, July 12, 2010

Which is Worse?

I have been hearing a lot lately about Helicopter Parents who do more harm than good.  They are practically in their children's back pocket at the park and basically "over-parent".

I understand that children need to find their own way, and I am all for that.  I strive to teach my children independence and help them navigate their own way in the world.

However, I don't have nearly as big a problem with Helicopter Parents as I do with Oblivious Parents.

You know the ones.  The ones who sit at the park chatting with their friends or on the cell phones.  The ones who never look up, have no idea where their children are or what they are doing. 

We were at the park last week and there was a group of about 6-7 Moms sitting in the gazebo just talking.  They had children ranging in age from about Libby's age to 10 or so.  These kids were all over the park, and while it is all enclosed, the Moms were paying not 1 bit of attention to them.

There was a group of the bigger kids who were playing ball in the baby area.  They almost hit my baby with the ball and when I told them to knock it off, they were so rude to me.  One of the little babies fell and got hurt and there was no one there to help him, so it became my job.  Another little girl was stuck on the slide and no one else could go down.  Again, I had to help her down so that my 3 kids could go down a slide.  And when a little boy hit Libby, again, it was me who had to take care of it.

I have a really hard time with these parents because while I do not hover by any means, I am always close enough to see if my kid is being the bully or causing problems.  I am also close enough to help if my child gets hurt or if they need me.

I am not a perfect parent by any stretch of the imagination, but I think this is one place that I do a pretty good job.  Letting my children have independence, letting them go on their own a bit, but being close enough so that if they need me (or if I need to step in) I can be there for them.

I think that there is a fine balance between helicopter parenting and oblivious parenting.  While it is obvious which I think is worse, I want to know what do you think is worse? 

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