Sunday, 13 September 2009

Lackadaisical Parenting

This is my youngest son. He has just turned 3 and is sitting on top of our 6ft fence playing with dropping a skipping rope over the edge watching how it dangles.

This is a daily activity, but just then for the first time I had a thought 'what if he falls?'

Now I know most parents would have wondered this one of the first dozen times they saw him doing this.  I have to admit I hadn't.

'What if?' Is rarely one of those things I ask. Either about my children or myself. I seem to have this 'she'll be right mate' attitude to most aspects on my mothering and my life.

I heard the term 'helicopter parenting' for the first time the other day.  It means a parent who hovers around their child in case their child need help. Basically it is the opposite of how I parent.  Neither is right or wrong, I honestly think that I fell into my style of parenting because I am innately lazy and following my children around all the time seems like far to hard work.  Plus I think most accidents would happen whether I am standing next to them or not, I mean you just can't be alert to another humans actions all the time.

So why today of all days did I decide to think 'what if he falls?'

I've been pondering on it a lot. Was it just that he looked especially precarious? Am I loosing a little of my lackadaisical attitude? I guess I'm not sure.

But I didn't get up, so I'm guessing I don't have to worry that I am becoming more of a helicopter parent maybe I'm wanting to play life a bit safer, maybe I'm getting older ... Nah *grin*


Anonymous said...

I see parenting like this all the time in Mexico. Children playing in the streets, crawling up ladders in their diapers, etc. one time while I was horseback riding we went past this rundown shack. On the porch was a 3 year old holding a knife that was almost as large as she was! The thing is though that these children are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. They are allowed to fall and get up on their own so they learn how to survive. You rarely see or hear about them getting hurt. It just doesn't happen. I think our society is basically too overprotective. Children are not allowed to have their own experiences because the parents are indeed "hovering " over them.
Karen, RN

Wondering Willow said...

So true! Actually I wrote this a few years ago now. My littlest is now 5 1/2 and I certainly didn't become a helicopter parent. My kids may have had more minor spills than a lot, but less major ones. They are generally very physically confident and know when they have reached their limits. If I could go back and do it all again, I wouldn't change that part of me that let them be as brave as they felt they were ready for.

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