Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Helicopter Parenting or Due Diligence (Contributor for SavvySassyMoms.com)

The other day I ventured over to our local park to let the little guy enjoy some fun in the sun with some of his buddies. It seemed like everything was going well and then it happened….a little kid came running from one side of the park over to my little dude and smacked him right on his little noggin. My jaw dropped to the ground and I was temporarily speechless. Thoughts were racing. Did what I think I just saw really happen? Would a kid really do that? And then I snapped out of my haze and reverted my attention to my little guy whose bottom lip was quivering and a silent tear out of his eye. Where was this kid’s mother? And just as this thought was running through my head, I was in mid “swoop” to pick my kiddo up….SMACK! It happened again, except this time I grabbed the kid’s hand before he was able to run away and calmly yet firmly said “we don’t hit people.” It was right in this instant that the mother appeared and glared at me as she took her child away. No apology, no embarrassment, nothing. With my heart racing out of my chest, there were a million and one things I wanted to say to this woman but inhibitions set in. I know toddlers and young kids test boundaries and don’t always know right from wrong but we as adults should. If that was my kid, I would put my little one in a timeout after he apologized, ask if the other kid was ok, and say I was so sorry to the mother. For the longest time, I thought that this was the “right” way to ensure a more positive social outing until I came across an article about “helicopter moms.” What the heck was a helicopter mom?!?! Wikipedia states it best by describing it as “ parents who try to resolve their child’s problems and try to stop them from coming to harm by keeping them out of dangerous situations.” Was this me? In my defense, my little guy is just a little over a year and a half. He cant defend himself. He was just playing nicely on the jungle gym. I know a lot of parents will say “kids will be kids,” and I totally agree but I certainly do not want to be a parent of a kid that turns out to be a bully later in life because I subscribed to that theory when my little dude was a wee toddler. Veteran mommas out there… What are your thoughts on this situation? Was I being a helicopter mom or a diligent parent? How would you have handled this scenario?

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