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This is a question Helicopter Parents

Back when young ScaryDuck worked in the Dole office rather than simply queuing in it, he had to deal with a claimant brought in by his mum. She did all the talking. He was 40 years old.

Have you had to deal with over-protective parents? Get your Dad to tell us all about it.

(, Thu 10 Sep 2009, 15:13)
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The sad truth of parenting
...everyone else thinks you're doing it wrong.

One of the most striking things I noticed on becoming a parent is that everyone -- everyone -- has an opinion on how best to raise your kids.

Friends, family, complete strangers...they're all quietly (or not) filing away little nuggets to gasp and gossip over. It doesn't seem to matter whether or not the person has had children of their own, you can guarantee that they'll at the very least be tutting to themselves at whatever it is you're doing. But often enough they'll just come right out with it.

You might think that by spending a lot of time with them you're being reassuring and attentive. You're wrong: in fact you're being over-protective, you're spoiling them, you're not giving them space to develop their personality.

Perhaps you think that by backing off and letting them do their own thing that you'll avoid such criticisms? Oh no, a laissez-faire approach is neglect, you're letting them get away with everything, they're out of control!

Try to maintain some of their childish innocence, sense of wonder? You're sheltering them from the reality of the world, let them grow up!

Try to teach them reading, writing, basic maths? You're hothousing them! Let them be children!

Try to keep them clean...you're stunting their immune system. Watch as they coat themselves in mud, eat snails...what kind of parent are you?

In the end, the only conclusion that I've come to about parenting is that there simply is no right answer. Read all the books and studies you want, watch Supernanny all fucking day if you like, there is no magical one-size-fits-all approach to bringing up your kids. They are people, not robots to be programmed or pets to be trained, and as long as you bear that in mind then chances are you won't go far wrong.

Wait, what's this...oh sorry, I appear to have mistakenly worn my rant hat today.

*makes nob joke*
(, Thu 10 Sep 2009, 17:15, closed)
I'm noticing this already
and haven't even had my baby yet. We're getting 'advice'/instructions from everyone we know, plus plenty we don't, on the RIGHT way to bring baby up. And I imagine it's only going to get worse over the coming months and years. Can't wait.
(, Thu 10 Sep 2009, 18:05, closed)
i feel your pain
MrsBluemeat is due in December, and we're getting exactly the same from our lovely families :)
(, Fri 11 Sep 2009, 9:49, closed)
Just nod and smile
then do whatever you think is best. Everyone makes mistakes. However, mistakes made in love are a lot better than mistakes made trying to assert your own agenda.
(, Fri 11 Sep 2009, 15:17, closed)
It does get worse
I had to stop speaking to my mum because she could not keep her opinions to herself and that happened three times (I have three children)

The strangers do not stop either
(, Fri 11 Sep 2009, 20:42, closed)
Supernanny
I would - yummy
(, Thu 10 Sep 2009, 19:23, closed)
15 months in...
Ain't it the truth, grandparents are the worst, times have changed since then and then there is the baby olympics, get a group of mums together and...well
(, Thu 10 Sep 2009, 20:09, closed)
the thing that fucking irritates me
is listening to your parents/parents in law banging on about what great kids they are, then slagging you off for every single thing you do well how the fuck do you think theyre turning out to be such great little people - purely by accident? No, I'd like to think we've played in a part in it by maybe being half decent parents??
(, Thu 10 Sep 2009, 23:04, closed)
as a non-parent who found myself at a barbeque with my kidded-up friends the other day
I realised this exact same thing in reverse - I was about to say "He's, like, three and a half, shouldn't he be out of nappies by now?" when I thought that they probably hear that kind of thing from everyone and I'm the last person who should be telling them how to raise their child.

So I got drunk and stoned and ignored the rugrats until it was my turn to push them around the garden in the plastic car and then I went home.
(, Fri 11 Sep 2009, 16:26, closed)
Trying to resist, trying to resist, trying to resist....
But HE SHOULD BE OUT OF NAPPIES AT THREE AND A HALF!!!!

Sorry. I needed to get that out. My other half's nephew is three and a half and still in nappies, primarily because his mother's too lazy to potty-train him - drives me nuts, but I hold my peace. :-)

In general, I'm a big fan of non-interference policies.
(, Tue 15 Sep 2009, 14:10, closed)
Preach it, brudda.
Ain't dat de troof.
(, Fri 11 Sep 2009, 16:58, closed)
"The only conclusion that I've come to about parenting is that there simply is no right answer."
Damn right. I get people ask me for my advice on different aspects of parenting, and I find it unusual that they should ask my opinion as I don't consider myself an expert at all. I just wing it, and hope no-one notices. I think we all do.

My kids are 11, 9 and 2. And all growing up normal.
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 23:08, closed)
I don't have any wee ones yet
but I've come to realise that no-one's right on this sort of thing. From what I can tell, you do what you can and cross your fingers.
(, Tue 15 Sep 2009, 10:35, closed)

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