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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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This is a topic near and dear to my heart.
Please allow me to rant for a few minutes here.

Being a parent is a difficult thing, if you're doing it right. It means that you have to watch out for their best interests and sometimes do things that make nobody happy, but pay off in the long run. It also means that sometimes you have to stand back and let your kids fall on their faces.

I have three kids, two boys and a girl. All three are bright, physically attractive and have very strong personalities. This also means that they were one hell of a handful as they grew up, as they were smart enough to get themselves into a lot of unfortunate circumstances- or rather, the boys did. (My daughter saw her older brothers get in the shit, and thereafter knew what to avoid. Smart girl.)

My stance on things is that as a parent it's my job to teach them how to function in the world. I protect them from some things, but other things I show them while they're with me so they learn how to deal with them in the future- for instance, I've taken them with me to hear live music in bars (low key family friendly venues, but still bars), I've taken them into some of the seedier parts of the city in the late evening and shown them what to beware of and how to stay safe, and I've let them see me handle situations where someone has been hostile toward me (which involved me using the Dad Voice and facing them down on some occasions, and on others calmly talking the person down). I've protected them- but never sheltered them. I now have three teenagers who are quite capable of taking care of themselves.

My sister, on the other hand, has micro-managed her kids all through life. She wouldn't let them watch Looney Toons when they were little because they were too violent, she would insist on checking them for sunscreen before they went out, she kept them enrolled in activities in school so she knew where they were and what they were doing... she was the epitome of the over-protective parent keeping her kids as sheltered as she could from the Big Scary World. And now? Her son went off to a very expensive college and partied himself down to failing grades once he got out from under her thumb, took out student loans that he'll be paying back forever, and is generally having a great whooping time away from home. Her daughter... well, let's just say that I will not be surprised at all if she gets pregnant very soon, okay? She's off at her first year of college right now. I fear for her.

I tried over the years to express this to my sister, but as I'm her baby brother (7-1/2 years between us) she automatically knows better and is far wiser than I am. And now her kids are starting to pay the price.

I fully understand the desire to protect your kids, I really do. But for fuck's sake, what happens when you're not there? Who will protect them then? Who will guide them if they don't know how to guide themselves?

(, Sat 12 Sep 2009, 23:42, 17 replies)
The best way to protect your kids
is to educate them in the ways of the world, guide them, let them make mistakes and help them to correct their mistakes.

Well, it works for me anyway.
(, Sun 13 Sep 2009, 0:20, closed)
Physically attractive you say?
nonetheless congrats on sounding like you're a wonderful parent.
(, Sun 13 Sep 2009, 2:35, closed)
Objectively, yes.
This means that they tend to get away with more than they should at times. They can charm their way out of a lot. My oldest in particular has managed to get away with far too much because he knows who to smile at. I have no fucking idea where he learned that, as neither of his parents ever tried to get by on their looks. Apparently it's instinctive.

By all rights he should have had his nose flattened at least a few times by now.

"The reason God made babies cute is so you don't kill 'em." --Gallagher
(, Sun 13 Sep 2009, 2:56, closed)
(My daughter saw her older brothers get in the shit, and thereafter knew what to avoid. Smart girl.)

made me laugh.

I have no offspring but i, in theory no practise yet, agree with what you are saying.

"I've protected them- but never sheltered them." i think the essence of what i believe.

(, Sun 13 Sep 2009, 2:47, closed)
Looney tunes
My kids are watching Tom & Jerry right now, but thats because I am so damm tired I dont have the energy to argue. Oh and I like it alot more than wonder pets or Max & Ruby.
(, Sun 13 Sep 2009, 7:49, closed)
I watched Tom & Jerry and Looney Toons as a child.
So did my sister, for that matter. Neither one of us grew up thinking it was okay to drop anvils on anyone or push them off a mile-high cliff or blast them in the face with a shotgun. No one else I know did either.

And yet there are still those who blame cartoons for childhood violence. Personally I think that only being allowed things like Teletubbies and Rainbow Brite would be more likely to drive me to homicide than anything else.
(, Sun 13 Sep 2009, 12:53, closed)
Yeah, me too, I've never really seen why people think cartoons instigate violence either.

I grew up watching Looney Tunes, My dad watched them every Sunday afternoon (before Airwolf, after the wrestling - ah the memories..)

Great post by the way, have a click..

I'm a new-ish parent myself (1 of each, 5 and 2) and I agree with the whole 'showing them the ropes' reference with the bars etc.

I believe that by taking your kids to places, so they see for themselves, would play a big part, not only in their education on life itself, but I also imagine that they'd respect your opinions a little more - especially when they get to that awkward teenage stage..

The reason I feel that way, is because my old man did the same with me when I was a kid..
(, Sun 13 Sep 2009, 15:01, closed)
You sound like the kind of father I'd love to have had.
I might copy and paste this into an email to my parents...
(, Sun 13 Sep 2009, 15:43, closed)
"Being a parent is a difficult thing, if you're doing it right."
Truer words were never spoken.

That why I hate all this "stranger danger" shit in the States. If you're lost or in trouble, who the fuck is going to help you if not a stranger? Teach your children how to evaluate situation and people (like Loon did) so they can keep themselves safe. Sheesh.

Recent big controversy in the States:
Lenore Skenazy let her 9 year old ride the subway home in NY by himself and was nationally castigated for it.
(, Sun 13 Sep 2009, 19:15, closed)
You = Dad win
is all.
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 10:16, closed)
Lots and lots of this - you sound like you're doing your kids proud. Bloody good for you, and *click*
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 14:05, closed)
I knew this was your post long before I got to the sig.

I nearly posted about the Grimsdale method of child up-bringing but haven't had time this week.

In a nutshell: have sensible rules that are un-breakable. If they break the rules, they'll be sorry. If they don't, they won't be.

She only stayed out all night without letting us know beforehand the one time. She was 17 and crashed at a friend's Dad's flat after seeing a band, as he was out of town. 6.30am phone calls to ALL her friends' parents made sure she didn't forget to let us know again.

All the best Loon - how are things with you these days? I've not been on OT much for ages.

(, Tue 15 Sep 2009, 10:49, closed)
Consistency is key.
As long as you set rules and hold them, and punish the kids for breaking them without exception, all is fine- kids really do want to have structure. It's when you start waffling on punishments and lifting the punishment early that they start figuring out how to undermine you and twist you around.

I tried to explain that to Nurse Ratched many times, but she's rather weak-willed. So they all walked all over her throughout their teenage years.

As for me- still unemployed, but keeping busy with projects. The latest has been to dismantle a load of old pianos and salvage the wood they were built from. On the up side, though, I have been offered gallery space for $10/month for stained glass. Woo!
(, Tue 15 Sep 2009, 15:46, closed)
Good news on the glass
Saw a piece you posted a while back and was suitably impressed.

If you're not careful, an artist will burst out of that engineer's stomache of yours - Alien-like.

Damned right about consistency and boundaries; can't figure out why all parents aren't given a handbook when their kids are born. Could save a whole lot of bother in the world.

Maybe we should bring out the book...

Good luck with the job-hunting & glass.
(, Tue 15 Sep 2009, 16:10, closed)
As it happens
I've just spent two hours getting a start on another piece. Apparently the thing that I do that everyone seems to like is that I leave a fair bit of open space in my pieces and use slabs of translucent stone as well as glass. I've just built a frame to do this to.

I'm already more artist than engineer at this point. Even were I to get a job this very afternoon I'd still be doing the glass and metal work.
(, Tue 15 Sep 2009, 17:48, closed)

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