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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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My mate is by no means an over-protective parent.
In fact, occasionally he seems to go too far in the opposite direction. I'm interested to hear what you wise b3tans think of his current dilemma.

His ex-missus was kicked out of her boyfriend's place over Easter, sending three kids in different directions to different parents. My mate's daughter ended up living with him at short notice. It's been mostly problem-free and they seem to have got on really well, maybe making up for lost time.

Since it all started his kid, who's twelve, has expressed her desire to go back and live with her mum, which he's found hard to deal with but has respected her decision and, working together with Social Services, has started to phase-in his daughter going home now her mum's sorted her life out and moved back in with boyfriend.

He's recently been emailing the mum's boyfriend, who he gets on with pretty well. From things that have been said about their relationship and suspicions about the mum's actions, my mate's almost certain things will go tits-up again in the near future. The mum's mind and general situation seems unstable to say the least.

His dilemma is: should he let his kid follow her heart and go home, knowing that she's going to get hurt and displaced again but it's been her decision - giving her respect freedom to make her own choice...?

Or should he stop her from going home to save her the heartache that's most likely going to be caused when her mum ups and leaves or her fella decides enough is enough and kicks her out again?

I kind of agree with him that he should give her the choice - she's a mature and bright kid, I don't envy him the decision.

What do you think?
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 10:32, 17 replies)
He should discuss it with his daughter.
Explain what the pitfalls might be but if she decides to go back to her mum then just make it clear that she will always be able to go back to live with him if things go tits up again.
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 10:38, closed)
He's told her she's welcome any time
and said he might write her a letter laying out his concerns. Tricky one, that. I don't think he wants to change her mind, just warn her that things might not go as smoothly as she might hope.
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 10:42, closed)
If she's a bright kid then she'll be aware that her mum may not be the best parent in the world.
I think just knowing that she has a father who loves her and would take care of her if needed will be enough for her.
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 10:47, closed)
She knows exactly what her mum's like
which is one of the reasons he found it hard to deal with her wanting to go home. It made him question his own ability and suitability as a parent. In reality, it's not about who's the better parent or whose situation is best - I think it just comes down to a young girl wanting their mum and keeping faith that she'll change and sort her life out.
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 11:09, closed)
Sometimes the only way you learn is my experiencing the heartache for yourself
Someone can tell you whats going to happen, but you have to feel it for yourself. I'd say the girl's in this situation - I'd let her go but explain the situation and what will probably happen, and make it clear there is always a safe and loving home to come back to. But ultimately she's going to have to see for herself firsthand and learn from that.
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 10:47, closed)
Good thinking, that.
Surely, if he stops her from going she'll resent him for it, and she seems mature enough to learn the lessons that await her.
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 10:52, closed)
That would be how I'd look at it
Would be an easy situation to get wrong on his behalf - doesn't want to be seen as preachy and controlling. And its true that people have to learn their own lessons in their own way; all he can do is offer advice and she sounds pretty switched on and clued up. I mean, if she was a bit of a muppet it may be different. But she doesn't sound like she is so I'd suggest this as the way to go.
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 11:00, closed)
Let her go back.
and not say anything negative at all about the mother's situation, but make it very clear that she's welcome back with him whenever she wants.
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 10:48, closed)
I think that's how it is at the moment
but there's the thought that a few words might prepare her for the idea that things might not go smoothly. Should he warn her so she's open to the possibility and might not get so hurt if things do go awry?
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 10:57, closed)
No win
He's damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't. The only way through it is to set out the options to his daughter - without judgement or spin, and then tell her he will support her whatever her decision. On a practical note if she doesn't have a mobile, get her a cheapie PAYG so that she can always send up a distress flare if needed.
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 10:59, closed)
It's a tough one eh?
She's sorted for a mobile - he makes sure she's got credit each month too. She's also got a few family members looking out for her and a social worker to talk to should the need arise. With her dad there if she needs him, hopefully that's all the support she needs.
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 11:05, closed)
not very good with kids... put her on Ebay?
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 13:17, closed)
Good advice
I was going to do a long blather-y post as a mother, blah blah, but y'all beat me to the good advice. Don't say anything to her-even if she knows it's all going to shit, she doesn't want to hear it. 12 year old girls want to be with their mom even if Mom is Eva Braun.
Tell your friend to just be there to pick up the pieces non-judgementally and make her feel safe. That's the best dad he can be right now.

She'll be grateful in long run.
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 16:07, closed)
I'm starting to think you might be right.
If he writes to her it might come across a bit preachy and insulting.
(, Tue 15 Sep 2009, 7:17, closed)
It depends
At the age of 12 she is borderline `Gillick competent' and her wishes, if it went to court would be asked. If she were younger it would be more cut and dried because she'd be too young to make any major decisions about herself.

Your mate should respect her decision, support her but at the same time let her know that his door is open for her at any time, should she decide she wants to live with him. If she's not in any danger, he's doing the right thing. If her mother is as flaky as you say the girl will realise it - it's not his job to badmouth her mother.

It's a crap situation, but there is only so much he can do. I've got several mates in similar situation and may be in it too before too long.

It's hard for your mate, but he's doing the right thing.
(, Mon 14 Sep 2009, 16:50, closed)
ask jeremy cunting kyle or doctor bollocking phil

this is no forum for that sort of shite... sweet christ this is supposed to be a place of humour for folk to mooch off work they should be doing but aren't because the substitute boss has gotten a bit shirty with them more than once this week and our wages have recently been reduced to reflect the financial climate, and when their pension is questioned the answer is always , I'll get back to you later. Cut my pay , I cut my output , give me shit (unduly) I reduce my output - don't pay my pension I'll browse for 20% more...

eh, ... so there ..

my folks were grand, my mum still thinks I'm five though, saw me with a black and decker drill there recently and shrieked ! OH JEESIS, A DRILL ! BE CAREFUL LIOTTLE BOY - - DEMS IS POINTY ! I had to remind her that I'm 35 , worked on a building site for several years, run a small natural stone company, and had previously been employed with an inlaw manufacturing garden decking...

she's daft out, but it's funny...

(FROM PREVIOUS regarding her destructive nature - latest one , she just t'other day knocked shite of the young neighbours wing mirror on his opel astra - with the recycling bin, go on you legend !)
(, Wed 16 Sep 2009, 20:04, closed)
Yep, you're right. It's all those things. Good for you.

It's also a place where I can post whatever the fuck I like, without caring what you think. If you don't like it, suck my hairy ringpiece.
(, Thu 17 Sep 2009, 8:21, closed)

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