Tagged: helicopter parenting Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • just a conservative girl 12:15 PM on 03/28/2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , helicopter parenting, ,   

    A Career Woman Answers the Question Does a Hard Working Dad Feel Guilt & Doesn’t Even Know She Did 

    I was reading this article from Good Housekeeping titled I’m 99% Mom and 1% Wife: And It Has to be That Way.  Really?  It has to be this way?  I don’t think it does nor should it be that way.  

    I put John last, pretty much all the time. And it’s not like he’s a bad guy — far from it. He does the laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, makes the kids’ lunches, even braids my daughter’s hair. He often compliments me, and regularly asks if we can go away, alone, for a weekend, or at least out to lunch.

    I tell him I have no time for leisurely lunches, let alone two entire days away. I can’t be bothered to figure out who is going to take care of our kids, pack, unpack, then scramble getting ready for Monday morning.

    What kind of marriage is that?  Now I realize that feminists have, over the years, made marriage seem like a bad thing, but why even bother to keep pretending you have a marriage if this is truly how you feel?  


    It is very hard to keep a marriage going after the kiddos come along.  The more you have, the more time the kids will take up.  But, that doesn’t mean you don’t get to behave like being a spouse is unimportant. 


    While I think many people think the skill sets for being a parent and being a spouse are pretty much the same, they are also very different.  Your children should be enhancing your marriage, not causing you to ignore it.   


    She goes on:

    I’ve spoken this sentence to John. “Let me be clear: If I have to choose between you or one of the kids, you will lose every time. Do you have a problem with that?”

    No why would he?  It isn’t like he is their father and loves just as much as she does.  

    I put John last, pretty much all the time. And it’s not like he’s a bad guy — far from it. He does the laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, makes the kids’ lunches, even braids my daughter’s hair. He often compliments me, and regularly asks if we can go away, alone, for a weekend, or at least out to lunch.

    I tell him I have no time for leisurely lunches, let alone two entire days away. I can’t be bothered to figure out who is going to take care of our kids, pack, unpack, then scramble getting ready for Monday morning.

    But she is the main breadwinner.  

    For most of the last 10 years, I’ve been the breadwinner. I worked long hours commuting into Manhattan full-time. Now, John has a job, but I still commute, and also work from home trying to keep us ahead of the bills.

    My older son is in college, and I will save him from student loans or die trying. My younger son has some special needs, and keeping him on track is a full-time job. My daughter, like any 11-year-old girl, wants her mom to listen, to watch, to help. The clock is ticking on her innocence, and I dare not miss a second of what’s left of it.

    I am tired, and I am worried. Worried there won’t be enough. Enough money, enough luck, enough time, enough of me. John’s a great dad, but I play a singular role in each of my kid’s lives. And as they’ve grown, the urgency to get it right screams at me, day and night.

    It sounds like that John was a stay at home for a period of time.  So that makes her comments even more shocking.  By that I mean isn’t it feminists that keep harping on this stupid theory that some how men who are out working don’t get what it is like to have the responsibility of home life and the female gets stuck with all those roles?  In this family the roles are reversed.  He is the one doing the day to day, yet she still realizes that a mom and a dad have different roles in the life of a child.  Their expectations of what they want from them are different.  


    She has taken on the traditional role of the man in her family, yet isn’t happy that she has to worry about the money being enough, the time being enough, the kids getting enough. 


    No matter what your particular family dynamic is, there is guilt either way.  This woman has answered those questions for feminists without realizing she has done it.  It is strangely and sadly comical.  


    The main breadwinner who is out working feels guilt.  They too wish they had more time to be a more active and involved parent and spouse.  But there is only so much to go around, so they take shortcuts and prioritize what works best for them.  


    There are no easy ways to navigate marriage and parenthood.  But ignoring your spouse and putting your marriage on the back-burner you are doing your children no favors.  They aren’t seeing a healthy relationship  By thinking that having a big Christmas with every little thing they ask for under the tree will make up for the shortcomings of not being around, the only person you’re deluding is yourself.  


    This woman may be a much happier person as well as a both a better parent and spouse if she realizes that providing all the material things isn’t nearly as important as giving of yourself.  Forgo some of the extra Christmas and birthday gifts.  Let your kids take on a little of the responsibility of paying for college, or send them to a community college for two years.  You can spend your money in different ways and not feel this burden to “have it all”.  


    To John, you obviously love your wife and children very much.  One day they are going to read this article and fully understand what it means; and they will love you all the more.  

     
  • just a conservative girl 12:48 AM on 03/06/2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , child protective services, helicopter parenting, , silver spring maryland   

    The Further Criminalization of Parenting 

    Danielle and Alexander Meitiv were recently investigated by the police and child welfare for allowing their two children, aged 10 and 6, to walk home from the park without them.  The walk is approximately one mile in length.  A person, who very likely thought they were doing a good deed, saw the children and called the police.

    The Meitiv’s live in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC.  The law in Maryland states that a child under the age of 8 cannot be home alone without someone who is at least 13-years-old.  It says nothing about being outside of your home.  But that didn’t stop the police.  Now, I want to be clear, the police aren’t really to blame here.  They were called.  They had to respond.  They followed the law, as is their job.  With children they are also most likely obligated to contact Child Protective Services.

    Child Protective Services were contacted and came to check out the parents and the safety of the children.  When CPS arrived at their home, they were interrogated and told not to allow the children out alone unsupervised.  They were told that they were being investigated for neglect.  They were basically told do as your told, or your children will be taken away.

    CPS has finished their investigation and the outcome is “unsubstantiated child neglect”.  Whatever the heck that really means I’m not sure, but for these parents they are now in the cross hairs of CPS for the next five years.  That is not a typo.  For the next five years, they will be continually monitored for child abuse.  Insert primal scream here.  

    It matters none if you agree with their parenting style, known as Free Range Parenting.  It matters none if you would feel safe letting your children walk a mile on their own.  What matters is do you want the state to have this type of power over your choices as a parent?  

    Now, when I was kid I was not driven to my middle school on a daily basis. Unless the weather was bad, we walked.  I can’t tell you how long of a walk that was, but I figure it had to be at least a mile, if not a little more.  I also walked through a wooded area when I did it.  I did this twice a day for three years.  I grew up in one of the few states that allows you to have your late in the year birthday kids start school when they are four, if you choose.  My mother did make that choice because I already knew how to read and she felt I was ready.  That means I was ten when I started middle school.  So was my mother guilty of neglect when I was walking to school?  I guess I might have thought so at the time if it was snowing or raining out.   

    Here are the facts, the rates of children being abducted by strangers is down by more than 35%.  A child is in much more danger of being in accident while you are driving them to school instead of letting them walk.  Do we start telling parents who drive their kids to school are guilty of neglect because the odds are far greater of being hurt than they are if they walked instead?  

    Parents need to let children grow, mature, and learn responsibility.  How each parent chooses to do that is going to vary.  But it is part and parcel of the parenting experience.  Today, we are seeing more and more parents who are constantly on top of their children.  The so-called helicopter parents.  The parents who are so engaged with their children and their activities that we hear stories about them involving themselves in the job interview process.  

    Government is getting larger and larger.  It is getting more and more intrusive.  A government that can swoop in and decide that a parent isn’t allowed to make a choice about a short walk home from the park is a government that is way too large.  A government that now has the right to investigate these parents for the next five years is a government that I don’t want.  

    I am not sure I would let a ten and six-year-old walk a mile on their own.  I lived outside of Washington, DC for many years.  I know the Silver Spring area fairly well.  The children were walking on Georgia Avenue, it is a major roadway that normally has a great deal of traffic.  But what I don’t know is the maturity levels of these children.  There will be ten-year-olds that are very likely ready for that walk.  

    But I do know that I don’t think that act alone is a good enough reason for this family to be investigated continuously for the next five years.  Has anyone thought that these children are going to become distrustful of police now?  How is that a good thing?  

    These children have learned a valuable lesson.  A government that is large can do almost anything.  I hope they carry this with them into adulthood.  

     
  • just a conservative girl 4:59 PM on 07/26/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , helicopter parenting, , , walsh   

    My Brilliant and Gifted 28-Year-Old Lives in My Basement 

    Another Blogger and radio host Matt Walsh received a letter from a listener.  It was from a father that feels that Matt is a “right winged extremist” for thinking his children should do chores, and eventually get a job when they are teens.

    “Matt, I heard your horrible conversation today about parenting. A few comments in response:

    1) Based on your remarks, I have to say I feel bad for your kids. You sound like the sort of person who never should have been a parent. You said you plain to teach your kids “how to think.” I guess this is common in right wing religious fundamentalist households. Personally, I let my child form his own conclusions about things. To impose your views on a child is tantamount to child abuse. Do them a favor, let them think FREELY.

    2) You greatly exaggerate the importance of “chores.” Also, the idea that a kid should be forced to “get a job” is abhorrent. My son was very gifted so we gave him all the tools to succeed academically. This meant we didn’t turn him into slave labor and we certainly didn’t tell him he needed to go work behind a cash register. He concentrated on his school work, and we did our job as parents and financially supported him.

    3) It’s easy to mock a “30 year old who lives with is parents.” My son is almost 29 and he’s been home with us since he graduated. Unfortunately the job market isn’t the greatest (maybe you hadn’t heard) and I’m not going to let him starve on the street. He has a college education, it’s pointless for him to be out working in a retail store or some other menial job. I will be here for him until he is able to get the job he deserves.

    You need to grow up, get some life experiences and then maybe you’ll have the right to sermonize about parenting.

    -Nick”

    Just a thought here, if Nick Jr. were so gifted wouldn’t he have been able to figure out how to make a living even in a bad economy?  This reminds me of a story.  About a month ago I went out with my best friend’s mother.  The event we went to was being held in the local VFW.  I was sitting at a table waiting for the event to get started.  While I was waiting this man came over and introduced himself.  For whatever reason he started telling me his life story.  He is in his 80’s.  He was telling me that when he was a young man his father forced him to get a job and would take most of his pay for rent.  He promised himself that he would never do that to his children.  He goes on to tell me that he never charged a dime in rent to any of his three children.  He then went on and told me that his 47-year-old son was still living at home and never paid rent.  He told me this story like it was a good thing.  I asked if his son was married?  He told me that his son had problems finding a “good woman”.  Hmm, is the fact that he is middle-aged and has never had any sense of caring for himself be part of the reason?

    I wasn’t rude and didn’t say anything to the man.  He believes that he has done his children a favor.  I happen to disagree.  I think it important to teach children a sense of responsibility.  I was having another conversation with another older gentleman he knows and he told me that he and his wife were having a conversation a few weeks ago and they have come to the realization that they never let their children grow up.  They did so much for them that they are constantly having problems in their lives when it comes to taking responsibility.  I am not at all surprised.

    Of course, as a parent, you should help your children when they are in trouble.  If they hit hard times while an adult, sure let them move in and help them out until the get back on their feet.  If you can afford it, throw them a little rent money if they need it.  But to be the only support system for them is not helping them.  It more than likely is hurting them.

    In the case of Nick, Jr, how does he date or even just go out with the friends if he has no income?  Are they also supporting his personal life?  I would think a man of that age wants to leave the house on occasion.  Does he have a car?  If so, who pays for that?  That would require insurance, gas, and the occasional repair, would it not?  What if he wants to go out for wings and a beer to watch Monday Night Football?

    We are raising a generation of people who can’t help themselves.  How exactly are they going to govern this country when their time inevitability comes?  A very terrifying thought.

    Here is Matt’s response to Nick.  It is a little meaner than I would ever be, but it is classic all the same:

    Dear Nick,

    1) Tell you what. How ’bout I blindfold you, drive you out into the middle of the desert at night, and then leave you there without a map or a GPS? It’ll be great. You can just travel FREELY. After all, who am I to bring you to this place and then presume to tell you how to navigate? I’m just the guy that kidnapped you and dumped you into a hostile, cold wilderness. It would be presumptuous and authoritative of me to offer you direction and guidance. So I’ll let you wander around aimlessly until you collapse exhausted in a ditch, and are eaten slowly by wild scavengers. You’re welcome. I mean, I assume you’ll be grateful. I’ll merely be applying your parenting technique to the situation.

    By the way, did you ever tell your kid not to play in the street? Did you instruct him about the dangers of hot stoves and fallen electrical wires? This is a quandary. See, if you imposed your anti-high voltage power line views on your kid, then apparently you’re guilty of abuse by your standards. However, if you didn’t, you’re guilty of reprehensible neglect by the standards of civilized human beings. I’m not an expert on parenting. I never claimed to be. But you don’t need to be an expert to know that one of the fundamental tasks of a parent — and this really speaks to the whole point of the endeavor — is to teach your child how to navigate the physical, moral, spiritual and intellectual dangers of life. This includes teaching them how to think, which could also be referred to as passing on your values and your worldview. If you have no interest in doing this, then I would suggest that you never really wanted a child — you wanted a friend. Now you have one. Living at home with you. Forever. Congratulations.

    2) Chores schmores. What can they teach a kid? Discipline, obedience, and hard work? Screw that. What is this, the 50′s? Listen, Nick, don’t take this the wrong way, but what leads you to the conclusion that your son is “gifted”? He can’t mow the lawn, work a job, earn a living, pay a bill, apply a skill, or support himself, yet he’s “gifted”? What are his gifts, exactly? You know, something tells me an astronaut’s parents never have to inform people that their child is “gifted.” People sort of pick up on that based on context clues. They behold his accomplishments and admire his achievements. They can SEE his gifts. He uses them, applies them, refines them. Your son MIGHT have gifts — the jury is still out — but whatever they may be, they’ll atrophy and whittle away the longer he spends lounging in a bean bag chair eating macaroni and cheese.

    3) So your brilliant and gifted 29 year old son would “starve” if he was forced to take care of himself? The “gifted” standard is getting lower by the day, isn’t it? I’ve been living independently and taking care of myself since before I could legally drink a Heineken. I guess that makes me a Nobel candidate — if your helpless grown adult son gets to set the bar for “gifted.”

    The kind of oblivious snobbery you display used to be reserved for classes of nobility and royalty. Now, any drooling schlub who spent 4 years getting drunk and fornicating at college can claim to be “too good” for almost every available job. Your son isn’t above anyone. He certainly isn’t superior to hard working cashiers and retail clerks who support themselves, raise families and live full lives, as your little snowflake hides under his bed while mommy makes him hot cocoa and tells him he’s special.

    News flash, Nick: Junior ain’t special. He graduated school, good for him. Anyone can do that if they’ve got money, time and no pressures or responsibilities from the outside world. Your little pumpkin doesn’t “deserve” a job. I wouldn’t hire him to dig a ditch, much less take on serious responsibilities of any kind. You can spend your whole life telling everyone what you and your son deserve, meanwhile the rest of us will be out in the world, earning, striving, accomplishing, living.

    Nick, it’s somewhat peculiar that you chose to end your email by chastising me for not having “life experiences.” I’m two years younger than Nick Jr and I’m married with two kids. I’ve got a career in broadcasting and goals for the future that I’m steadily working toward achieving. I’m not exactly at the point where I’ve got enough material to write my memoirs, but I’ll get there one day. In any case, you, my friend, need to take that “life experiences” lecture and bring it home to the pudgy couch potato sleeping in your basement.

    Thanks for the email.

    God speed,

    Matt

     
  • just a conservative girl 12:48 PM on 05/03/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , helicopter parenting,   

    Over-Parenting our Way to Demise 

    I have long felt that as a society we have lost our way.  I also truly believe that a great deal of this is about parenting.  We over parent our children to the point that they feel they are owed something.  A friend is a nursery school teacher and she pointed me towards this article aptly named A Nation of Wimps.

    I think that is an accurate name for what is going on in our society. Everyone is trying to protect their children to the point that we not allowing them to grow and mature.

    Behold the wholly sanitized childhood without skinned knees or the occasional C in history. “Kids need to feel badly sometimes,” says child psychologist David Elkind, professor at Tufts University. “We learn through experience and we learn through bad experiences. Through failure we learn how to cope.”

    Yes, failing at times is a good thing.  We learn from it.  Children at some point are going to become an adult that will have to make choices, and not all of those choices will be good ones.  Having a few failures gives them the background to figure out what choices are better than others.  I will fully admit that sometimes all the choices are bad, but you still have to learn which choices will give the best possible outcome.

    No one doubts that there are significant economic forces pushing parents to invest so heavily in their children’s outcome from an early age. But taking all the discomfort, disappointment and even the play out of development, especially while increasing pressure for success, turns out to be misguided by just about 180 degrees. With few challenges all their own, kids are unable to forge their creative adaptations to the normal vicissitudes of life. That not only makes them risk-averse, it makes them psychologically fragile, riddled with anxiety. In the process they’re robbed of identity, meaning and a sense of accomplishment, to say nothing of a shot at real happiness. Forget, too, about perseverance, not simply amoral virtue but a necessary life skill. These turn out to be the spreading psychic fault lines of 21st-century youth. Whether we want to or not, we’re on our way to creating a nation of wimps.

    Every parent wants what is best for their children.  It is instinct to hope that your child will live a life that is “easier” than you did.  But the fact remains that every life will have disappointments, failures, and expectations that won’t be reached.  It happens to all of us.  You need to teach your children the ability to pick themselves up and brush themselves off.  There will come a time that you will not be there for them.

    College, it seems, is where the fragility factor is now making its greatest mark. It’s where intellectual and developmental tracks converge as the emotional training wheels come off. By all accounts, psychological distress is rampant on college campuses. It takes a variety of forms, including anxiety and depression—which are increasingly regarded as two faces of the same coin—binge drinking and substance abuse, self-mutilation and other forms of disconnection. The mental state of students is now so precarious for so many that, says Steven Hyman, provost of Harvard University and former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, “it is interfering with the core mission of the university.”

    The severity of student mental health problems has been rising since 1988, according to an annual survey of counseling center directors. Through 1996, the most common problems raised by students were relationship issues. That is developmentally appropriate, reports Sherry Benton, assistant director of counseling at Kansas State University. But in 1996, anxiety overtook relationship concerns and has remained the major problem. The University of Michigan Depression Center, the nation’s first, estimates that 15 percent of college students nationwide are suffering from that disorder alone.

    I read something recently that talked about the percentage of parents that expected a phone call from their children who were out of the home attending college.  I can’t remember the exact number but it was about half of parents surveyed.  How exactly do these kids learn to do things for themselves when Mommy and Daddy are still keeping tabs on everything that they are doing?

    Some of this is showing up in very disturbing ways:

    Relationship problems haven’t gone away; their nature has dramatically shifted and the severity escalated. Colleges report ever more cases of obsessive pursuit, otherwise known as stalking, leading to violence, even death. Anorexia or bulimia in florid or subclinical form now afflicts 40 percent of women at some time in their college career. Eleven weeks into a semester, reports psychologist Russ Federman, head of counseling at the University of Virginia, “all appointment slots are filled. But the students don’t stop coming.”

    Drinking, too, has changed. Once a means of social lubrication, it has acquired a darker, more desperate nature. Campuses nationwide are reporting record increases in binge drinking over the past decade, with students often stuporous in class, if they get there at all. Psychologist Paul E. Joffe, chair of the suicide prevention team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, contends that at bottom binge-drinking is a quest for authenticity and intensity of experience. It gives young people something all their own to talk about, and sharing stories about the path to passing out is a primary purpose. It’s an inverted world in which drinking to oblivion is the way to feel connected and alive.

    “There is a ritual every university administrator has come to fear,” reports John Portmann, professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia. “Every fall, parents drop off their well-groomed freshmen and within two or three days many have consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol and placed themselves in harm’s way. These kids have been controlled for so long, they just go crazy.”

    Why would we feel that is a good idea?  The numbers of young woman who have said that they have been abused in relationship is frightening.  While I am not denying the pathology that is behind people staying in an abusive relationship exists, but many of these kids are not coming from abusive homes, which lowers the risk of the them being abused as an adult.

    Talk to a college president or administrator and you’re almost certainly bound to hear tales of the parents who call at 2 a.m. to protest Branden’s C in economics because it’s going to damage his shot at grad school.

    Shortly after psychologist Robert Epstein announced to his university students that he expected them to work hard and would hold them to high standards, he heard from a parent—on official judicial stationery—asking how he could dare mistreat the young. Epstein, former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, eventually filed a complaint with the California commission on judicial misconduct, and the judge was censured for abusing his office—but not before he created havoc in the psychology department at the University of California, San Diego.

    I also was reading some stories from hiring directors about the millennium generation and their job interviewing skills.  They are pretty poor:

    A college senior brought her cat into an interview for a buyer’s position at clothing retailer American Eagle. She set the crate-housed cat on the interviewer’s desk and periodically played with it. “It hit me like — why would you think that’s OK?” says Mark Dillon, the chain’s former recruiting director. “She cut herself off before she had a chance.”

    • Helicoptering parents. A man in his late 20s brought his father into a 45-minute interview for a material handling job on an assembly line, says Teri Nichols, owner of a Spherion staffing-agency in Brooksville, Fla. At Cigna, a health insurance provider, the father of a recent grad who received an offer for a sales job, called to negotiate a higher salary, says Paula Welch, a Cigna HR consultant.

    While yes the story about the cat is funny, it is also very scary.  These kids are going to be running the country one day and they think bringing a cat to an interview is acceptable behavior.  I think it can be a good idea for a parent to help their child through the first job interview process and teaching them about negotiating a salary, those are necessary skills to have over your lifetime.  But you don’t make the call yourself.

    It is any wonder that kids today don’t understand the concept of responsiblity and hard work?

    Although we’re well on our way to making kids more fragile, no one thinks that kids and young adults are fundamentally more flawed than in previous generations. Maybe many will “recover” from diagnoses too liberally slapped on to them. In his own studies of 14 skills he has identified as essential for adulthood in American culture, from love to leadership, Epstein has found that “although teens don’t necessarily behave in a competent way, they have the potential to be every bit as competent and as incompetent as adults.”

    It is all in our hands parents.  Are we up to the task?

     
    • sally1137 2:13 PM on 05/03/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on Tin Foil Hat Book Club.

      • just a conservative girl 8:01 PM on 05/03/2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, always appreciated.

    • Robin H 2:49 PM on 05/05/2013 Permalink | Reply

      I’m sending my oldest to college in the fall. My greatest hope for him is to make friends with others that are as capable as he is. I’ve raised him in the traditional fashion of, if you fall, get up and deal with it. I don’t go to high school teacher conferences, by high school he should learn how to deal with his teachers. He’s been doing his own laundry since he was 12 and he can cook himself some food when he’s hungry. If by chance he meets kids in college that are helpless, I’ve taught him to sell his laundry services. He’s becoming quite the capitalist.

      • just a conservative girl 7:55 PM on 05/07/2013 Permalink | Reply

        Good for you and for him. There are life skills that all kids need to know, laundry being one of them.

c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel