Are you a helicopter parent or free-range parent?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from BDCKristi. Show BDCKristi's posts

    Are you a helicopter parent or free-range parent?

    Check out this story in today's paper:
    http://www.boston.com/community/moms/articles/2012/02/23/success_of_bringing_up_bb_shows_a_hunger_among_american_parents_for_more_relaxed_parenting/

    What do you think? Are you more of a helicopter parent or a free-range parent? Or are you somewhere in between?
    Is "Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting" a book you want to read?

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Are you a helicopter parent or free-range parent?

    My cousin, who has lived in Aussie for the past 5 years and just moved to Ireland (but grew up in the US) just read this book.  She LOVED it and feels it really echos our overseas mom colleagues.  Its all over her facebook page how every mom should read this book.  Its in my Kindle wish list as soon as I'm done with my current.  I'm interested.  I was 300% raised by a "free range" parent.  In fact, I think I could have had a bit more attention and still have been ridiculously independent.  But I will say, I really like the person I am now.  Love being with friends and DH but also really happy and capable playing by myself (so to speak).  Like being busy but can also sit by myself and just veg (or at least I could 16 months ago!).  I'd really like to raise my DS to be the same.  Would love for him to be involved in a few things, but also content when we don't have plans.  I couldn't be happier when I see him in his toyroom playing by himself and solving problems by himself (how do I open that box to get that cool toy out of there?). I also really related to the part about interrupting.  I have several friends and aunts, and while I try so hard not to be a mom judge, they drive me insane when we are talking and their child starts talking and our conversation is immediatley over.  Their child is speaking... we all much listen!!  I think my mom's biggest pet peave ever was interrupting.  Boy did I learn quickly to wait my turn.  And by doing so, you actually have everyone at the table or in the room ready to listen instead of their eye-rolling annoyance at your existance.  
    Having not read the book, not sure if it deals with this, but a "free-range" parent would probably let their kid lose a game, or be unhappy for a moment.  And seems like our society is going the other way.  Everyone gets a medal, everyone gets an A, don't cheer for this team too loudly or the other team will feel bad.  Curious to hear if the book talks about this.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Are you a helicopter parent or free-range parent?

    I'm about half-way through the book.
    The article that is linked above doesn't really reflect the book.  The article is about "helicopter" versus "free range".  The book is not.  I guess it would skew more towards "free range", but there are other books for that.  Like, for example, the book entitled "free range kids".
    The main theme of the bringing up bebe book is more about (a) having a strict frame for kids, but leaving them alone within that frame, and (b) talking to them like mini-adults.

    So far, the book is not worthwhile.  It has fine points, but they're not new.  They're more like old-school normal stuff, like teaching your kid not to interrupt.  The most interesting part is some of the historical information.
    Also, it is full of ridiculous generalizations based on nothing.  I just read the chapter on day care, and according to the author, "most" middle class parents in the US think of "dirty, dimly lit rooms" and "pedophiles" when they think of day care, and they only use it as a "last resort".  What the heck???  I don't know anyone who thinks that way.  The ultimate meat of the chapter is more about having well trained, well paid day care professionals, which I can definitely get behind.  But she ruins the book with this inflammatory madness.
    Also, there are a lot of anecdotes of badly behaved children of her US friends, including one about a 4 year old who is tired and badly behaved at dinner after being dragged around Paris all day sightseeing.  (Not to mention is off her time zone.)  I would guess this author will no longer have many US friends after they read this stuff.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Are you a helicopter parent or free-range parent?

    I just read it and I must say, as much as I wanted to like it, I didn't. After reading the excerpt in the Wall St. Journal I really wanted some practical tips - which don't seem to be anywhere in the book. Instead we are treated to the wonders of the French State sponsored "creche" (daycare) where they teach children to appreciate hearts of palm and brie instead of chicken nuggets. Of course that doesn't exist here so it's not very helpful. I've been offering all sorts of food since we started solids - but obviously with less success than the French Creche ladies.
    We're told its all in the tone when you say no. And that when it's adult time - they simply explain to their children to go to bed and they do. But I'm left wondering if they just leave them there to cry until they figure out Mamon and Papa aren't coming back. And that all french babies learn to sleep through the night by 12 weeks old and to only eat at mealtimes (bfast, lunch, snack at 4 - dinner at 8).
    All the French moms drop the baby weight in 12 weeks and prance off to work happily leaving baby in the creche with no maternal guilt. No one is a SAHM - well, they know one...but she's getting divorced - as if to imply that taking care of her children has rendered her unattractive to her husband.

    I will also say that a friend of mine lived in France for 2 years and she says it's all bull. That mostly they get their kids to comply by screaming and shaming them and that she saw a lot more spanking than she ever sees here at home. She does admit that they eat more "adult" food - she used to pack an extra suitcase full of Annies mac n cheese for her kids to eat over there - I guess for nights when they got tired of hearts of palm, foie gras and brie.
    I think the author used a small group of upperclass Parisian women and compared them to a small group of upperclass New Yorkers. I don't know anyone who behaves (or has children like) the american moms in the book. But I can imagine her NY friends may be very competitive and prefer nannies over "daycare."

    I liked the parts about not overscheduling and letting kids just be kids while they can.  And I loved reading about how baking with children is a sort of weekend ritual - something I'd love to incorprate into our routine when I figure out how to
    cook with twins without turning the kitchen into a war zone. :)

    I have no intention of overscheduling my kids - we didn't do any outside activities until they were 2 when we went to Music Together. They are in a playgroup 2x a week now and will start preschool in the fall 3x a week. That's enough for a three year old IMHO.
    My husband is a college professor and he says every year his students become less able to think critically, less prepared for college and more "babish". He thinks hellicopter parenting is a disaster. College students used to be considered adults - now they are most certainly still kids who call Mommy or Daddy if anything goes wrong. He says they are selfish, uninterested and absolutely wasting the $40k their parents are spending every year on their behalf.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Are you a helicopter parent or free-range parent?

    In Response to Re: Are you a helicopter parent or free-range parent?:
    [QUOTE]I will also say that a friend of mine lived in France for 2 years and she says it's all bull. That mostly they get their kids to comply by screaming and shaming them and that she saw a lot more spanking than she ever sees here at home.
    Posted by misslily[/QUOTE]
    That's interesting.  I have *no* idea what it's like now, but I mentioned the book to a coworker who lived in Paris in the 60's and lives part time in France now, and she said, "what's it about, slapping them??"  Apparently in the 60's all the expats in Paris worried a lot about their kids getting slapped by the teachers at school.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from everymoms. Show everymoms's posts

    Re: Are you a helicopter parent or free-range parent?

    I guess maybe I was ahead of the curve and although my children are grown, 31&29, my husband and I were firm believers in the one sport, one season rule and allowing them to not only have scheduled activities, but also time to themselves to do what THEY wanted, whether it was just playing in the yard with their friends, going for walks, whatever.  I saw so many overscheduled, stressed out kids and parents I could never understand that philosophy.  I think both of my kids would agree!!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: Are you a helicopter parent or free-range parent?

    I too have the one sport per season rule.  My son is 11.  With his homework we really could only do one sport activity at a time. 
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Are you a helicopter parent or free-range parent?

    Definite case of RPP


    Rich People Problems.
     

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