Friday, September 02, 2005

Question of the Week - September 2, 2005

Do you think it's possible to be over-protective of your children? Where would you draw the lines? Are age and maturity much of a factor?

5 comments:

Nancy C. Brown said...

Well, I always say that over-protecting is better than under-protecting, and who knows where that perfect balance is of "just-right" protecting?

2nd grade mom said...

It's very possible, but hopefully wisdom in this area will come with time. When my daughter was very small, I told my husband that if someone accused him of being overprotective, he should consider it a compliment. He seemed to be a constant target of advice and criticism about child-raising, especially when she was little.

Love2Learn Mom said...

Great points loyola mom. I think part of the issue is that we are generally aiming for something *other* than what normal society would consider appropriate. And yet, I think it's possible to go to the other extreme - particularly when the children are older.

In a way it's such a complicated question that it might be better to consider it in pieces - teens vs. young children, rules and strategies relating to how safe your neighborhood is, issues relating to siblings or other mentors who can be trusted with your children, etc.

It also relates to many different venues - television, media, internet, friends, relatives, neighbors, books, etc. And these can have a myriad of different issues of possible concern.

I have read about and witnessed a tendency in many parents today in general society (not talking about homeschoolers here) who are so wrapped up in how their children are and how well they do that they really try to insulate them from any sort of failure or negative experience. This can relate to school work, sports and many other areas. It seems to me that our job as parents isn't so much to prevent our children from having any negative experiences in any area, but to protect them from dangerous ones as well as help them learn to deal with some of the negative things that are a normal part of life.

While I don't necessarily agree with everything in this article, I think it provides some good food for thought on this topic...
A Nation of Wimps

2nd grade mom said...

love2learn mom said:

"It seems to me that our job as parents isn't so much to prevent our children from having any negative experiences in any area, but to protect them from dangerous ones as well as help them learn to deal with some of the negative things that are a normal part of life."

I think this is a good point. Sometimes I have to hold myself back from fixing a situation or replacing something that is fairly easily replaced, because my child should learn to deal with frustration, disappointment, loss in small matters. Otherwise, how will she deal with more serious ones?

Nancy C. Brown said...

I think "A Nation of Wimps" does make a lot of good points. However, I also believe that the "small family" effect contributes to it. When you have more kids, you just can't hold all their hands at the playground, or make every bump smooth. I only have two, which seems to be God's plan for my life, but I have to make a special effort NOT to do things for them, it goes against my inner mothering nature, but I know, intellectually, that I need to let go and let them fall, let them deal with that friend who is not so great, let them brush their own hair and etc.
I think a lot of what that article is talking about is parents following their instincts...but too far. You want to protect your children from all that is bad...at some point, you realize you can't. You wish you could help them avoid a bad situation...you can't. You must prepare them to handle those situations and those bad times, not see that they avoid them, which is a fine line.
It takes a bit of "head over heart" to tell ourselves, "they might fall...that's OK."
I do go sit on the perimeter of the playground. I have let them bike into town on their own. I do say, "be careful!" and ask them what they would do if a stranger approached, like my mom did to me, but then I let them go.
I think this could be broken up into many topics, too, Alicia, and is good food for thought, thanks.