Both Cathy and Dad Gone Mad brought up issues recently, that are completely separate with the exception that they are both pet peeves of mine. Pet peeves, because they both wind up making me do or act in ways that I don’t necessarily want to, but seem to bend to the will of others.
First, there is the issue of the “Helicopter Parent.” This is a tough one for me because I straddle such a thin line. LatteGirl is always initially shy around new people, once she warms up she is fine, but she will rarely do it without encouragement and would tend to withdraw if not prompted. Secondly, she wants to much to be accomodating to others she will often wind up rather unhappy when certain kids (including her cousin) tend to take advantage of this “weakness” and boss her around. I don’t want to wind up being (or even appearing to be) a Helicopter Parent, so I have in the past, not exactly fed LatteGirl to the wolves, but I didn’t step in, where I think I probably should have in the past, because of this.
I have also made her be the “bigger person” when another child is rude or such, because it was not my place. This can be quite frustrating. Particularly with some of her friends, that apparently are children of parent’s that don’t seem to see anything their child does wrong, or give the “kids will be kids” explanation.
I still don’t want to be seen as what is (really) a Helicopter Parent, but I also no longer want it to prevent me from being my daughter’s best advocate. One question that goes along with this however. How do you deal with kids that have parent’s that won’t take charge of thier kids ever? For example, is it proper to ask another person’s child to stop screaming? Or to tell them to share? I’m not talking about scolding, but more about playing peacekeeper. What do you do, when it seems like it is always your child that has to make concessions, and “be understanding” with other kids, who apparently are raised by people that don’t have the same common courtesy?
The other issue, is “bragging.” I have read plenty of books, articles and even blogs of people that do a lot of complaining about how much parents talk about (or brag about) their kids. Yet, I know as for myself, and virtually if not every single blog I read, the parents while certainly proud of their kids, often keep it very subdued, if not downright humble. We tend to minimize everything. Or we decide it is “no big deal.” We keep conversations about our kids “short and sweet.” Yes, I know there are people on the other end of the spectrum, people who are sure that their kids are gifted and bound for greatness and already enrolled in the Albert Einstein Program for the Gifted by the time they are 6 months old. But that doesn’t mean I need to compensate by keeping the spotlight off my own daughter at all times.
So, now as he suggested, I am going to put an end to that. (And I of course invite you to do the same, either in comments or your own blog).
LatteGirl is incredibly bright. She is disappointed when she comes home with a less than perfect score on a test (even though we do not in any way put any pressure on her in that way. Matter of fact, we are usually having to tell her that nobody is perfect).
LatteGirl is a good sport. She is not necessarily good at all sports, but she enjoys playing just about anything. She is not the most athletic, her athsma often hampers her, but she gives it 110% always, and has fun while doing it.
LatteGirl is a sweetheart. She has compassion to spare for anybody, everybody, and every creature she encounters. She is friendly (when she gets past her intial shy stage), she will do anything she can to try and make somebody else feel happy, loved, and welcome. She doesn’t hate anybody, and in her 7 year old philosophy, there is nothing in this world that is so bad, that it can’t be fixed with a hug and a kiss.