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red pen mama

The other thing that I think gets lost in hyper/helicopter parenting is that we aren't just raising kids: we are raising adults. I mean, I know that this post is slightly tongue-in-cheek, but a lot of that 'sweeping obstacles out of the way' doesn't foster responsibility and independence, it fosters anxiety, depression, and dependence in kids. Part of the happy-healthy-loved trifecta should focus not just on physical health, but mental health, and arguably kids who have to figure things out for themselves and fight their own battles (with parental support rather than interference) are mentally healthier.

I really don't know where all that came from.

that all being said: if you have $4000 to blow on an infants birthday party, more power to ya. and don't forget about the orphans in Haiti, if you have a little bit more. :)


What bothered me about $4k birthday party mom was that she sees herself as middle of the road. Jeebus! I'd hate to see an $8k birthday party for a 1 year old. What do you take as a gift to a party like that? My standard sidewalk chalk or crayons/markers/pad of paper wouldn't cut it, that's for sure. Way too much pressure.

And what redpenmama said...absolutely.

Her Bad Mother

I just really think that she's not the norm. Sure, there ARE parents like that - but I don't know any. If I did a random sample of parents in my neighborhood - or a random sample of parents online (although that'd be skewed, I think) - I'm sure that I'd find few or *no* such parents.

But that just might be my community. If so, I'm grateful ;)


Wow - well, I see quite of few of these helicopter parenting examples in my area. Parents sitting in the classroom with their kids to help them concentrate and work (1st grade). Lots of extra parents "volunteering" on the playground but really there to keep on eye on their child during recess. Telling them who they should or should not play with. Sigh... I don't have the answers on this - perhaps that is the right thing to do but it feels like not giving your child a safe place to learn how to fail and pick yourself up again afterwards.

Ann Kroeker/Not So Fast

Thanks for bringing up the point that hyperparenting concerns may be outdated and unnecessary except in rare instances and limited parts of the country.

Some acquaintances of mine who live in Manhattan certainly felt the pressure to get their kids into an elite preschool because the preschools are feeder schools to grade schools that lead to the best high schools. Even in my Midwestern suburban area, where you'd expect us to be more laid-back, I feel pressure to have my kids in elite sports (we don't).

I found your post so thought-provoking, I decided to open up related conversation at my own blog using an excerpt and linking back in hopes of generating ongoing discussion.


Followed Ann Kroeker here, and quickly realized this as yours Catherine.

I think exhaustion and awareness is contributing to a better balance, but in my fairly affluent area it is still very apparent. And it isn't really the money, it's the other stuff. It bugs me to know end. I feel like the odd woman out, not foraging through the kids backpacks , planning weekends of excitement, watching every practice (not just the games) of kids even when they are teens, etc.

Wow . I feel a vent coming on. Because it doesn't sit right with me. You may say whatever, but there are subtle types of neglect or abuse. As a mom of five, ages 11-20, I am not even close to perfect. But I let my kids test the waters of life a little .


I think one thing that people forget too is that throwing the big party is also a cultural trend. The documentary probably won't show that it's not like this for all events and that in most cases, the first party is big and the next big party isn't until they're 16. Parenting is always grouped into this set of rules that applies to all cultures but it's not like that. Different cultures have different traditions and it's never about a competition of who can throw the best party. In most cases, it's not the parents who are chipping in all the money as it's usually something that is spread among the parents and grandparents who are all equally happy to celebrate their love for a new addition to the family.


Red Pen Mama is bang on - the documentary does look at young adults who have grown up with over-involved parenting and it's a wake-up call. The birthday party in the documentary is an extreme example of lavish over-attention. But throughout the program it becomes obvious that it's the everyday competitive drive in parents to position their children (academically, athletically and artistically) to be the "most successful" that seems to be the most damaging for them in the end.

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