Dear other mom on playground,
I don’t know you but it’s great to have other families be out too. I’d chit-chat with you about this “crazy” Seattle weather but it’s all the same conversation. Oh, and your kid is kinda cute. Anyway, I’d like to bring up what happened the other day on the playground. Ya know, about the little toddler boy, who carried around a Wii game controller. I’m his mom, who had the new infant in the baby carrier? Yeah, those are both my kids and one of ’em didn’t need your helicopter backseat-parenting.
I’m sure you were trying to help by hovering over my son. I actually appreciate you helping keep him inside the enclosed play area too because he’s a fast runner. Here’s the thing: I felt a little insulted that you’d think I’m that neglectful for you to step in rather than let my almost- 2-year-old climb as he pleased, run with the bigger kids, and let me bark gentle reminders from afar. If I may, please let me provide you with my reasons (in list form, of course) why I don’t helicopter my own kid on the playground:
My kid is physically capable He may not look it but Humnoy is really physically advanced. He’s really strong, has amazing balance, and has exceeded all of his physical milestones months before children his age. I’m not bragging, I’m simply implying that size doesn’t accurately convey what children are capable of. He has been climbing off playground structures since he’s been around playground structures. Long enough to where he knows to sit down on the ledge and climb down on his belly because his legs are too short to step down facing forward. He knows this because we’ve done this well before our playground interaction with you, Other Mom.
My kid knows his own boundaries While your kid was getting ready to come down the slide, you didn’t need to move my kid from the base of the slide – he would have stepped away himself. He knows his own space and fear of getting hurt, especially since he’s had his share of playground injuries and that’s when I was testing out my own boundaries with playground duty. With this, I am now able to know when to intervene and when not to. That’s why I don’t chase him when he climbs a ledge but do stop him when it’s the next-next ledge because that’s too high for him and my standard.
I know my kid I’m sure I look extremely nonchalant or helpless or both because I’m a mom to two little kids right now but give me some credit. I’ve been this kid’s mom for coming on 24 months and I’m aware of his capabilities and boundaries alike. Truly, I appreciate the thought behind hovering, touching, and picking up my kid away from whatever he was doing but again, I think I can handle my kid the way I handled him before your interventions.
How do you handle helicopter backseat-parenting?
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