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Helicopter Parents.

The parents who hover over their kids today are the ones who rode their bikes 30 miles a day all over the place 25 years ago. It amazes me that my little running buddies of yesteryear don't let their kids out of the front yard.

Is it b/c they remember what little hellraisers we were (pyromania, jumping off of bridges, vandalism) were all weekly occurrences.

I sometimes think that it's because of all of the Amber Alerts and all that hysteria but we came of age during the whole Adam kid in Florida. WTF gives?

by Anonymousreply 10302/26/2013

Cases like Jessica Dugard scare the shit out of them.

And, it does seem like every wk a young girl or teenager is raped and/or murdered.

by Anonymousreply 107/24/2010

We were taught in school to run away from strangers trying to get you into their cars, and people would put signs on their stores and houses with a blue hand indicating it was a safe place to go get help if anyone was after you. Which in hindsight seems like the perfect thing for a perv to put up.

by Anonymousreply 207/24/2010

Helicopter parents of the boomer generation seem to tend to think of their children as extensions of themselves, hence they are unwilling to let the kids do or be anything they themselves are not involved in.%0D %0D I'm a boomer, and when I was growing up our parents had lives of their own, and recognized that their kids were separate entities with their own lives.

by Anonymousreply 307/24/2010

R1 gives us an example of the reason this has happened. Media now focuses on child abductions and/or abuse from all over the world. We know about horrible things that happen to children very, very far away from us. While bad things do happen, the reality is that the world is not as unsafe a place for children as it is made to seem. It only appears to us that way, and parents act on that appearance. "Oh, my god! A child was abducted in Florida so I better keep a closer eye on my kid in Walla Walla."

by Anonymousreply 407/24/2010

In hindsight it seems to me my parents were quite neglectful and irresponsible. So, I have no doubt that (if I ever had kids) I would probably go too far in the other direction.

In retrospect, I think I was that kid with the trashy parents who other parents dreaded dealing with.

My parents were always late to pick me up, the kids always got into some dangerous situation when my parents were in charge, often there would be some screaming or hitting episodes b/w my parents when I had friends over, my parents would hit us in front of our friends (which must have scared the other kids to death), it was always doubtful that we would be properly fed (or fed at all), etc.

by Anonymousreply 507/24/2010

When I was growing up many of our moms were at home all day, there were fewer single-parent families, and everyone in the neighborhood knew each other and watched out for each other. (Of course, that could also take the form of snooping, spying, and tattling on kids' behavior.) But there was more of a sense of local community. %0D %0D Now we living in a mmore global community with millions of neighbors; we don't know the people who live next door, kids are hardly allowed in the front yard without supervision, parents are controlling their kids' exposure to the bad old outside world - everything is turning inward societally, so many parents can only relate on an extremely personal level (see Florida-Walla Walla analogy at R4).

by Anonymousreply 607/24/2010

I think R6 has made a very good point.

I live with my young daughter in a very safe neighborhood in Brooklyn. I am always amazed when no children are outside playing in games they organize and supervise themselves. No children are outside at all under any circumstances, unless in a park with their parents there.

I try to get my nine-year-old to go to the park by herself, but she is afraid to. "None of my friends go out by themselves!" She's right. Now she buys into the fear mongering.

One thing that happens is that media get ratings when there are stories about children get assaulted or abducted by a stranger. But most child abuse happens when someone the child knows does the damage.

If the media plays up domestic abuse, it doesn't have quite the same emotional kick. Also, the right wing wants increased police power in the streets. They don't want society to exercise control inside the family, where most of the abuse exists.

So what happens is that street crime against children gets played up, people get scared and keep their children in.


by Anonymousreply 707/24/2010

I have 2 kids and as far as other parents go, my experiences are more like R5's rather than the hovering OP talks about. I've had one mother who dropped off her son to stay the night with my son and didn't call for 5 days. Calls to her went unanswered. I've had neighborhood kids show up at my door at 8am and stay right through till early evening. When asked if their parents would worry, I was told Mom was taking a nap. Thankfully, all the kids that visit are well behaved and really good kids so them being here is no big deal. The more the merrier and if they're here, then atleast I don't have to worry about them.

As far as my kids go, yeah, I'll admit to being a little paranoid about them taking off all day like I was able to when I was a kid. I try to remind myself the odds of something happening to them are small and the kids are usually in groups and they all have cells in case of emergencies. I think, for me atleast, my paranoia stems from the fact that I grew up in a small town where everyone knew one another as R6 writes but now live in a very large city where there isn't that feeling of safety.

by Anonymousreply 807/24/2010

[quote]And, it does seem like every wk a young girl or teenager is raped and/or murdered. no it doesn't, you freak.

by Anonymousreply 907/24/2010

I live in NYC on the Upper East Side, which may color my response. I see the helicopter mothers (I have never ever heard of a helicopter dad, sorry) as being predominately professional women. They micro-manage their children in the same way that they micro-manage their employees. Their children are their "product" and they are just as ruthless at promoting their children as they would be promoting this season line or issue.

by Anonymousreply 1007/24/2010

I live outside of DC and several times a year there are local news stories of attempted abductions or random acts of violence committed on young children. I witnessed 2 men assault a young boy at a local store and later called the local police. The policeman informed me that this happens all the time and that it is a major problem in the area (a nice suburb of DC). I don't know about the rest of the county, but there are a LOT of freaks in the DC area. I can see why parents are protective here. I wouldn't take any chances either.

by Anonymousreply 1107/24/2010

I live in DC also, R11. It's a complete and total shithole.

I feel unsafe at 1:00 in the afternoon. And I'm a 38 year old man who used to jog at midnight when I lived in LA and Atlanta.

by Anonymousreply 1207/24/2010

There's a difference in wanting your kid to be safe or HOVERING over your kid so that they become some snot nosed shit that thinks the world owes them something. Those parents aren't doing their kids any favors. And yes, I AM a parent.

by Anonymousreply 1307/24/2010

As a college professor I deal with parents WAY more than you would EVER expect. A colleague once said, these are not "helicopter parents", rather they are "parachute parents". They don't just hover around, rather at the mere sign of trouble they dive right into the situation. It is no wonder the youth of today do not know how to act like adults. Their mommies and daddies get involved the split second there is a problem so they never learn any interpersonal, problem solving, or conflict negotiation skills.

Pathetic but true

by Anonymousreply 1407/24/2010

R9 = a pedo on the prowl.

by Anonymousreply 1507/24/2010

r14, I know parents who tried to get involved with the professors at college. It is absolutely ridiculous. %0D %0D I feel sorry for all teachers and professors now.%0D %0D At your level, can you refuse to speak to the parents? I assume HS teachers can't since the kiddos are minors, the parents are allowed to basically harrass the teachers.

by Anonymousreply 1607/24/2010

I was a child of the 60's.%0D %0D *I remember going to the local store to buy my parents cigarettes--and spending the change on candy. Today my folks would be arrested by the police and I would have to listen to some hysterical rant about childhood obesity.%0D %0D Btw, my friends and I ate French fries and ice cream sandwhiches at lunchtime--along with the de riguer peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches made for us. None of us were fat (in fact, I was so skinny it was a family joke). I also drank soda. Now if a child drinks a Pepsi and eats potato chips some vegan will go off the charts.%0D %0D *In high school we hung out at night at the park or the local diner. We walked everywhere, since we were not old enough to drive.%0D %0D *No one was on Prozac and Ritalin. My cousin teaches at a middle school and it is astonishing how many children are legallly stoned.%0D %0D Btw, it is amazing how many students today are "learning disabled." They have "learning disablities" and therefore need more time for tests and papers. Whatever happened to someone being lazy?

by Anonymousreply 1707/24/2010

OP, was your mom at home?

by Anonymousreply 1807/24/2010

These parents don't call their children's bosses after college do they? I imagine the young adults figure out pretty quick how to deal in the real world.

by Anonymousreply 1907/24/2010

From the age of 8-12 I would walk a mile to school alone every day, with 1 very busy road to get across. There also used to be a mall my Mom would take me to where there was a kid's play room and the Mom's would leave the kids in there alone for a few hours while they shopped for clothes. All of this was normal in the 70's up until maybe the end of the decade. My older brother told me later that from junior high school through high school the main way he got around town was through daily hitchhiking.

by Anonymousreply 2007/24/2010

My sister and her husband are as R14 describes, except I think they stop once the kid hits college. Before that point my sister will call teachers to get her kids grade changed or a parent if the child wasn't invited to a certain party. My BIL even got his 14 yr old out of her 3 week summer job after only a day; he told the boss that she needs to enjoy the summer. Fuck responsibility. Now as they get older they wonder why the kids are so spoiled and helpless.

As to the original point... I was a child of the 80s and we would just disappear on our bikes for hours. Now there is over scheduling and so many things to do at home. Neighborhoods are different, whereas everyone used to be out, now all you see is cars pulling in and out of driveways. The child abductions routinely heard on the news fuels paranoia. I don't think the care free days of yesteryear will ever return.

by Anonymousreply 2107/24/2010

I have a theory: Today's young parents were the first generation of day-care kids, the children of the "Me Generation" and the Yuppies. %0D %0D I think they have a very strong feeling that their parents failed them, and were never available when they needed help. So they overcompensate like mad, and IMHO most people who are angry with their own parents do that with their kids. %0D %0D I mean, most of the craziest stuff they do is centered around overprotecting their kids - from phantom pedophiles or unfair teachers, or other totally nonexistent threats. Whaddya think?

by Anonymousreply 2207/24/2010

interesting r22%0D

by Anonymousreply 2307/24/2010

R15, no I'm not, you shithead - it's just simply a lie to say that EVERY week an child is abducted.

by Anonymousreply 2407/24/2010

R17, schools get more money for learning disabled kids so many times, it's the schools who will call a parent in and say they think little Johnny or Suzie needs medication because they've noticed the child is antsy or daydreaming.

We moved when my son was in 2nd grade and a few weeks into the school year, his teacher called me and suggested my son had ADD. Forget that he had NO symptoms other than the fact that he hated to write. (He still does, 10 years later) According to her, this showed a problem that required he be drugged. To appease the school, he went for testing and the gentleman who conducted the tests agreed with my assessment that the teacher was off her rocker and couldn't be more wrong. No ADD in the slightest but the worrying thing was, I later learned 3-4 other mothers ended up putting their kids on meds because this teacher told them their kids needed it.

by Anonymousreply 2507/24/2010

Ugh helicoter parents are annoying. I understand that they want their kids to be safe but there is a limit to the control they have over them. I notice that the more parents restrict the kids from doing things, more than likely they will seriously rebel when they leave the house.%0D %0D I was raised by my maternal grandparents and dad (mom died when I was 3 from cancer) and they were near hovering parents. I can't think of anything specific other than they never let me sleep over my friends' house except this one time in 6th grade. They always use the same excuse "You have your own bed, sleep there". There are other things like them constanting calling either me or my sister when we went out.%0D %0D My youngest aunt and uncle are some seriously hovering parents. They don't let their kids do anything basically. When we were on a cruise about 2 weeks ago, all they kept telling their kids is 'No'. I understand in some cases like not running around near the pool. But threatening them that if they even step out the pool they will leave is just dumb. Or when we go to a shop they couldn't touch anything. Glass items I get but shirts or whatever not really. They aren't the kind to grab and throw things. They also will tell them that the police will take them away if they do anything that they don't allow. Come on they are 3 and 5 years old, let them be kids.

by Anonymousreply 2607/24/2010

[quote]Now if a child drinks a Pepsi and eats potato chips some vegan will go off the charts.

Oh, PLEASE. Have you *been* inside a middle or high school in recent years? I have: vending machines are EVERYWHERE, and many kids have a Coke and candy bar in lieu of lunch.

[quote]it's just simply a lie to say that EVERY week an child is abducted.

R24, I'm not R15, but your naivete is both charming and sad. See link.

by Anonymousreply 2707/24/2010

I agree with the people who say these helicopter parents only see their kids as extensions of themselves. My mom was helicopter-like and I was only allowed to pursue activites she approved of. I'm in my 30's now and dread her bi-weekly phone calls which I feel guilty about.

by Anonymousreply 2807/24/2010

28, get an unlisted number or a spine.%0D %0D Children need to develope their own instincts as they navigate life. It's the only way they can protect themselves. It's almost impossible to become a street savvy person (or cul de sac savvy) if someone is protecting you from every possible obstacle or threat. Children have to be taught what to do when faced with potentially dangerous situations (getting lost ion a store, confronted by a stranger, etc)%0D %0D Adam Walsh was with his mother when he went missing. She was a few aisles away. He was in a huge store with people all around.

by Anonymousreply 2907/24/2010

People didn't care/realize how dangerous it was back then. I grew up in the 1970s and recall teenagers inviting us little kids to their pot and booze parties, creepy old men tricking girls into touching them, stuff like that. Parents remember that and don't want their own kids to go through it.

That said, isolation isn't the answer, either.

by Anonymousreply 3007/24/2010

r29 - she was not a few aisles away. She dropped him off in the Sears videogame section and left him there while she went off to fuck the man she was having an affair with. The very notion that Adam was snatched from just a few aisles away was a huge lie told to the media to protect her from being savaged by the public. And the story was so juicy, so utterly horrible that it tapped into the private fears of every parent - the media ran with it and it became "truth". Just like the razor in the apple at Halloween. It never happened.

by Anonymousreply 3107/24/2010

Do you really think she was going to leave a 6 year old alone and go off for a few hours to have sex? It was actually a 17 year old security guard who threw some rowdy kids out and Adam followed the other kids outside. I mentioned in my post above that parents were much less worried about young kids in public a generation ago.

by Anonymousreply 3207/24/2010

r31, is that a rumor or fact?

by Anonymousreply 3307/24/2010

R31, I don't think that is true. That was sort of an urban myth. A really cruel one at that because supposedly she carries tremendous guilt. %0D %0D R32, I remember that report about the teens being thrown out of the store. I'm not sure how sure they are about Adam just following them out. I still find it hard to believe that this killer child molestor just happened to be outside at that exact time.

by Anonymousreply 3407/24/2010

I've read a lot about the Adam Walsh case including all of JW's books and never heard the rumor about Adam's mother meeting a lover until recently on DL. Allegedly she was shopping for lamps when the group of teenage boys who were playing video games became disruptive and were told to leave the store. Adam was amongst the boys and shuffled outside as well. %0D %0D It is not illogical that Ottis Toole (or whoever abducted him) saw Adam standing outside the store and abducted him. R34 stating, "I still find it hard to believe that this killer child molester just happened to be outside at that exact time," is absurd. It's called being at the wrong place at the wrong time. It happens. For all we know Ottis (or whoever killed Adam) had been shopping at Sears that day and watched it all go down seizing the opportunity to abduct a child. %0D %0D Ottis Toole was a serial killer. Adam was an innocent 6 year old little boy. I wouldn't have known what to do as a 6 year old and told to leave a store. No doubt I would have obeyed the authority figure and left the store - clueless and scared, no less.%0D %0D RIP Adam Walsh. %0D %0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 3507/25/2010

I was like R17 and I agree. Life with kids is a little nuts these days.

Between the peanut allergy kids, the kids on prescription drugs for behavior modification issues, etc. it is a whole different world than what I grew up in.

Again too tho, I agree, there is a difference between protection of your child's safety at a young age or even an older age in a city environment and a helicopter parent interfering on all levels of schooling, socializing etc.

I too bought my father cigarettes at the local corner store and used the change for candy and no one even batted an eye lash. And yes, they were for my dad and no I do not smoke today and never did.

by Anonymousreply 3607/25/2010

This article explains that Reve was having an affair and alludes to the bizarre time line of their unknown whereabouts during 11am - 2pm. I'm sure there are other articles detailing this. I did a quick google just to post something.

by Anonymousreply 3707/25/2010

No one has mentioned parents showing up at every soccer or baseball game or track meet. My parents came to a few games and most of my chorus recitals, I think, but mostly I was dropped off and picked up later. They had their own lives which was fine with me.

I think these over-involved parents have no inner life or friends and use their children to fill the void.

by Anonymousreply 3807/25/2010

parents live vicariously thru their kids's weird.

by Anonymousreply 3907/25/2010

Our parents were busy drinking, smoking endless cigarettes, cheating on their spouses, eating butter and red meat, and generally making a mess of their lives.

Today's parents don't have those outlets, so they self-medicate by using their children as stimulants.

by Anonymousreply 4007/25/2010

The story of Reve leaving Adam to go off and have sex with someone makes no sense, even for back then.%0D

by Anonymousreply 4107/25/2010

"For all we know Ottis (or whoever killed Adam) had been shopping at Sears that day and watched it all go down seizing the opportunity to abduct a child."%0D %0D That is what I was suggesting. That the abductor had been in the store maybe even cruising for a child to take and eyed Adam and not that a child molestor just happened to be outside at the opportune time. %0D %0D That said, if the abductor was in the store looking for children then Adam's mother was close by in the store and even that did not prevent it. %0D %0D But just happened to be driving by that store exit? That's what I find unlikely. And that is why you have to teach your kids to speak up or act. I know this because I had an experience when a friend and I were encountered on a deserted playground by an older teen and something about his behavior just seemed wrong - nothing obvious. I whispered to my friend to run and we ran the hell out of there. Maybe it was the hyperimagination of a child but I guess I'll never know.

by Anonymousreply 4207/25/2010

r. 39 hit the nail on the head with the helicopter parents. I am a college professor and I find that these parents are trying to either re-live or make up for the mistakes they made when they were in college through their children. The sad part is that they think they are doing their children some good but these kids can't make a simple decision because their parents make all the decisions for them. Beyond that, try to have a discussion in class with these kids. They can't think for themselves.

by Anonymousreply 4307/25/2010

[quote]I am a college professor and I find that these parents are trying to either re-live or make up for the mistakes they made when they were in college through their children.

Spend some time wandering around College Confidential or one of the other "how to get into college" websites if you want to see endless examples of this.

The strange thing is that the more exclusive the college is the less engaged the kids themselves seem to be. If you told me that 75% of the admissions essays are written by the parents, I would believe you.

by Anonymousreply 4407/25/2010

R44, the HR bitch at my boyfriend's office had him write her daughters admissions essay for her. Not proofread it and make suggestions, write the whole goddamned thing from a list that contained things like "Was born again in 1999, continue to serve the Lord every day" "Center on basketball" "volunteer with animals" "enjoy reading" It was pathetic. She got into college but The HR Bitch is still just as psycho as ever. I keep telling him to blackmail her crazy ass with it.

by Anonymousreply 4507/25/2010

The level this has come to is astounding. GenX has raised the most pampered children ever in history. If you try to give more autonomy to your own children society comes down around you. My 16 yo has had no where near the life experiences I had by the same point in my own life. I have helicopetered, because it seemsthat is what was expected of me. A few months ago various people chastised me for allowing said 16yo to walk across a busy intersection. I do not believe in the overparenting going on now, but it is just part of our culture now.

by Anonymousreply 4607/25/2010

I wonder if this loooong adolescence and young "adulthood" will be even more prolonged now that children will be required to be covered on parent's insurance until age 27. Interesting to see (or not)what will be created with the new social experiments and the recession/depression and today's generation of kids.

by Anonymousreply 4707/25/2010

i agree. i would love to send my son out to play...but with whom? all the kids around here are so scheduled that there is no room for free play and they are constantly supervised. what fun is that?

by Anonymousreply 4807/25/2010

Interesting stories. As a kid I had the run of the city, the state, wherever I wanted.

Used to walk a half mile to school every day. Nobody ever bothered me.

When I was 12 I got the 10 speed bike. I'd learned to ride a few years before. You hardly saw me during the summer. I was with my friends going all over the place on bikes. One summer I put 1,500 miles on that bike.

If I had a kid the only thing I'd really be worried about is the maniacs on the road around here.

by Anonymousreply 4907/25/2010

Out to play? Be serious, kids today spend their days and nights passively staring at a screen. It might be a television, or it might be a video game, but it involves a screen.

We've raised a generation of Chance the Gardeners in Being There-- "they like to watch."

by Anonymousreply 5007/25/2010

murm, that's the main reason I don't know about having kids. Who the hell are they going to play with? If I send them out in the neighborhood, there's nobody around. I seriously had no idea there were even any kids in my neighborhood until one morning I woke up to a line of cars in front of the house. The parents all drove their kids to the bus stop and had the kids waiting in their cars. Oh and Halloween, there were kids at least 13 years old with their fucking parents. I would've died at that age.

by Anonymousreply 5107/25/2010

This might be very rude to say, but I never had a good feeling about any of the adults in Adam Walsh's life, and I'm especially grossed out by the way his father turned his abduction and murder into a career in "entertainment." Disgusting, vile people.

by Anonymousreply 5207/25/2010

R52, don't you think John Walsh has done a lot for missing and exploited children? He's been invaluable in changing laws, raising money, and helping other families of missing children - not to mention his career on AMW capturing fugitives. Why do you get a negative vibe from him? Sure he and his wife's sex life is non-traditional, but WTF cares? He's dedicated his life to important causes. He can't be all bad.

by Anonymousreply 5307/25/2010

Agree, r53.

by Anonymousreply 5407/25/2010

R37, I just read the article and their was no reference to Reve's "bizarre" timeline. It only mentioned Jimmy Campbell not having an alibi. He states he was alone in his cabana during those hours so no one could confirm it. Her timeline didn't seem unusual or contrived.

by Anonymousreply 5507/25/2010

RE playing outside

When I visit family in the burbs we are the only people in the front yard. The backyard is mostly woods and the grassy area is small. No one else uses their front yard. Sometimes you don%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99t hear anyone else outside. Very creepy.

RE extended time at school. I teach HS in NYC

Learning issues:

If it is a real problem the kids get tested and they get an IEP that the schools have to follow. I get a copy of the IEP too. Sadly, once they get it the parents can get it modified to say almost anything. And then they threaten to sue so the powers that be back down. These kids can get extended time on their SATs and APs because of the documentation. Oh, colleges don%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99t know the kids take the tests on extended time- cute isn%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99t it.

When the kids want extra time and they really shouldn%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99t their parents get them a 504. Usually it takes a letter from some doctor. I doubt they are tested. I never believe these except for a few kids who don%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99t have the money for the full battery of test. These kids cannot get extended time on the SATs and APs, except for a few cases.

Most teachers can tell after the first few weeks who needs it and who doesn%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99t. I don%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99t allow extended time for any test unless i get the IEP or 504 form. Parents will call and beg and I tell them no. They call the admins or guidance and I say no. Suddenly, a 504 appears. My masters is in special ed so I ask to see their testing results to find ways to help their child. The ones with real issues often send me copies of the test results. 99% don%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99t.

I don%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99t like my students on the drugs because if i teach them not in the right time period, they are zombies or extra wild. That being said, I have had a few kids I wanted to seatbelt to their chairs.

by Anonymousreply 5607/25/2010

I went to high school in the 1970s, in a wealthy suburb. The following happened to myself and my friends, while we were minors, and none of our parents gave a shit:%0D %0D - I knew of two date-rapes, no adult ever helped the girls.%0D %0D - I also knew three girls who managed to get abortions without their parents finding out.%0D %0D - A 16-year-old girl moved in with her 30-year-old boyfriend, and her parents were happy to have her out of the house. (Both parents were college professors) %0D %0D - 3 boys drove their mopeds 200 miles to the mountains, without helmets, and they drove most of the way at night. Their parents didn't care.%0D %0D - Another boy like chemistry, and made something volatile enough to destroy his parents' garage. %0D %0D - A naked man jumped out of the bushes and wanked on a girl. Her parents wouldn't drive her to school the next day, she had to walk by the same route. %0D %0D - Drug deals on campus, etc.%0D %0D There was more, but it a long time ago and anyway it was a school with less than 500 students (but a very wealthy school). Anyway, my point is, some SERIOUS UNDERPARENTING went on a generation or two ago, and I think today's overparenting is a reaction to what happened then. Parenting fads come and go and are very widespread, as parents are so swayed by peer pressure.

by Anonymousreply 5707/25/2010

OK, so how do kids get drunk, high and laid if parents are really so involved?

by Anonymousreply 5807/25/2010

R57, did you go to school in Dallas, by any chance?

by Anonymousreply 5907/25/2010

I'm guessing r.57, the most important word in your post is WEALTHY suburb. I grew up and went to high school in the 70's in a middle-class suburb. While there were the few girls who dropped out who became pregnant and a lot of pot smoking going on, that was it. We had things like curfew, one tv in the house, ask your parents if you can use their car (not get your own car), get your homework done and have a job, etc. And we turned out fine.

by Anonymousreply 6007/25/2010

r17, I was a child of the 1970s, but your story sounds exactly like mine.

I bought cigarettes for my babysitter (she was in her 60s and too lazy to go get them). I couldn't be bothered to go into a store and ask for them, I just went into a local restaurant and bought them out of the machine. Drop the change, pull the handle and voila there was a package. (The funny thing is that if the machine was out of her brand, I just pulled whatever knob I felt like pulling. She usually smoked whatever I brought. LOL)

I also ate whatever I felt like as a child and was very skinny. For weeks and weeks, I spent my entire allowance on York Peppermint Patties and Coca-Cola. I would stuff my face with York Peppermint Patties and then go home and eat a full dinner. I still wonder how I never puked all that mess up. I guess the difference was that I had to walk or ride my bike a mile each way to get to the store, so I probably burned it all off.

The thing that I find interesting is that today, every kid has a cellphone. In case of trouble, wouldn't today's kid be able to call someone? We didn't have that when I was growing up. But we did hang around other kids. You rarely saw a kid by himself, we were always in groups of 2, 3 and as many as 10.

by Anonymousreply 6107/25/2010

RE the safety issue: I'm a parent who wants to let their kids get as much real-life experience as is safe, and I'm frequently told by others that my kids are very self-confident and independent. We live in a "safe" European city. Still, there are many things that I would NEVER allow my kids to do alone out of fear for their safety. %0D %0D Sadly, no matter what r9/r24 believes, child abductions even by strangers do occur every week at least (and that doesn't include the ones perpetrated by family members). I realize that the chance of such a thing happening to any given child is statistically very small, but if my child were one of those statistics, I would never forgive myself, and many parents today probably think like I do. %0D %0D Whereas in my parents' generation three children were the norm out in the suburbs where I grew up, and families with more children than that weren't uncommon, upper-middle-class parents today typically have only one or two children, and all their care is concentrated on fewer focal points. Losing a child is devastating for any normal parent, but losing your only child is the kind of thing that drives people over the edge.%0D %0D And as for cellphones -- although they're useful for keeping tabs on a kid, in an abduction situation they're pretty useless because the first thing the abductor will do is take it away. %0D %0D Bizarre as it may sound, what might actually work for small children/ preteens would be a kind of GPS-linked tracking chip that could be implanted just under the skin and activated via police or a security service if the child disappears. There was a professore somewhere in England who had developed a prototype for that kind of chip, but it's never been produced. Interestingly, I read in an interview that this professor had had a rash of inquiries after the Maddie McCann disappearance, so maybe someone is working on it now.

by Anonymousreply 6207/26/2010

[quote]tracking chip that could be implanted just under the skin %0D %0D Your veterinarian can help you with that, r62.

by Anonymousreply 6307/26/2010

Actually, no, R63. The chips used for pets only store data and don't have an energy source; in other words, they can only be scanned at close range using a scanner. You can't track a body geographically using them.%0D %0D I had thought of that, though.

by Anonymousreply 6407/26/2010

Uh, no fuck no. Nobody is planting a chip in my kid.

by Anonymousreply 6507/26/2010

Did we ever figure out why today's parents are so psychotically over-involved with their kids? Is it b/c they were day care denizens as children themselves?

by Anonymousreply 6609/07/2010

I suspect kids today get away with just as much, if not more, then kids before them.%0D %0D I%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99m a child of the 80%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99s and parents were hysterical about us getting abducted like Johnny Gosch, or getting raped. I still managed to spend long hours with friends socializing with the local drug dealers and pimps.%0D %0D I suspect a lot of the helicopter parents%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99 supervision is nothing but noise. Just like the mothers in our office who spend hours on the phone with their kids, drilling them with questions about where are they and with who, but they can%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99t really know, just like our parents couldn%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99t.

by Anonymousreply 6709/07/2010

My neighbor is a part-time creative freelancer Mommy who helped her average daughter with her college application. Mommy and hubby are Yale grads. %0D %0D Between the editing, book binding, photo inserts, videos and vacant biography editing and such -- guess what? The daughter was turned down at all her choice colleges. And they have money!%0D %0D Ohh, so sad!%0D %0D %0D %0D %0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 6809/07/2010

I know a couple whose 9-year-old daughter is home schooled with mother hovering over her around the clock. Actually that should be [bold]AROUND THE CLOCK[/bold]. She was born at home (midwife) and has slept between her parents from that day forward. She has a room in the house but it's for her playthings, no bed. The mother, a Vegan, is afraid that if the child plays with others, they could offer her cookies or candy. Someone once asked the child what she wanted for her birthday. The only thing she wanted was a chocolate cupcake. Naturally, Vegan mom wouldn't allow such a thing in the house. Her TV viewing is so restricted that she really doesn't even know how other kids live. %0D %0D I have a feeling that when this kid gets into her teens, she's going to notice what others have and is going to try to escape her Vegan helicopter mother.

by Anonymousreply 6909/07/2010

Helicopter Parents and their children are fucking up this country beyond belief.

by Anonymousreply 7009/07/2010

Helicopter Parents = Fraus

by Anonymousreply 7109/07/2010

It was so much fun being a kid in a large city, without much adult supervision. I loved it.

by Anonymousreply 7209/07/2010

I didn't hover over my own kid. I tried to teach her about certain hazzards. I told her I'd rather she smoke pot, rather than drink too much. She didn't listen to a lot of things I tried to teach her but she had fun...along with some pain. Don't keep your kids from the best times of their lives.

by Anonymousreply 7309/07/2010

R43 scares me. I think he is correct.

by Anonymousreply 7409/07/2010

"Helicopter parents" are less about people worried about shit happening to their kids and more about people worried about other parents judging their parenting. It's just another way to compete against one another - "See! I'm a better parent because I would never let my kid ride on a toboggan. I keep mine wrapped head-to-toe in his Ralph Lauren vegan BPA-free bubble wrap. I win."

by Anonymousreply 7509/07/2010

The parents who spend thousands of dollars and hours...pushing their kid into a sport that they aren't any good at, or too young for...that gets on my nerves.

by Anonymousreply 7609/07/2010

When I was a kid, I had to go home for lunch at 12n. I heard the noon whistle blow and if I wasn't home within 3 minutes, I would hear my mother calling me. After lunch, if my mother hadn't heard from me for an hour or two, she'd call me (out the front door, not on a phone).. I didn't have to go home-- I just had to answer her so she knew where I was and that I was ok.

When I went over another kid's house to play, my mother had to know which house I was going to, give me permission, make sure the other kid's parent was home and gave the ok and I had to be home in about 2 hours. None of us in our neighborhood were allowed to play indoors at other kids' houses all day long. We had to spend a good deal of time outside in the fresh air or, if it was raining, we could spend some time at another house, but not all day as it was seen as an imposition. None of us ate lunch at our friends' houses. Everyone went home for lunch when their mom called them.

Today I have sn adopted 12 year old and kids start calling and showing up at my house at 9 am. They do not leave at lunchtime and will stay until 7 pm if I allow them. I do not allow it. I believe their parents need to see their children (if they are home -- and quite a few parents work from home at least part of the day) sometime during the day to make sure they are safe. If I allowed kids to stay for lunch, I'd be feeding 5 or 6 of them every day.

I'd like to know where the hell these "helicopter parents" are. Where I live, parents would be very happy for me to be their unpaid babysitter for 10 hours a day. Yet when I ask if my son might spend a few hours at their house, I get, "Oh, but I work from home. He wouldn't have much fun as I need it quiet around here." Or, "Gee, we can't. We're having company." Yet their kid will show up at my house to hang out, telling me he doesn't like the people who are visiting (if, in fact, anyone really is visiting).

The people around here are the opposite of helicopter parents. They're perfectly happy to have their kids out of the house day and night.

by Anonymousreply 7709/07/2010

[quote]I've read a lot about the Adam Walsh case including all of JW's books and never heard the rumor about Adam's mother meeting a lover until recently on DL

Wasn't the Walsh case the one where the parents' sex lives came out in the press and they were thought to be the perpetrators for a while? Or at least blamed for the boy's disappearance?

by Anonymousreply 7809/07/2010

I have met many helicopter parents over these past few years, but the ones that take the cake are the helicopter fathers. Because while 80% of all helicopter parents seem to be women, the most memorably vicious helicopter parents are almost always men. These are insane, sociopathic men who practically foam at the mouth if you even suggest that Junior might have to commit himself a little more to the material.

by Anonymousreply 7909/07/2010

The comments about university kids having parents who participate too much is weird for me. My parents wouldn't even help me fill out applications, and I ended up moving out on my own before I graduated high school. By college, they were nowhere around. Yet I had a multiple professors refuse to believe my parents were out of the picture. They would criticize me for having a job, saying my time should be spent studying instead of working to pay the rent. Admissions almost wouldn't let me go to orientation without my parents there, and I was denied financial aid until my best friend and I (he was in the same situation) married each other just so we could qualify. Landlords wouldn't rent to me unless I had parents sign the lease. Banks wouldn't let me open a checking. This was all in 1990-1994, by the way, when I was 18-22 years old and a full adult.

I'm just not entirely ready to blame parents for the whole thing, not after the experiences I had nearly 20 years ago.

by Anonymousreply 8009/07/2010

I grew up in the 60's, in suburban Philadelphia (Upper Darby). We were middle middle class. And, I believe a lot of parenting choices back then had to do with the number of children a parent, usually Mom, had to watch out for in a day, and did they have babies at home to watch. My parents had 5 kids, 3-6 kids was the norm. I remmeber this one girl, Ann, who was an only child. She was really a nice kid, but her parents were hell bent strict on her. She told us part of the reason was her mother had like 13 miscarriages and she was the only live birth. Sad. %0D %0D But, yeah, we rode our bikes all over hell and back, we played handball for hours on deserted playgrounds surround by link fences with holes in them everywhere to get from someone's back yard to the playground. We never ever thought of something bad happening and never heard of anything really bad happening to anyone. We'd stay out for hours at night collecting lightening bugs, telling stories, "going steady", going past the neighborhood haunted house, and generally just hanging out, but OUTSIDE. The worst thing, or first really bad thing I remember happening was the 8 Nurses who were killed by one man in Chicago in one night. That happened in the mid 60's. Then gradually things got worse. Although the 8 nurses died after the Kennedy assasination, it was more frightening than the Kennedy assasination and the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald on TV. %0D %0D But by the late 60's it almost seemed like an expected occurence that some political figure or public figure would be killed especially after Robert Kennedy and MLK. Then the Kent State murders happened on campus and I remember feeling things were changing. Life did not seem as safe. People were not as friendly or normal than they used to be. Safety was becomming an issue. Murder rates were going up. Sex was everywhere. Drugs becoming middle class.%0D %0D When I grew up there was no drugs or booze. These were taboo and off limits and if you knew what was good for you you'd stay off limits. And it didn't matter whose house you were at, off limist was off limits. The worst thing we did as kids was smoke cigarettes. Oooohh, only the "bad" kids smoked cigarettes. I never even tried pot until I was 20 and I did not in any way lead a sheltered life, quite the opposite. There was a community to raise children back then, there were rules, there was discipline, and given all that, I had, in comparison to what I see today, a wonderful childhood. %0D %0D I remember when I was 13 I had stolen a bottle of cologne from a department store and took it to school, show everyone how cool I was (talk about a jerky thing to do). My teacher knew it wasn't really mine and wanted to know how I got it. I manufactured some bullshit story, but they knew. Off to the dean of boys I was sent. He spent 5 minutes listening to my BS and called the store detective. I had to walk back to the store on my own, ask for the store detective, give back the cologne and beg for mercy he didn't call my parents. Huh. Still after all this he called. There were a lot of people involved in this experience and all had my best interest at heart, to scare the shit out of me so that I never stole anything again. My parents didn't say a word, in fact didn't talk to me for a week, which was hard on me. They explained I had embarassed and shamed them and they had nothing to say to me. Know what? It worked. I even give cashier money back when I think they've made a mistake.%0D %0D I would hate to have a child around today. To have to send them to school where they have to be scanned for guns. To worry if someone in school might "go off" (teacher or student) and kill my child, and how can kids possibly learn anything in these environments. And, I'm sorry, but a child is abducted or goes missing EVERY DAY in this country. EVERY DAY. Some are killed, some are kidnapped, some are locked in a cage by some crazed parents because they got a C in English, some kill themselves. I would neither want to be parent or kid today.

by Anonymousreply 8109/07/2010

"worry if someone in school might 'go off' (teacher or student)"%0D %0D It's far more likely that the latter will happen than the former, by the way.

by Anonymousreply 8209/07/2010

I'm in HR at a large-ish (500 head) organisation. It's not uncommon for parents to phone up and ask about a job on their kids' behalf and request some paperwork, or to accompany them to the interview, or to fill in their sign-on admin, or to phone us up and ask for another pay statement because Precious lost it. These are "kids" in their late teens to early twenties. They're all completely clueless but that's okay. Mommy's always there to wipe their ass.

by Anonymousreply 8309/07/2010

I grew up on a farm. I don't remember a time when I wasn't allowed to come and go by myself or with my sister. My grandfather taught me how to be safe around the stables, and my mum and grandmother taught me to cook and tend the chickens and goats. I guess there were always adults around but they weren't hovering - they were going about their business and tolerated us being under foot. If I wanted to explore the fields or woods, I would. Didn't tell anyone but I knew if I was late for a meal I was SOL.

I moved to NYC by myself when I was still 17 to attend uni. I have my own flat and I cook and clean for myself. My da works in the city and he stops by occasionally and he stays the night from time to time.

I'll be 20 in a few weeks and I am pretty fearless, except in large crowds because I'm shy. But I'll take off by myself anytime, anywhere without giving it a second thought.

by Anonymousreply 8409/07/2010

I don't intend to put this all off on the moms, but they are the ones who do most of the parenting. And both working moms and stay-at-home moms are compensating for different reasons.

The working moms are showing that, despite pursuing their own careers, they can still out-parent the next person.

And the stay-at-home moms are threatened by the working moms and want to show that being a real mom requires 24/7 commitment. In essence, they've expanded their job descriptions.

And I pity the poor kids. They aren't being prepared to go out into the world.

by Anonymousreply 8509/07/2010

"We never ever thought of something bad happening and never heard of anything really bad happening to anyone."%0D %0D Well, that's a big reason for the explosion of helicopter parenting - a generalized loss of innocence. Everyone with a clue realizes that bad things can happen to their kid.%0D %0D So, today's parents are not only terrified by the stories they hear on the news, they're terrified by things like our own "Disturbing Memories of Childhood" thread. The abuse of children isn't a family secret any more, and neither is the way children hate a parent who ignored or enabled abuse, even if they didn't participate. More than anything, today's moms and dads are afraid they'll be busy when that bully or pedophile goes after their kid, so they've become hypervigilant and paranoid. And annoying, and stifling.

by Anonymousreply 8609/07/2010


by Anonymousreply 8709/07/2010

In the local paper they had an article about velcro parents. No longer do they just hover and come in for a rescue, they now are attached to the child with velcro. %0D %0D Some colleges are having seminars the parents get to attend while their children are actually doing their thing. One family not just mom and dad but family stayed for 3 weeks in a b&b to make sure their child was going to be OK. Wow.

by Anonymousreply 8809/07/2010

In college, I was a summer counselor for a family-style camp (families would rent a cabin and activities were set up for the kids by age group).

What I noticed was that some of the worst helicopter parents were older men with young children by their second or third wives.

Because these couples usually only had one or two kids (and because the dads were away so much at work), the moms were ridiculously involved with their kids. The dads didn't spend as much time with the kids, but when they did, they were even worse than the moms.

My group was ages 4-5 and I would get laminated pages on their kid's food likes and dislikes for snack time, preferred play activities, and art projects. None of the info was of any importance (like a food allergy or medical condition) but the parents wanted to set up meetings to discuss their child as though the kid was going off to war.

Of course, once the kids got away from their parents and started having fun, they were incredibly easy to get along with. The parents were always flabbergasted that little Justin or Jessica enjoyed their lunch even though back home they only ate sashimi on the weekends.

by Anonymousreply 8909/08/2010


READ LINK!!!!!!!!!!!

by Anonymousreply 9002/22/2013

Should be shot down

by Anonymousreply 9102/22/2013

The "Free Range Kids" movement is fighting back.

by Anonymousreply 9202/22/2013

Helicopter Parenting Spreads to Pets

by Anonymousreply 9302/22/2013

I find modern parents and their OBNOXIOUS, fear-driven ways to be disgusting, as if they smell. Sometimes I see their children sagely noticing my irritation.

by Anonymousreply 9402/22/2013

R93 A friend of mine is on the DO NOT ADOPT TO list with all German Shorthaired Pointer rescues in the country because he told one of these rescue women that He Lives In An Apartment.

by Anonymousreply 9502/22/2013

r92. r90 just posted that same link. Douche.

by Anonymousreply 9602/22/2013


by Anonymousreply 9702/24/2013

It all started with 24 hour cable news programming and the trumpeting of any child tragedy anywhere in the world.

by Anonymousreply 9802/24/2013

No wonder the unemployment rate is higher for these idiots. They have no clue.

Whatever happened to "self-reliance"?

by Anonymousreply 9902/24/2013

My fondest memories of growing up in the 80s were of roaming around with my neighborhood friends. We had *some* boundaries (avoiding the really busy streets where there was a lot of traffic was the biggest rule), but mostly we were told "be back by X hour" and that was it.

Back then, there were at least 4 stay at home moms on our block. My mom worked, so I was always stopping by some other house for snacks or to play in a friend's pool, etc. Yes, there was more of a sense of community.

But with that community came the teaching of responsibility. None of the parents I interacted with ever interfered with what we were doing because we already knew that if we got into trouble, we'd have our asses kicked. It was drilled into our heads that we had to behave and not menace our community.

Fast forward to last week and I'm having a conversation with a co-worker, who tells me she is frightened to allow her 6 year old to wake up and pour cereal without her supervision. When I was 6, I was a latch-key kid who walked home alone and made myself dinner before my parents came home!

When these kids grow up, they're going to need help wiping their asses. It's unbelievable.

by Anonymousreply 10002/24/2013


by Anonymousreply 10102/24/2013


by Anonymousreply 10202/26/2013

I have about half a dozen friends with varying severities of control issues who are now getting little internet nanny cams for their house-bound pets and OBSESSING over them. The best new development is that most of the pets have figured out how to hide from the fucking field of vision and it drives the owners nuts.

One particularly batty male couple went on vacation and roped a friend to stay with the dogs. They called up from an ocean cruise to say they "haven't seen the dogs in 30 minutes and is everything OK? Oh, and can you move the coffee table back 6 inches to where we had it?"

I'm not kidding.

by Anonymousreply 10302/26/2013
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