Thursday, February 04, 2010

Hyper Parents & Coddled Kids

Hubby and I watched a documentary on CBC about the impact "over parenting" has on children.

"Hyper Parents & Coddled Kids" is an eye opening program.

Even before birth, we want the very best for our kids. From enrolling toddlers in ballet classes and soccer classes, to putting three and four year olds in reading and math programs, parents want their kids to have a leg up above all the other kids. The documentary discusses how "beneficial" (or detrimental) all of this can be.

The program likened children to "investments" for their parents. Being the best of the best is key. In theory, getting into the best preschool leads to getting into the best school. That leads into getting accepted into the best university...which leads to getting a good job. A good job leads to a good life.

In some cases, parents being over involved in their kids' lives and "hovering" extends into university years and even when their kids enter the work place.

Children are the most prized, precious, and important to parents. Because they'll do anything and everything for their kids, it is suggested that due to over-parenting, the result is children growing up with the feeling of self-entitlement, and being spoiled, demanding, and unrealistic. Generation Y people are as a whole described as a generation that is "challenging". Paying their dues does not enter into their vernacular.

The documentary shows how those who were fed with a silver spoon could end up not knowing how to handle their own issues, problems, or conflicts when they are in the working world.

Hubby chuckled when a clip of a baby taking swimming lessons came on. Yes, I take Little One swimming on Mondays. She has play group on Thursdays (if she wakes up early enough). She has play dates a few times a week with different kids her age. I read to her often throughout the day and I have a time of the day when she listens to music and dances with me. We have play time when we play with her toys.

To me, this is just something I can do for her while I have the chance...and the time. I know that as soon as I go back to ESL, I won't have that time with Little One to help nourish her mind and cultivate her curiosity as I do now.

I can't see myself being the kind of Mom who goes to her university with her and lines up with her at the Office of the Registrar. Though I know I will worry about her and I want her to go through life without too many hiccups, I know she needs to work things out on her own. That's how she will learn.

What do you think? Have a look at Hyper Parents & Coddled Kids. You can watch the full program here. Definitely food for thought.


Patti McK said...

As hard as it is to do, I try to not coddle Samantha. If she falls, and it is obvious that she isn't hurt, I don't rush over to pick her up. She's never been a baby who likes to cuddle because she hates to sit still! So she has never really been spoiled by being held all the time. I think that's why she walked so early because she wasn't always being held by someone and she was free to try things out on her own. Some people may think I'm a bad parent because I don't make a huge fuss when she cries, but I suppose everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I think kids need to be encouraged to do their best and try hard, but if they're not perfect at everything, so what? Not everyone is good at everything. All I ask from my kids is that they try their best and don't be frustrated when they don't do as well as others at certain things.
As a side note, Taylor just finished public speaking at school and he was chosen to enter into the competition. He did very well, although his speech was a little short because when he wrote it, he hadn't planned on being in the competetion. I was so proud of him.

hotmommy said...

i'm like patti- people look at me strange when i let my kids cry. as for the sports teams and extracurricular activities, i have my two older kids in sports and other groups so they can learn to develop good social skills and have fun but mainly to keep them out of my hair for a few hours. i know that may sound horrible to some people out there but seriously a mom needs downtime too and i don't feel like an awful parent for saying so.

i've seen lots of competamoms out there who want their kids to be the best at everything. it's a lot of stress on a kid. let kids enjoy their childhoods because they're only young once. and don't force them to do things they don't want to do. some parents put their kids in all sorts of activities because they didn't do it when they were younger. let kids decide and let them have fun.

Frau Guten Tag said...

I guess some parents can be like that, but I'm doing the "Your Baby Can Read" program with my son & I honestly don't feel I fall in that category at all. I am all for teaching kids how to survive & that there are consequences for their actions. I plan to teach him lots of things I was never taught by my family--how to budget money, do chores around house, etc etc. And of course you can't be there too much to always pick up the pieces when things go wrong--they have learn for themselves--this also builds a healthy self-esteem. I could go on & on on this topic, but I don't think for one second that I am one of those parents, though I'm sure there's plenty out there.

Frau Guten Tag said...

one more thought: my husband is one that can't seem to back away--I truly believe my stepkids don't understand that there are consequences to actions--he has never disciplined or grounded or taken things away, etc.

and now with our little one my husband has been the biggest challenge when it comes to parenting this little guy--he can't let him "cry it out" ever, it's sooo frustrating.

sometimes he will admit it, but most of the time he won't. it's hopeless, but I continue to do what I can in raising my son the right way

Momisodes said...

This is coincidental that you posted this. My husband and I have been discussing this topic of hyper parenting as of late. Especially with all of the pressures of parents and teachers saying to hold our child back a year from kindergarten, and how the this growing decision among parents has more to do with coddling their kids, and trying to give them a leg up when they start school so they can be smarter.

Definitely an interesting topic. I will have to check out the book!

caninecologne said...

hi c-
maybe this is too extreme of a view, but I feel that hyper parents and coddled kids need to be shipped off to another planet.

many parents try to overschedule their dates, sports, music, etc...and their kids aren't even in school yet!

I work at a high school and i've seen first hand these types of parents. in the office, we refer to them as 'helicopter parents'. really, that's what they do. their kids grow up feeling entitled, lazy and spoiled because mommy and daddy always come to the rescue. i've even heard of cases where helicopter parents badger admissions officers at colleges and universities.

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C said...

Funny you mentioned that! In the documentary, they refer to parents like that as "helicopter parents" too. I've seen this first hand too. I've seen university students who don't know how to do anything without their mommies or daddies. They can't make decisions on their own or schedule an appointment on their own. Pretty wild!

Were you able to view the program via the link I posted?

BTW, had a good chat with Bert the other day! Can't wait for you guys to come visit in June!!

C said...

It's an interesting topic, isn't it? What do you and Dadisodes feel about this whole thing?

Oh, it's not a book though. It's a documentary. I posted the link, so you can have a look if you like. It's less than an hour and it's very interesting. I'm curious to hear what you think.

C said...

It must be challenging if one's spouse has different ideas about parenting. For the most part, Hubby and I are on the same page.

Sometimes, he's more laid back than I am with regard to parenting Little One. I'm not sure if it's because I'm with her more than he is at the moment or if it's a cultural thing or just a guy/girl thing. Whatever it is, we do have some differences in ideas.

If she falls, I don't make a big deal out of it. I don't rush over and fuss over her. However, if she does smack her head and needs comforting, I do go over and give her cuddles. She's only a year old, after all.

So, what do you think of the "Your Baby Can Read" program? How's that going? I've been meaning to ask you more about it!!

C said...

Remember when you and I were at The Keg and there was a family at the next table? This was years ago, so I don't know if you'd remember. Anyway, the kid had a melt down and everything just went ugly from then on and the parents ended up leaving as a result of that?

I remember the parents ignoring the tantrum, but it got worse and worse. Nothing worked. Then people were staring, commenting, giving dirty looks.

All I could think of was "those poor parents and that poor kid". When people were commenting about parenting skills and casting evil looks, I thought that they had no idea what was going on. Sometimes parents really don't have control over a situation. Maybe the kid was tired, cranky, whatever. Kids are kids and don't think, act, or reason like adults do. I'm not justifying anything, and I don't know why this memory resurfaced.

It bugged me to hear people at the restaurant say things like "those people can't control their kid" or "shut that kid up or get out".

I guess there really was no point to this story. It's not even related to your comment! LOL!

C said...

I think you're doing a great job parenting Samantha! What a sweetie she is! Whenever I talk to you on the phone, it seems the more I realize how similar we are in the way we parent our kids.

It was fun seeing the girls play the other day! They are too cute!

caninecologne said...

hi c - actually i didn't click on the link! i get enough of that from my work!!!

one of my students had his dad fill out his college application. turns out the dad did it wrong, then was freaking out about how to correct it. should have let his son do it on his own. dumbass. the dad also called me no less than 3 times in one hour. it's not like i didn't get the message the first time. i was so irritated i didn't call him back until the next day. bitch needed to chill.

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caninecologne said...

re: momisodes...about parents who enroll their kids in school 1 year later...

i know about 4 people who did that - their excuse was , 'boys aren't as mature and we want to wait'. a couple of them also had the ulterior motive of having their boys on sports teams (they have a leg up on the other kids since they were held back).

we never coddled tc whenever she bumped herself or fell down. unless it was really really major, with blood involved. but that hardly ever happened. i hate it when kids cry or whimper just to get attention from their parents and the parents do baby talk to their kids about fixing their 'boo boo'. you can tell i'm a really sensitive mom. ha ha.

we called her 'boo boo's, "injuries". she surprised her preschool teacher by saying, "look at my injury" (pointed to her bandaid). we used real vocabulary with her. no poo poo, pee pee, boo boo stuff!

seriously, tc knew that whining or crying wouldn't work for her, therefore she hardly ever did it. both bert and i are consistent with our parenting so that helps a lot.

she never begged us to buy crap in the supermarket either like some kids who throw tantrums because mommy or daddy won't buy them candy or a toy or whatever. thank god! hopefully she won't be a rebellious teenager!

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Frau Guten Tag said...

it's funny cuz sometimes we seem so different in parenting & then other times we are totally alike. I grew up with a control freak mother & don't want to subject my son to that, but hubby is a bit more controlling than I am, but only in an effort to keep him safe, but you're NEVER gonna prevent all falls, ,etc. is my motto.

I really like "your baby can read" so far--I've written 3 blogs on it so far & there will be more to come cuz I have a lot of friends who want to know what I think of it & I get tired of repeating myself.

C said...

LOL! That story about that student's dad just cracks me up! That is too funny! You are hilarious!

C said...

Heading over to read your posts re: Your Baby Can Read. :)

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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