Talk


hover

I was recently at the playground with my son and nephew watching them scale a pair of slippery, rounded parallel bars. Granted, my son has had stitches no fewer than four times in his short life. While I was hovering, imploring my headlong six-year-old to dismount, I knew I should have just let him walk without interruption, and yet I couldn’t stop myself. I rationalize that he, unlike my nephew and other son, needs reminders, oversight, hovering, but the reality is that I should do far less cautioning. How else, after all, will they ever learn?

 

You Might Also Like


Sleep, Glorious Sleep
To Fly...or Not to Fly
L.L. Bean Hack

Comments (16)

+ ADD YOURS

  1. A hard lesson to learn/relearn (still learning with our 17 year-old) but the beauty is you know to you must continue to try to let him figure it out.

  2. Posted by: Isa

    Like everything, I think it’s about common sense and balance. Helicopter parenting and hovering are negative buzzwords right now, but it’s not necessary to completely abandon parenting and guiding to avoid a label. When the “lesson” can lead to a concussion or biting his tongue off or hurting his neck by landing his chin on the bar with vigor, I don’t care what people say and I would stand close by. Is it hovering when we teach our kids to use a toilet or eat with utensils or walk on the sidewalk? No, it’s parenting. Do you let your kids learn how razor blades or syringes work without “hovering”? No, it’s parenting and making sure all the odds are stacked so they live longer than we do. Parents who impede good learning experiences by constantly interfering when the consequences are not so dire like a concussion or broken bones are hovering. In this case, I think you’d actually be missing the bar pun intended if you ignored the children doing this.

  3. such a great question. i ask myself all the time. i err on the side of NOT hovering, but then my heart is in my throat when my two-year-old is climbing on things or sliding down the slide in a pack of wriggly toddlers. it’s a tough call, and always so case-specific. in this case, i would have probably held my breath for a couple minutes and then told them not to climb on those bars (since it’s not the real intention of those bars) or “spotted” them (which i don’t think would really have worked!). such a tough call!!

  4. Posted by: neo

    I tend to not hover. One of the best advice I’ve received, is that kids will get bruised and banged up no matter how hard you try. That helped me breathe and let go a little.

  5. Posted by: Teri

    I completely agree with Isa. Your child is your responsibility. Giving your child freedom does not mean allowing them to climb on the outside of a McDonald’s playland, with twenty feet between them and a tile floor. Yet, you see it all the time! Kids will be kids, but it isn’t helicoptering to tell them when they are misusing a piece of equipment, it’s parenting. My daughter (age 9) fell off a baby slide she was climbing up, broke her elbow and had to have surgery. Permanent damage from a four foot drop into wood chips. Do I think her father should have stopped her from climbing up the slide? Yes.

  6. Posted by: Jane

    I’m not sure what I would do. Maybe it would depend on my mood that day or if there had been any recent experiences of my child having a bad fall. Parents also usually know if their children have the balance / coordination to maneuver certain obstacles. On the topic of helicopter parenting, is there really such thing with small children who need parental supervision? The term is used all the time now to describe aparenting style for small kids, My understanding of the term is that it was coined to describe parents of teenagers or college-aged “kids” who are old enough to take care of themselves but have their parents hovering around them.

  7. Posted by: Liz

    I don’t hover. He’s going to fall. That is how he’ll learn not to do it again. I’m not always going to be there. I watch carefully and if he decides he wants to try to rappel from our third floor balcony using his sister’s skipping rope I put my foot down but I let him do the occasional stupid thing. Kids cut themselves and break bones. My daughter is 5 and much less reckless and has managed to break a leg and a wrist and has had stitches twice already just by taking childish tumbles. Things happen.

  8. Posted by: Leeora Patterson

    It’s okay to hover and set limits, but on the other hand how is a child to know how to do things like walk along the paralle bars, and how to climb, just be there in the background if it gets too dangerous you can be there to guide,

  9. Posted by: StaceyG

    “parents who impede good learning experiences by constantly interfering when the consequences are not so dire like a concussion or broken bones are hovering” WHAT?!?! That’s not hovering- that’s avoiding unnessecary trips to the emergency room and not missing summers of swimming due a fractured elbow because a parent didn’t want to get involved when a child is dOing something completely inappropriate. Accidents happen- absolutely. But putting in a little extra effort to avoid them isn’t hovering- its parenting.

  10. Posted by: jennyg

    Would I hover? In the case of these bars, yes. Do I follow my kids around a play ground? No, I let them explore, intervening when I see they need my help or assistance. I have 2 independent, self assured kids that take risks at times but I like to think they got this from the fact that I let them have time and space to do things on their own.

  11. Posted by: tanzy

    I’m sure I’m completely out of the current parent judging zone – but I hadn’t heard that it was wrong to be there, watching over your kid so if they slip, you’re there to catch them. If that’s hovering then I’m for it. I guess I’ve seen some parent that take it overboard and never let their kids do anything – but those parents would never let the kid up on those bars in the first place. So I say – let them explore, let them push limits, let them try new things – but as parents, aren’t we supposed to be there to catch them if we can? They have the rest of their lives to fall with no one there to steady them or lend a hand. Why do they have to start now?

  12. Posted by: tanzy

    I’m sure I’m out of the loop but I hadn’t heard that it was wrong to be there, watching over your kid so if they slip, you’re there to catch them. If that’s hovering then I’m for it. I guess I’ve seen some parent that take it overboard and never let their kids do anything – but those parents would never let the kid up on those bars in the first place. So I say – let them explore, let them push limits, let them try new things – but as parents, aren’t we supposed to be there to catch them if we can? They have the rest of their lives to fall with no one there to steady them or lend a hand. Why do they have to start now?

  13. Posted by: steffi

    My non-identical twin boys are eleven now. Hovering over them both has been tricky but I am happy to say that I I just about managed it when it was absolutely crucial – during their toddler years (and, frankly, until fairly recently). The instinct and urge to protect them is visceral and not to be suppressed. One of them was born a gymnast and I have bored myself rigid explaining the consequences of certain endeavours. He is adventurous but not reckless and as yet has not suffered a broken bone or accident related trip to A and E. I don’t believe that children have to be hurt or injured to learn. My husband and I taught our children not to do certain things by explaining: don’t try the parallel bars without a helping hand; stick your hand in the fire; jump into the freezing cold duck pond; hurl yourself from the top floor window of our house; leap two footed from too high climbing apparatus; jump on each others heads; go too fast down a hill on your scooter (but do go this fast; it’s really fun). I live in London, England and I don’t think I am unusual. I’d say most of my peers would agree with the those who say that this is just good parenting. I have two lovely, super-active boisterous boys who love to climb, run and even (gulp) front flip. But I think they know the limits of their bodies. I hope so. Time to shut down my rotary blades.

  14. Posted by: Amanda Casari

    I try to give my toddler daughter as much space to explore and learn about her environment as possible. That being said, my husband and I are very active people who love to bring her along with us. We try to keep in mind that her desire and motor skills sometimes are outpacing her other areas of development. I agree that it is okay to allow your children to be adventurous, but still teach them that some things will just get them hurt. As with any other parent on the playground, I try not to judge anyone else’s choices for their kids.

  15. Posted by: Beth

    I am not a hoverer. My son is an exceptionally active child and very brave. I always stopped him from doing anything where he might break his neck or his head. Everything else was….childhood. FWIW: he’s never broken a bone, or needed stiches or gone to the hospital and he’s ten years old (hamsa hamsa phut phut! my mother in law would say!).

  16. Posted by: Nick

    You sound like a bunch of moms! I’m so thankful that mine mom let me do whatever I wanted when I was a kid–I taught myself to climb on rocks, ride wheelies, ride motorcycles, etc. I can juggle, ride a unicycle, etc.

    If you want to hover, feed your kids milk. The calcium will keep their bones intact as well as your parenting will. Let boys be boys. Scars heal, glory fades.

    Relevant Video: Chicks Dig It

Leave a Reply

Yor email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Tags
Sign Up

Email Sign Up
We promise not to bug you -
it'll only be good stuff, pinky swear.