Posted by: dinainsuburbia | April 21, 2010

parental collision

So, it has happened.  I’ve had my first “parenting style” collision.  I knew it would happen eventually as I’m a pretty laid- back parent.  As I’ve mentioned previously, I sort of let Maddie “have at the World” without getting too involved.  As long as she isn’t hurting herself or others.. or acting like a complete and utter brat.. I leave her be.

I think about how I grew up; my parents never followed me around.  I was able to interact with kids and if my feelings got hurt or if something happened, I learned to lick my own wounds and deal with it.  Of course, the natural inclination is to try and protect your child from every single hurt- physical or emotional.  Not only is that just not possible, but I daresay, it isn’t healthy… Life has in it both good AND bad.. and we need to allow our children to be exposed to both.  Otherwise, we end up with a bunch of young adults that can’t deal with anything.

I’ve noticed that a lot of parents project their feelings onto their kids.  If they feel upset, lonely, or neglected, they pass those emotions onto their kids, and make mountains out of mole hills.   Maddie “slighted” a friend on a play date (ugh- there’s that word again) and apparently, her little friend was very upset about it.   While I’m glad the parent informed me about her kid’s feelings (everything.. and I mean EVERYTHING is a lesson and a teaching point- and this was a good opportunity to teach Maddie about manners and the consequences of our actions) I can’t help but think that maybe it was made into too big of a deal.

I try to think if it were Maddie hurt and crying what I would say.. and I think I’d say that sometimes people say things they don’t mean and while they hurt our feelings, we can’t take everything to heart.  That sometimes, even friends hurt our feelings, and that is OK.  It’s OK to let our friends know how we feel, and then, to accept an apology.    Sometimes, it isn’t always “about us” and we take things personally when we shouldn’t.

Or.. I’d say.. that kid is a doodie- head, don’t worry about it!

But seriously, this incident has “consumed” me because the other parent has been going on-and-on about it.  I get that her kid is upset and it was my kid’s “fault” but seriously.. how far do we have to take this?  They are, after all, only 3- so I can’t imagine harping on this is a good idea…

What do you think?  Has this ever happened to you?  What’s protocol?



  1. What did she do?

  2. The whole “play date” thing wasn’t so big when my boys were little. Kids mostly still just played then. But the helicopter parenting style has always been around, and though it *is* much worse now than I ever noticed before, it’s nothing new. I ascribe to your parenting style pretty much as well and it sounds *to me* like the other parent is setting their child up for lots of disappointments in life. I don’t really hve any advice, but wanted to say, you’re not alone and I agree with you.

  3. oh the fun things to look forward to! The other parent has to let up. the kids are 3! they are going to have to learn how to deal with alot more than being “slighted” at a play date!

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