Friday, February 22, 2013

Hovering vs See No Evil

I am amazed at how much crap has been thrown at the rotors of a parenting style that seems to have acquired the name Helicopter Moms.

Helicopter Moms are described as having too much presence in their children’s lives. They are hyper-vigilant. They are the Moms who call their kids in their college dorms to be sure they wake up in time for class. The negativity implied is that these kids are never allowed to gain the ability to manage their own lives.

The opposite style is what I call the See No Evil parents. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I was told that a kid swinging a stick at another kids’ face was just “boys being boys”. Or if I’d ask, for instance, a kid coming over to play to move his shoes from blocking the front door into the laundry room, had the kid’s mother not say a word as the kid just runs off to play, leaving the shoes where they dropped. I always used to say, privately to my husband, “if you’re not going to parent, why don’t you must throw them out into the woods and let the wolves raise them?”

 I would have been called a Helicopter Mom. I was definitely hyper-vigilant. It has its pros and cons. My kids are probably not as independent as they should be at this point, but I can tell you for a fact that I will not be calling them in their college dorms. In fact, I’m counting the days until next fall (196, if you’re interested).


Honey Bunches Chicken with Apricot Sauce | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe
 Honey Bunches Chicken with Apricot Sauce

I had some See No Evil in me too. I wasn’t handing the boys over to the wolves, but I learned pretty quickly to pick my spots. Because it’s not what style best suits you, but what style best reaches each child’s personality and temperament. I’m not saying I was successful, but that’s what I was going for.

The truth of the matter is that there are generally repercussions resulting from going too far in either direction. The Helicopters can learn from the See No Evils, and the See No Evils can take a lesson from the Helicopters.

Because with kids, one thing leads to the next and the next . . .


Hovering vs See No Evil | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


One time we were at the airport and Younger Son’s shoelace got caught between steps at the top of the escalator. He fell and like dominos everyone getting off behind him fell on top of him like a big game of pile-up. I couldn’t get his shoelace out of the escalator and couldn’t get the shoe off. I had to try to shield him from the adults falling on him and tripping over him until my older son could get back with someone who shut the escalator down. It wasn’t then, but what’s funny now is that she had to push my hand on the hand rail out of the way in order to press the big huge button that shut the escalator off.

None of us want to watch our kids fall. All of us know we must. It’s necessary to let them get up themselves. But sometimes they can’t. Someone has to get that button pushed before they get trampled. I wasn’t a great parent. I made tons of mistakes, there’s no doubt. Whether I’ve succeeded or failed, one thing I’m not going to apologize for is being present in my kids’ lives, for trying to teach and protect. And, when they can’t get up, for making sure someone pushes that button.

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


Honey Bunches Chicken with Apricot Sauce
                                    ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Chicken Ingredients:
3 boneless chicken breasts
3/4 cup flour
1 egg, beaten with 3 TBSP water
3/4 of a (14.5 oz box) of Honey Bunches of Oats (With Almonds) Cereal
1/2 stick butter, melted
  
Sauce Ingredients:
10 oz jar of Apricot Jam
2 TBSP orange juice
1 TBSP soy sauce
3/4 tsp minced garlic


Chicken Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 casserole dish
*Use your hands to crush the cereal. It should be chunky, not finely crushed.
*Cut each chicken breast into equal size pieces. I usually get 3 pieces per breast. You may choose to pound the chicken a little first to make the pieces more unified in thickness.
*Dip each chicken piece in flour, then in the egg wash, then in the crumbled cereal. Push down on the chicken in the cereal to get the cereal to stick.
*Place chicken pieces into the casserole dish, drizzle the melted butter over the top.
*Bake for 45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the cereal is browned.
*Serve with the sauce.
    
Sauce Directions: 
*Mix all ingredients together in a Microwave safe bowl.
*Cover with plastic wrap and pierce to vent.
*Microwave for 1 minute. Continue to microwave at 15 second intervals if it's not yet hot.
*Serve with or over the chicken.  

38 comments:

  1. I think we're all sure that we've failed as parents as we go along... the proof is in the pudding only years later. I was neither a helicopter or see no evil mom to my son. I always tried to be a bit in the middle. There if he needed me - there when he wasn't looking and in the background when he messed up just in case it really was too much :)

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    1. I think the middle is the best place to be. From everything I hear you did and are doing a great job, Jenn.

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  2. I suppose I fall in the middle? With my ADD I tend to miss some things.

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    1. Sometimes being able to miss some things is a good thing.

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  3. This is a really thoughtful post, Karen. I love it. I love anyone who pays attention to the fact that they actually have a parenting style. At least it means you're present in the experience. I have friends at both extreme ends of the spectrum. I definitely lean towards helicopter. I hire a lot of teenagers in my line of work. Two minutes into an interview I can tell which parents did it right. There are a LOT that don't. I feel awful for those kids. The ones who are 18 and have their parents call to set up their interviews for them. UGH! It's always a slap in the face sort of reminder to me to parent him from a reasonable distance. To be there without being all up in it every moment of the day. It's my one chance to send a well-rounded man out into the world. I refuse to screw it up :)

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    1. I know you won't screw it up, Jen. Really the hardest part is just picking your spots, when to be that helicopter and when to just see no evil.

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  4. I really love you, so much in fact....

    You've been nominated for an award, check out my post for details!! xoxo

    http://camomsworld.blogspot.com/2013/02/inspringme.html

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    1. Thank you for the honor, Darla, and for the smile.

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  5. Great post! I'm not a fan of generalistic titles because I think we all have some "helicopter" in us - especially since most of us were raised in the generation of latchkey kids. We want to give our kids something that our parents didn't give us. But the ones that go overboard are the ones that Jen mentions above... parents setting up an interview for children, calling the school to challenge a grade, I've even heard a story where the parent CAME to the interview with the child and expected to be a participant in the interview process. I would definitely lean more toward the See No Evil... except when I actually see evil. Unless my kid is hurting another or being victimized by another, I tend not to get involved. But we need all of the different types of people out there. Otherwise life would be BORING!

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    1. I agree we need all kids of people, especially since there are all kinds of kids.

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  6. I am so loving this post because I definitely fit the mold of both types of parent. The funny thing is that I think we use a little different parenting style with each child--a little gentler on the sensitive ones and maybe a little tougher on the ones who need that extra push to motivate them. Either way, the most important thing your children are learning from you is the value of a parent who loves them unconditionally and one who will always be there to catch them if they start to fall TOO far. And that's a beautiful thing.

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    1. So true. I have two kids who are opposites. One response to a gentler style, the other responds to. . . well. . . nothing. Gotta love teenagers (you do, right?)

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  7. I am not sure what I am Karen. I don't call my kids who are grown all the time and we tend to take turns calling each other. I don't avoid them either though and definately am not the one who ignores misbehavior....I am the one rolling my eyes at those ones thinking about how those kids will end up probably in a whole lot of trouble in life.

    Irish

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    1. I think that at different times kids need different things. With luck, you get it figured out each time it changes. Sometimes you feel like you got it right. Sometimes you feel like you'r way off track.

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  8. You're an awesome parent, Karen! I'm so tired of parents labeling themselves and going all extreme one way or the other (kid shaming?!!)! It's great that you have such a balanced approach.
    Wow! That escalator incident must have been so scary!

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    1. I'm hardly an awesome parent, but I'm still plugging along and trying my hardest til the buzzer sounds.

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  9. Well, I had to "laugh" at this post, and please understand: from a totally "good" perspective, as I thought while reading it, that my wife, Donna, could have absolutely written this post, almost word for word.

    I am totally amazed at the "Mom" in all of you (all Mom's)... You are ALL quite amazing, if I may say so.

    Great post... Slu

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    1. It's amazing how alike we really are. It's the intent that makes us Moms more similar than we realize.

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  10. My parents would probably be considered Helicopters. They called my brother every morning for years to make sure he was up and getting ready for work after he moved out. If my moms awake she'll check on me if its after 6am and I'm not stirring around getting ready for work. We make our own appointments and pay our own bills (ex. I've been paying for my car insurance since I started driving in High School). If I ever have kids I'll be probably be another Helicopter. Sadly, it seems like more and more parents are See No Evils and aren't even present in their children's lives.

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    1. It sounds like you grew up in a situation that fits your needs. Clearly you respect how you were raised and hope to be the same kind of parent that you had yourself. That's quite a compliment to your parents.

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  11. That escalator incident must have been horrible! Either extreme isnt good. I err on helicopter because it is how I was raised. Theyre only 2 and 4 so hopefully my trust grows with them so I dont mess em up too bad! Great post, Karen!

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    1. It was truly awful watching all those people trip over and fall onto my son. Good news is I now know how to shut off an escalator.

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  12. My mom was definitely a helicopter parent when we were younger kids, but let us grow and do our own thing as we got older. It was all about balance and trust and we grew up fine.

    Phil

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    1. I agree. There has to be an evolution, in both the style of the parenting and the maturity level of the child.

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  13. Your recipe looks amazing! And I love the name of "See No Evil Parents"--I know exactly what you mean. Very well explained, and now I'm really hoping I fall somewhere in between those parents and Helicoptering...

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    1. I think most of us try very hard to fall somewhere in between those 2 styles.

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  14. I dealt with the whole spectrum in school. I have to say I was the strict parent. I demanded respect from my children, especially to the people outside of our home. We love a lot, laugh a lot and ask a lot of each other. I still ask my 19 year old to text me where she is and when she's coming home. Kids have to drop off their cell phones when they come to the house. I always picture helicopter moms as the ones who would do their children's homework, yell at the coaches if their children didn't get fair time playing or yell at the kids who were mean to their kid. You are definitely not a helicopter mom. Whatever it's name, you're a good mom. We all try to do our best every day. Where is that dang instruction book? <3

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    1. Drop off their cell phones? No one would ever come over. . . They don't even ring the doorbell any more, they just call the kids from the driveway and tell them to come open the door, LOL. Where IS that dang instruction book?

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  15. I try to stay in the middle of the parenting road, but I know I've visited both ends of the spectrum at different times, depending on the situation. As long as my son grows up to be a happy and fairly well-adjusted adult, then I'll consider it a job well done

    Great post!

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    1. I've found more and more that it's less where I want to be and more what each individual child needs in each specific circumstance. It's amazing how a strategy will often reach one kid, but not work with the other.

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  16. How scary the escalator situation must have been! That is like one of my worst nightmares. I'm so glad everything was okay and I would've done precisely what you did. We're Mama bears protecting our cubs.

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    1. It was SO scary, all these adults falling on top of my son. I often wonder what I would have done if my other son wasn't there. No one else was stopping to help. . .

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  17. I love evernote. Clipped, and I'm making this tomorrow! AND we have a see-no evil parented child that comes over. I like to say he's being raised by wolves. Besides the fact that he walks in the door and drops whatever he is wearing/carrying on the floor, he also often removes his shirt and socks. WHAT? one day they decided to have a lemonade stand. My son was hawking his wares and wolf-child was shirtless and shoeless up in a nearby tree throwing sticks at people. And the best part is? My son (7) claims he's his best friend. Great. How can I save him from this one?

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    1. Yeah, My Son had a friend like that. I eventually had to ban him after I caught the kid mooning my Mormon neighbors from my yard, LOL.

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  18. How did I miss this?! I have to say, I'm a good mix of helicopter and free range parent. I give my kids enough space to explore and find their place, but I carefully watch over them from a distance. Like, when we go to the park, I let them explore and play, but keep them in my line of vision. I JUST recently let them explore the toy aisle, as long as I'm in the next aisle over...... However, I am also one of those parents that makes my kids clean up before they leave a friends' house, I make them move their things if told, say please,thank you, etc, etc. I'm hands on like that.

    I was very much a free range kid and part of me wishes my kids could experience what I got to.

    And I will be trying that recipe....it looks yum!

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    1. I agree. There are times when you want to be a free range parent and there are times when you just have to be a helicopter. A good mix is a great thing to strive for.

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  19. I wish I had the opportunity to figure out what kind of parent I would have become to my kids as they got older. They were still small enough to cuddle when I lost them and they could have cared less if I hovered... which I did.
    I've coated chicken with just about every cereal known to man (except for Lucky Charms). I LOVE Honey Bunches of Oats, so this one is a keeper recipe!

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    1. I'm sorry, Becca, I know you've had a hard road. But you should be very proud of the person you are today.

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