The More We Supervise Our Kids, the More We Believe They Need Constant Supervision

One of the reasons many of us end up supervising our kids so much today is that when we DO watch our kids’ every messy interaction, we see so much more than our own parents ever saw, and are shocked and dismayed. So we stay closer to monitor more, which means we see MORE frustrating-but-normal interactions and are even MORE dismayed. It becomes a vicious circle — we can’t leave them alone because when we’re with them we think, “Boy, if we weren’t here, they could never handle this stuff by themselves!” We forget that when we were young, we too made plenty of dumb decisions and wasted a lot of time (that wasn’t really wasted) and muddled through to the point where we are competent folks today.

That’s what I was thinking when I read this essay, submitted to us byKim Kinzie, co-author of the new book “ConsciousUnparenting:Our 1970s Spin on Modern-Day Motherhood.”As children of the ’70s, she and her co-author Dawn Michael write about their biggest parenting struggles and seek to create “a new mode of raising children, one thats less kid-centric and more parent-friendly; like a 70s mom with a 21st century twist.” They call it — and their website — Conscious Unparenting.

Forget Stranger Danger – Bad Behaviors the Real Threat! by Kim Kinzie

When my son turned 8 I felt it was time for him to be more independent, to walk to the bus stop and ride his bike around the neighborhood, alone. Hed proven himself to be fairly responsible, and our neighborhood, with its wide, lightly trafficked streets is quite safe.

I mentioned my plans to neighbors with similarly aged children. While they didnt criticize or judge me, they made it clear their kids would not be doing the same.

That first day my son walked to the bus stop himself, he was ebullient running out the door with a skip in his step. I received texts from my neighbors to inform me hed made it safelya whole six houses away. Phew!

After school we all (kids and parents) headed to the nearby cul-de-sac. I didnt feel comfortable leaving my son, not because I didnt trust him, but I didnt want the other parents to feel obligated to watch my child, even if I didnt feel he needed watching.

So I stayed and naturally I saw behavior that was less-than perfect. Older kids excluded younger ones, kids played tag and got too rough, someone said the word, stupid all of which got called out by a grown-up. I began second-guessing my decision to trust my son on his own. Weve sort of been working on the rules of kindness and respect for almost 8 years, but what if, in my absence, he forgot everything I taught him?

This made me think: Maybe my neighbors were hovering, not because they were worried about random abductions or crazy drivers, but rather the kids behavior. If their child was acting like a jerk or being mistreated, they felt the need to intervene. This seemed reasonable enough.

Then I thought back to my own childhood. As a kid of the 70s, my mom was NEVER around when I played. My best friend Karen and I scoured the hood for other kids, and we all had our turn at being the bully, the brat, the excluded one. Dealing with neighborhood skirmishes was a normal part of childhood, where we learned the lessons of fair play and the consequences of acting like a turd to our friends. I did it, as did all those who went before me. My son, however, is being molded by the opinions of the adults around him. This seems unfortunate, as he needs to learn those lessons for himself, as opposed to being told what to do by a grown-up, yet again.

As spring approaches, Im renewing my mission to get my son out on his own. He might be out there by himself, tumbleweeds following him along the empty streets, despite the fact that my neighborhood is filled with kids in his age range. My neighbors might feel the need to watch and/or reprimand my child. Its out of my hands, because I wont be there, as Ill never give up my quest to give my kid a 70s childhood. – K.K.

Kids can play without adults around, I promise.

Adults don’t have to watch or play with their kids all the time.

.

 

 

 

Tweet:

New humor parenting book: Conscious Unparenting. Take parenting back to the 70s.

http://www.amazon.com/Conscious-Unparenting-TM-Modern-Day-Motherhood/dp/0986439800/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423753061&sr=8-1&keywords=conscious+unparenting

if you can boil that down and add it in — if only we watched them less we’d WORRY less

This made me think:  Maybe my neighbors were hovering, not because they were worried about random abductions or crazy drivers, but rather the kids’ behavior.  If their child was acting like a jerk or being mistreated, they felt the need to intervene.  This seemed reasonable enough.

 

Then I thought back to my own childhood.  As a kid of the ‘70s, my mom was NEVER around when I played.  My best friend Karen and I scoured the ‘hood for other kids, and we all had our turn at being the bully, the brat, the excluded one.  Dealing with neighborhood skirmishes was a normal part of childhood, where we learned the lessons of fair play and the consequences of acting like a turd to our friends.  I did it, as did all those who went before me. My son, however, is being molded by the opinions of the adults around him.   This seems unfortunate, as he needs to learn those lessons for himself, as opposed to being told what to do by a grown-up, yet again.

 

As spring approaches, I’m renewing my mission to get my son out on his own.   He might be out there by himself, tumbleweeds following him along the empty streets, despite the fact that my neighborhood is filled with kids in his age range.  My neighbors might feel the need to watch and/or reprimand my child.  It’s out of my hands, because I won’t be there, as I’ll never give up my quest to give my kid a ‘70s childhood.

 

 

 

Kim Kinzie is co-author of the recently released book Conscious

Unparenting:Our 1970s Spin on Modern-Day Motherhood

http://www.amazon.com/Conscious-Unparenting-TM-Modern-Day-Motherhood/dp/0986439800/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423753061&sr=8-1&keywords=conscious+unparenting

 

As children of the carefree 1970s, she and her co-author Dawn Michael write about their biggest parenting struggles.  In the end, they seek to create a new mode of raising children: one that’s less kid-centric and more parent-friendly; like a ‘70s mom with a 21st century twist.  They’re calling this mindset Conscious Unparenting.Join them at www.consciousunparenting.com

 

 

 

Comments are closed.