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Passive (or what I like to call lazy) Parenting - Outside The Box

Passive (or what I like to call lazy) Parenting

  • 21st August 2012

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  • 15 Comments

Throughout the summer we have taken our two year old out to various activities and events.  We’ve ventured to a kite festival, a folk festival, the fair, the bouncy house place, swimming pools and of course a multitude of parks.  It’s been a good summer and she has had a lot of new experiences and a whole lot of fun.

I am a protective mother, some might say overprotective.  I know this and have absolutely no problems with that label.  She is my daughter and my (and my husband’s) responsibility is to keep her safe.  Also, she’s only two.  She still requires a fair amount of guidance and support.

Being a mamma bear I am always surprised, sometimes annoyed and occasionally even worried about parents that are on the complete other end of that spectrum – the passive parent.  Now I realize that the term “passive parenting” is a little more complex and is a whole other topic for discussion so I am using it in a more general sense here. 

Last week we took our daughter to the bouncy castle place.  It is an awesome place, nice and open, relatively safe and not over crowded.  She can run around without the need for us to be two steps behind or in front of her at all times.  But, again, she is only two and we still keep a pretty close eye on her and, just as importantly, she wants and needs our engagement.  Thing are always more fun when someone you like/love is enjoying it with you!  That day there was another little girl there.  She was older than our daughter, I would guess she was around 5.  She was a seemingly  well behaved girl and very patient with our little one (there are a whole lot of stairs to get to the top of the bouncy slide).  Both of her parents were there, parked at a table eating, and eating and then eating some more.  Not once did I see them even glance at this little girl.  She had no peers with her.  She was, in effect, alone.  It was also painfully obvious that she did not want to be alone.  She tried various times to engage her parents.  She would be at the top of the slide and yell “Mommy!  Daddy!” but her attempts to gain her parent’s attention were completely ignored.  My heart hurt for this child.  Never mind the fact that she could have walked out of the building without her parents even batting an eye, but she just so desperately wanted them to take an interest in what she was doing and they could not be bothered.

Another example of passive parenting that I’ve seen lately has been at the park.  Parents park themselves on a bench and let the kids run wild.  Now I understand that as children get older they need less close supervision and that giving them some space is appropriate and healthy but I don’t think that neglecting to monitor your child’s behavior in public is a good thing.  When my two year old is trying to climb the stairs up to the slide and your seven year old rams her way through in front of her like a bull dog with absolutely no regard for her personal space or safety, well we have a problem.  Not only is it unsafe but its confusing for a little one who is just learning things like sharing and waiting your turn.  Don’t make me scold your child.  And I will scold your child.  I won’t punish or discipline because that is not my place but if your child is acting in a way that is inappropriate or dangerous in front of my daughter  and you aren’t stepping in to parent your kid you better believe I am going to say something (just as I would say something to my child if she acted that way).

I know that sometimes outings with kids are also an opportunity for parents to get out of the house and sometimes it gives them a chance to socialize themselves with parents or other adults.  However, your need to socialize or, just as often, be lazy, should not be more important than your child’s need for you to be a parent.  If you need time to yourself then arrange for proper child care for your little one and take a break.  Not only do they need your guidance when it comes to learning to socialize with other people, they need your attention to keep them safe, secure and confident.

Do you have some experiences like this?  What do you do if another child is being bossy/inconsiderate with your little one and the parents/caregivers aren’t being attentive?


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This article has 15 comments

  1. I've had experiences like this at playgrounds and the best way I've learned to deal with it, is I'll yell out to my kid and say "Be careful of other people!" Or I'll yell purposely for the other parents to hear, "Just because that kid did that, doesn't mean you do it!" LOL. I say it polite enough and like I'm directing it at my child, but in a way that it teaches my child while pointing out to the other child or their parents that what they're doing is wrong.

  2. I’ve had experiences like this at playgrounds and the best way I’ve learned to deal with it, is I’ll yell out to my kid and say “Be careful of other people!” Or I’ll yell purposely for the other parents to hear, “Just because that kid did that, doesn’t mean you do it!” LOL. I say it polite enough and like I’m directing it at my child, but in a way that it teaches my child while pointing out to the other child or their parents that what they’re doing is wrong.

  3. yes and it is difficult and yes I agree with Brandi only option is to divert our children and say we don't do that

  4. My kids are grown but I was also (and still am) what some would call "over-protective"…my motto was and is, better safe than sorry.

  5. I've seen this more times than I like and quite frankly don't understand it. How can you not enjoy experiencing your childs excitement and pleasure in any of their accomplishments or failures for that matter? Blows me away and ticks me off I'll admit

  6. I've gotten to a point where I've just started verbally disciplining kids whose parents are too lazy to care. I felt bad at first but if rather do that than risk another kid getting hurt.

  7. I’ve gotten to a point where I’ve just started verbally disciplining kids whose parents are too lazy to care. I felt bad at first but if rather do that than risk another kid getting hurt.

  8. I always try to divert my child from situations like this.

  9. I totally agree with you. I feel so bad for the kids when their parents are like that… I'm definitely an overprotective parent too, and people can think what they want about that. The bottom line is I try to do what's best for my baby. If other people don't like it, they don't have to hang out with us. 🙂

  10. I totally agree with you. I feel so bad for the kids when their parents are like that… I’m definitely an overprotective parent too, and people can think what they want about that. The bottom line is I try to do what’s best for my baby. If other people don’t like it, they don’t have to hang out with us. 🙂

  11. Sometimes I honestly feel that I have no choice but to say something. If you aren't going to watch your kid, well, someone has to….

  12. I'd totally hang out with you Laura 🙂

  13. ugh. these parents drive me BONKERS. I do things like mentioned above with a bit of 'I'm sorry sweetie, I guess she thought she didn't need to wait her turn, but you're being so patient! Good job!'…"Sorry hon, I guess she didn't learn manners!' or other little digs at the mindless parents..

  14. ugh. these parents drive me BONKERS. I do things like mentioned above with a bit of ‘I’m sorry sweetie, I guess she thought she didn’t need to wait her turn, but you’re being so patient! Good job!’…”Sorry hon, I guess she didn’t learn manners!’ or other little digs at the mindless parents..

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