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What would you call over protective ?

Emma - posted on 04/06/2010 ( 26 moms have responded )




Ok im starting this after reading the leash comments, lots of people thought parents like me are being over protective ect ect..

Would you consider the following over protective ?

Even though i live less than a 1/2 a block away from a park

when my kids turn 10,11,12 ,13 i will not let them walk there without me not even if there was a big group.

Addition :

I think people forget that this site has woman from all over the world

living in all different types of settings, from small rural towns to large city's ect

As all these locations hold different risks there are no blanket answers regarding how you choose to keep your kids safe.

we make the choices based on what we as individuals have to deal with in that environment.

In short you may view one mothers actions as over protective because in your environment it is but in there's you may be seen as negligent for not doing what they do.

Ive have used the above question as an example.

As when i read posts i get a little annoyed at people for calling some mom's over protective due to the safety proportions they take with there kids,

I live in a beautify country which i love but sad to say our crime rate is scary so i take preconscious with my kids that would not be necessary if say i still lived in the UK .

All im really trying to point out is before you jump on someone and call them overprotective find out the reality of where they live as this will give context to there comment.


Brandy - posted on 04/08/2010




I think 'over-protective' is when you take it to levels where you are hindering their childhood experiences or ability to develop independence and make decisions without you when they are older. Protect them when you have to but let them run free when you can.

April - posted on 05/06/2010




because this is such a broad thread..there are women all over the world on COM...i think it deserves a broad answer.

so here it goes...overprotectivness can become a bad thing when it begins to affect your child's quality of life currently and as a future adult.

in an extreme example, the mother who tells her child that sex is dirty and evil in order to prevent the child from having sex before marriage, might actually instill a fear of sex in the child as a adult.

Charlie - posted on 05/08/2010




I think its very important to teach children the skills they need to be able to handle certain situations at age appropriate times and to give them a sense of responsibility , again each situation is different depending on where you live , as parents we need to assess our own situations and make decisions based on that , i think there can be a fine line between simply protecting your child and stifling their childhood which can also have great affect on their lives :)

[deleted account]

Thank you Loureen, for taking the time to explain how and why it's okay to let your kids run free in certain circumstances.

You brought up good points about teaching kids to defend themselves and knowing whose house is safe if there is an emergency. And also about kids going in groups. It's not like I'd let my 7 year old (who is only 2 now so we have a ways to go) wonder around the neighborhood aimlessly. She'd be with a friend or group of friends. And if she was walking to a friend's house, she would be required to call me upon arrival. My neighborhood is literally crawling with kids running around the streets so it's obviously pretty safe.

My sister-in-law lives in a neighborhood that is pretty similar. Her six year old and other kids in the neighborhood are allowed to walk to each other's homes. When a kid leaves a house, the mom calls the other mom to let them know their child is on the way home.

I honestly don't see a problem with allowing kids to walk a few blocks if you live in a very low crime area and you teach your kids basic self defense and set out certain guidelines for them.

Charlie - posted on 05/08/2010




Hmmm depends on where you live , how far from the area they are wanting to go , the type of community and the amount of maturity and awareness your child has .

My cousins and i were always off playing in the park by ourselves we ranged from 10 to 6 years old and were all , always together , there was never an issue .

I have been surfing since i was 6 years old and started walking to the beach on my own at 11 to surf for up to 3-4 hours a day , i had studied martial arts since i was very young ( my mum is an instructor black belt , dan 3 ) and i was also highly ranked , i knew which were safe houses , how to defend myself and knew to run if anything did happen , nothing ever did but my parents both made sure i was well aware of my surroundings and developed good street smarts in me young as i will do for my sons too .

The chances here in my town of anything happening are very rare but if it does i will make sure my child is prepared and know the drill .

SA i imagine would be a whole different story , we live in two different worlds.

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Denikka - posted on 09/23/2011




I had an over protective parental figure.
We lived in a rural area. My elementary school (k-gr7 aka 5-13yrs old)) was down the street and around the corner. About a 30 minute walk. I was NEVER allowed to walk or ride my bike, even with friends. I had friends peppering the entire area, anywhere from a 5 minute walk to an hours walk. I was NEVER allowed to walk to anyones house, excluding my friends who lived across the street.
I was never allowed to have anyone else drive me anywhere (including friends parents). My grandparents (who I lived with) drove me everywhere.
I was not allowed to hang out at the mall with my friends. Whenever I went anywhere, swimming, roller skating, movies, my grandparents always dropped me off and were there half an hour early to pick me up.
Now, if I was a kid, I could understand. But this continued until the day I moved out. A month before my 19th birthday.
And fwiw, there was no crime in my area. In the 13 years I lived there, I NEVER heard of a child being kidnapped or molested in my area. The worst thing that ever happened was that we had the occasional bear or cougar sighting. No one ever got hurt though.
I would NEVER do that to my children.

Being over protective in my mind, is when you are protecting your child from imaginary threats, instilling an irrational fear, and being detrimental to your child's development. If you live in a high crime area, then by all means, take reasonable steps.
But there WILL come a day when your child will HAVE to go out without you, and they should be prepared for that day. Keeping your child in a box does them no favors.

Kristy - posted on 09/23/2011




Well I am a very protective Mom, and I'm like that also. I have a 13 yr old Autistic Son, and I do not want him to go to a public restroom alone.

I used to work in a very well known Dept. Store for many years and you would not believe the things that went on in the "Men's restroom!" The managers had to completely close it down, in order to try to stop what was happening in there. There is no way I am going to take a chance that anything could happen to my son, while he is in there alone. If I'm the only one with him while shopping, I will open the door and yell to see if anyone is in there and send him in when it's empty. I would not hesitate to walk into a men's restroom if I thought something wasn't right! It only takes minutes for our precious children to be raped or worse, and I'm not a Mother whose willing to take that chance with my children!

I do believe that the freedom you let your children experience and loosening your parental reins depends on many things, ie: where you live, their environment, their maturity, and the communication between your child and yourself. I tend to be very cautious with my children....would I let them (13 & 11) go to a park that is blocks away by themselves? Absolutely NOT!! Now I would take them there and spend time with them or keep an eye on them while they played or hung out with friends that were there. My 23 yr old always jokes with me how I didn't let him ride his bike up town until he was almost 15. But he also knows the reasons for that and exactly why I didn't let him and he thanks me for it. I don't feel it hindered his social abilities in anyway or hurt him at all. As he is a very social young man and has many friends.

I know I am going to have Mom's that disagree with me and that's OK, I respect that. We all have our own ways of raising our children, as there's no manual to tell us what to do. Thanks for listening!

Charlie - posted on 05/08/2010




Brandy Kolosky
April 8, 2:05 pm
Brandi -I think 'over-protective' is when you take it to levels where you are hindering their childhood experiences or ability to develop independence and make decisions without you when they are older. Protect them when you have to but let them run free when you can."

i could not agree more !

Brandi - posted on 05/08/2010




I think any parent letting their kid go to the park alone under a certain age is insane. How many stories do we have to hear about children being snatched while just right down the street from their house at the park? Jeez. It doesn't matter where you live. Your kid can be molested in their own home or church. That's just naive.

Nikki - posted on 05/07/2010




I don't think your over protective, regardless of where you live, I know children that have been sexually assaulted by strangers in small rural towns in Australia.

A 12 year old boy went missing from where I live a few years ago while he was catching the bus near his home, he has never been found. Another young girl was raped and murdered a few years back on a beach close to where I live. Where I live is considered to be safe, nowhere is safe for your children any more unless they are with a responsible adult to protect them.

I don't care how much of a bitch my children think I am, I will be a shocking over protective mother, I am just not willing to take the risk.
I don't care what others think of me, they can call me stupid and paranoid, I have just seen to many nasty things to be trusting enough to give my kids freedom to roam the streets, regardless of how responsible they are.

[deleted account]

I am so not overprotective. But then again, don't live in South Africa. I'm lucky enough to live in a pretty "privileged" community. My town has the best school system in the state so property and housing is more expensive than the surrounding areas and that keeps a lot of the lower socio economic status and crime out. Also, I've lived here the majority of my life so I know a ton of people. I would absolutely let my daughter walk the 6 blocks to the park when she's 7 or 8. And on the way there she'll pass the homes of her great-grandmother, her great aunt, two second cousins, my mom's best friend, the elementary school principal, 2 friends of mine from high school, my old pastor, my ex-boyfriend and his wife. So there are a whole host of people she can go to if she finds herself in trouble. I'm not saying things can't happen. Things happen all the time. But walk outside my neighborhood any day after school and you'll see tons of kids running around the streets. That's just the way this community is, and I feel safe.

By the way, I looked up sex offenders in my town and none of them live in my neighborhood. Doesn't mean they can't come to my neighborhood. But at least I know the guy three houses down (who is my old pastor) probably won't try to lure her in with a puppy then do unspeakable things to her.

So really, its all about YOUR individual situation.

[deleted account]

I have a friend that won't let her 14 yr old go to the restroom alone in a restaurant. That's a little too much for me.....But, I think parents just love their children a lot & don't want anything bad to happen. Better safe than sorry. ♥

Valerie - posted on 05/05/2010




I just wanted to say I love how Brandy put it. I'm not as concerned about germs, etc. My kiddo plays with the dogs and it's impossible to keep her from the dog toys, garbage, etc all the time. (although it does gross me out lol!) Also, I let her explore her world in my house without chasing her around. I let her fall down, etc. But when it comes to the outside world (ie other people I do not know) I'm excessively cautious. There is where I feel you cannot be too careful! We just had a teacher here in phoenix who raped a special needs student!

But all in all I just pray over her every step of the way and leave her in God's protection and muddle through as best I can. :)

Jane - posted on 04/08/2010




Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped right from her home, in her bedroom, while she slept. I don't think anything anyone does to protect their child is over protective!

C. - posted on 04/08/2010




I have to say that I do not think you are overprotective. It really does depend a lot on where you live and what it's like out there on whether or not you are being reasonable or sheltering.

Also, in response to Julia's comment about cursing. I don't see a problem with parents not cursing in front of their kids. I really don't. And I don't think it's wrong to wait until your children are in bed to watch rated R movies, either. To me that's not sheltering. It's just making sure that what your child sees/hears is age appropriate.

And personally, I know my son will probably swear when he's older.. I do it sometimes. But I know for a fact that I do not want him learning it from his momma!

[deleted account]

Depends on where you live and the individual child. In my neighborhood right now it's not "dangerous" however most the the other kids who live on my block are just brats! I always have problems when I let them go out on their own with other kids picking fights with them and stealing their stuff. My kids are pretty open with me so they tell me all about what kinds of things the other kids are getting into and there is no way I'm letting them just run around on my block! Alot of parents either have no idea what the hell their kids are doing or they don't give a crap and there seem to be many of them in my neighborhood. My 2 oldest are 10 and 12 so I would like to start letting them go off on their own more but until we more to a different neighborhood (cross my fingers by this summer) they will be staying where I can see them and I don't consider my self over protective at all. I just don't want them to start hanging out with a bunch of delinquents and start acting like them. I don't think it's negligent to let your kid run free as long as in the right setting and they are mature enough to act responsibly when you do send them out.

[deleted account]

I would never live some place w/ kids where I was afraid to let them outside and have some freedoms. Since I don't plan on ever moving though that won't be an issue. ;)

Rosie - posted on 04/07/2010




it depends on where you live, and if there is alot of crime there. for me i have no issue with my 10 year old going a couple blocks away, but i live in an area where crime hardly happens. i just can't see my kids being in a bubble all the time. i'm not saying you should move or anything cause i obviously know thats not possible for some people. i just would never be in an area where there is a lot of crime whether i had kids or not, it scares the shit out of me!! it's probably why i'll be here until i die, i'd be waaaay to uncomfortable anywhere else unfamiliar.

Jackie - posted on 04/07/2010




I am totally not overprotective, i firmly believe it has negative effects on the kids in the long term. But to answer your specific example (as with everything surrounding being overprotective) it depends on the neighborhood.

I would absolutely let me pre-teens walk half a block away.....and I wouldn't live in an unsafe area so I can't think of a situation where that would change. But if we were visiting somewhere unsafe I would at least re-think it before sending them off (but again, can't imagine a situation where I am spending time in any place that is so unsafe you can't go outside)...but in a large group I would more than likely let them go.

Sunshine - posted on 04/07/2010




Im not as protective as most. I think the reason for that is I know what it feels like to be isolated! It sucks. Wanting to go some where but can't cuz my mom & dad wont let me without a parent yet they wouldn't go with or take me no where! If my son was 13 & the park was down the street I would let him go. Im gonna make sure he has a cell phone. & make sure he at least calls to check in. I guess I am just not that strict or protective.. my son is 5 months so time will only tell:)

Amy - posted on 04/07/2010




I really think it depends on your situation. We lived in California for a couple of years and I scared the hell out of my first child, but when you move into an apartment and two weeks later a blonde hair blue eyed child just like yours disppears two apartment complexes away and is later found dead you do everything you can to make sure your child is safe.

I agree with Julia also. You can't protect your child from everything. Sometimes I think I need to be more overprotective but if you ever go to Disneyland I'm one of those moms with a child on a leash.

Emma - posted on 04/07/2010




I actually would love to keep my kids in a bubble wrapped in cotton wool and totality oblivious to the reality of the world that we live in but that would be totally and completely irresponsible of me.
Its our job as parents to teach them to cope with the good the bad and the ugly,
It would just be easier if there was not quite so much of the bad and the ugly in the world today!

Carolee - posted on 04/07/2010




I'm the same way as you, Emma... but I know that I'm over-protective. I'm actually proud of not being MORE over-protective (my husband keeps telling me that he's proud at how much I've "loosened up" with my "hovering").

LaCi - posted on 04/07/2010




I really think it depends on where you live, your kids, and what not. there is a small park across the street from me, and if my kid wanted to walk there alone at 6 or 7 I wouldn't have a problem with it. If he wanted to go to the other elementary school park I (about 5 blocks away) probably wouldn't have a problem with it. If he wanted to go to the super awesome park (about 8 blocks away but crossing a main roadway) I'd probably let him at 10/11 IF i thought he was responsible enough. It really depends on his behavior and his attitude at whichever age. But I live in a very low-crime area. the only major concern for me are cars. If he were SUPER responsible I may let him go at a younger age. But he would have to show me he was able to handle responsibility and privilege.

I think overprotective is really about censorship and things of that nature. Not exposing children to reality. I agree with Julia on that one.

Emma - posted on 04/07/2010




@ julia
Dam you where the first to reply and you know where im from, the reason i posted is not because i care if someone else thinks i am over protective as i know im just being an average parent but was to prove a point , as some of the woman that where commenting on the kiddie rains thing where getting a little OTT saying mom's where lazy, or overprotective ect... i think people forget that this site has woman from all over the world on it living in all different types of settings, from small rural towns to large city's ect and as all these locations hold different risks there are no blanket answers regarding how you choose to keep your kids safe. we make the choices based on what we as individuals have to deal with in that environment.
In short you may view one mothers actions as over protective because in your environment it is but in there's you may be seen as negligent for not doing what they do.

Julia - posted on 04/07/2010




For you I would have to say no. I've read a lot of your posts and bringing into consideration the stats you gave for sexual assault in SA absolutely not over protective at all. Hell I live in Columbia, SC and my husband doesn't even want me walking my 4 yr old to school because he doesn't think its safe. He has heard too much about the rate of kidnappings here in Columbia and doesn't want to take that chance. Hell he doesn't even want me going for runs by myself in my neighborhood when #1 I'm a grown ass woman anfd #2 I was in the army and can certainly defend myself!

Personally I think parents who are over protective are the ones who try to shield their children from everything! Like swearing or the opposite sex or violence. I swear infront of my kids they however know that kids don't say those words. My 4 yr old daughter knows the difference between a penis and a vagina (or china as she calls it) and she has seen bits of rated r movies. She doesn't necessarily sit there and watch the whole movie with us however we don't not watch movies we want to see just because she is home and running around.

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