Gransnet forums

AIBU

Child blaming by inadequate parents?

(66 Posts)
trisher Wed 31-Jul-19 15:07:11

At the adventure playground with my GCs I hear this woman warning her child to "make safe choices"- she's trying to stop him jumping off the top of a climbing wall! And I suddenly thought what happened to proper parenting? Because it seems to me what she is telling him is that if he falls or hurts himself it will be his own fault, because he made the wrong choice. I can't help thinking that parents need to step up and warn when something is dangerous and not use cop-out cliches!

grannyactivist Thu 01-Aug-19 15:09:54

When I married The Wonderful Man I was already a mother to three children and thought I was doing pretty well at raising them. Then along he came, with his tremendous spirit of adventure, and the next thing I knew he was encouraging my children to play outdoors in ways that were most certainly risky, but I bit my lip and trusted that they would learn what was safe or not with him to guide them.

Fast forward thirty years and TWM has a career where he is regarded as something of an expert on 'Nature Play' and risk management - and our children's children (the oldest is nearly 10) are using flints to make fires, whittling wood, climbing trees, making dens, getting muddy and generally experiencing a similar childhood to my own.

Saggi Thu 01-Aug-19 18:01:37

I never had specific guidance and we six kids were left pretty much to our own devices. Mum had two jobs ...dad worked 6 day week...and gran who looked after us was quite elderly and mostly shoved us outa the door soon after breakfast...with a bag of jam sandwiches...and a bottle of orange squash/water.. “ come back for your tea” was a constant refrain in my childhood . Brilliant way to be a kid. There’s way too much supervision these days and not enough freedom! And yes two of us girls encountered a ‘flasher’ ...my eldest sister did as well on a closed-in train carriage in the fifties. Life has to be learnt through your own mistakes and experiences...I’m not talking kids under perhaps 5/6... but above that age they need guidance not doctrine! 6 kids in our tribe ...not one ever in trouble with police...and only on, the brother s year older than me that broke a bone( his leg) ...and that was under supervision playing cricket for our school team. Accidents happen. Life is for living!

GrannyGravy13 Thu 01-Aug-19 18:12:28

All 5 and of our C took part in what could be described as “dangerous sports” some of which they still do, horse riding, skiing/snowboarding, skateboarding and MMA.

The one who now has the most sedate hobby, fishing, is the sport with the most deaths. I was surprised to hear about that fact!!!

trisher Thu 01-Aug-19 19:40:23

NotSpaghetti the boy didn't jump. The climbing wall was perhaps 12 feet high. He moved from there to climbing on top of a covered slide the other children were coming down. It did seem that he was just waiting sometimes for his mum to say "Make safe choices". It's not the danger element that worries me it's the idea that you can't point out a danger to a child for some reason. Bit like giving them a sharp knife and then saying well you didn't use it properly so no wonder you cut yourself.

Callistemon Thu 01-Aug-19 19:43:41

There's always one that climbs up the slide and not the steps when other children are waiting to come down!!
Actually, it's not safe choices he needs to learn, it sounds as if he needs to learn some manners!!

Scentia Thu 01-Aug-19 20:29:48

Only yesterday I was talking to my DD about this very thing. I was very much a ‘give choices, make mistakes’ kind of parent, from a VERY early age.

I was telling my daughter about when she kept trying to touch the range at about 2 and I explained it was hot, and would hurt if she touched it and left it st that, she touched it ONCE in her life, burned her fingers st two and at eight knew how to clean it out and light it safely. They ironed their own clothes from about six, yes they burned themselves, but they learned how to do it safely.
I am/was not a bad parent, I just did it differently to others. My children survived and are VERY VERY independent adults.

Different is not necessarily wrong OP.

Alexa Thu 01-Aug-19 20:43:45

I caught a runway horse quite a big one about 15-16 hands. After a few minutes a very small girl about six years old came panting along the road, seized the horse's reins and expostulated in anger " Brandy you naughty horse! " and led it away. This was an efficient independent hild.

GrannyGravy13 Thu 01-Aug-19 21:16:12

We have a 4 1/2 yr old GC, raised with horses, picks out their feet, grooms the bits they can reach, leads a 15 hand horse down to our field (mum is close behind). GC also tells the teenagers off for not wearing their hard hats!!!

I think we are so risk averse that we are actually endangering our children.

Bugbabe2019 Fri 02-Aug-19 10:03:41

She’s encouraging him to think for himself.
‘no’ parenting can stifle confidence and doesn’t encourage children to explore and be curious.
I made a decision long ago to not be a ‘no’ parent and it worked wonders for my children.
It’s a more modern way of parenting. As parents we should be giving our kids guidance for life, and encourage them to be adventurous! Let them make their own mistakes not give them a day filled with ‘don’t do this’ ‘don’t do that’
I work in a school for children with behaviour problems, and we use this technique and we often find that they will surprise us, and make the right choice 😊

Cressida Mon 05-Aug-19 15:00:25

My daughter works in a childcare setting which provides after school club for children from the attached primary school. Recently a group of boys wanted to fight/wrestle. Instead of immediately saying no she suggested that if they could produce a set of rules for safe fighting she would ask the duty manager if the fighting could be allowed. Between them the boys produced an acceptable set of rules and fighting commenced. They all obeyed their rules. The only problem occurred when one of the girls wanted to join in and objected to the phrase they'd chosen to signal they were being hurt. It was something typically silly boyish and she said there's no way I'm saying that. Another phrase was chosen and she joined in.

trisher Mon 05-Aug-19 16:55:50

Oh lovely- fighting is acceptable! and then we wonder why men are agressive. Learning not to fight and that there are other ways to challenge each other is something which should be instilled in boys from an early age. Rules don't make it better. Boxing has rules but people still get extensive injuries and brain damage.

Callistemon Mon 05-Aug-19 17:50:31

I'm not sure that I would feel happy as a parent that my son had been encouraged to fight, even wrestle or box.

jura2 Mon 05-Aug-19 17:52:40

yep- same here. Wonderful.

Callistemon Mon 05-Aug-19 17:57:48

Although I did feel that I wouldn't tell off my DGS if he 'lamped' the older boy who kept tormenting and bullying him. Thankfully sorted now, I hope, without resorting to that.

Callistemon Mon 05-Aug-19 17:59:44

I've just realised that 'lamping' must be a local expression; I didn't mean the dictionary definition shock.