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View Poll Results: Hnads-off or Hands-on?
Hands-on 17 68.00%
Hands-off 8 32.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-08-2008, 08:16 PM
 
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Do you like fancy yourself a hands-on or hands-off parent?

Do you think you should get involved into every aspect of your child's school life, know all assignments, check all homework, volunteer for the sake of knowing what's going on with your child? Do you feel that it's your responsibility to think about your child's future and guide him/her there?

(See I'm not talking about Safety of a child where a *normal* parent should be hands-on).

A couple of my childhood friends had the most unfortunate family life. It seems to me to this day that the extremely hands-off parents were THE reason they became great folks.

One girl had no father, her mother was away as a conductor on a passenger railway, riding around the country. She has a schedule something like 1 week home- 2 months away. My friend had her grandmother at home who began to be too feeble. My friend was basically left on her own for most of the time. She woke herself up, ironed her uniform (from 7 years old up), got herself interested in books, started her literature collection. Went to piano lessons after school. Cooked for herself. Went on to graduate in Language Arts. Her grandmother died when she was in middle school, and her mother died of cancer when she was 34 and with an 11 mo old child, and a 7 year old child. She was/is a single mother providing for her daughters and their music lessons, and all this with a smile on her face.

The other friend had very young parents (they had her at 17), booze and fights at home. Her father committed suicide when she was 10 and her brother 3. She cooked since she was 6. Her mother could barely provide necessities. The girl went to get a degree in Architecture while working at nights as a night watchman (!) at a medical school.

Kids from less struggling families have turned out to be - some less, some more fortunate than those two of my friends, but we all grew up to the same success on average.

Not to say that we all should divorce or take a job to be away for months, but. I personally feel that I can't or don't want to be the over-bearing parent, look after every step of my children. I think there should be a buffer zone where they should make their own decisions - of being on time, of doing homework, of figuring what they want to be.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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Both.

It depends on the situation.

I feel there are some things that my dh & I need to be very hands on about while there are other things our children need to figure out through their own trial & error.

Every night my children go to bed knowing that we are proud of them, we love them, and that they are safe (right now we are going through the monsters are under the bed in the closet by the window by the door under the sheets phase).

We are currently in the hands on phase with both though there are some things w/ #1 that we are hands off with now b/c we feel that's the best for him.

I think a healthy balance is a good.
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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Partly depends on the age of the child as to how involved I was. And I volunteered a lot when my son was in elementary - had nothing to do with keeping tabs on him. Sometimes I never saw him while volunteering.
When they are younger, having the guidance can teach them what they need to know for when they are older. When my son was in elementary, I knew what homework he needed to get done. Became less and less hands on the older he has gotten.
He is now a freshman in high school. I like to think that we have raised him to be independent and have enough pride in himself to do well. He has goals of what he wants to do (engineering in the aeronautics field) so he knows what he needs to do in order to get into the college he wants. We can't make him want to do anything - he has to want those things for himself.
I don't think you need to have hardships or tragedies in your life to excel. I think you need parents who teach you that everything won't be handed to you on a platter.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:34 PM
 
Location: NE Oklahoma
1,036 posts, read 2,581,294 times
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When my girls were younger I was much more hands on. Right now I am mostly hands off except we are having issues with my oldest at school. Last year she was on the list every week for bad grades. This year they keep putting her on the list, mistakenly I am told. I am getting REAL put out because her grades are NOT Failing. If she don't get to go on a trip because she is on the failing list MISTAKENLY I am going to have a FIT.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:43 AM
 
Location: Central Kentucky
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I thought I was hands on while raising my two older sons, and while they have done well into adulthood, it also seems they have a mentality of being 'owed' something. The older moreso than the younger.

I stayed on top of homework and friends as best I could while working a 40 hr plus job, and made time for activities at school and after. We checked backpacks when they came home - up until they were in high school, but grades still seemed to faulter despite communication with teachers for my oldest, but the younger did better when I backed off and put it in his hands. As a matter of fact, he was involved in JROTC and was CO of his battalian his senior year, continued his education on his own, and is now in Paramedic school. I can still see the 'owing' attitude at thimes, though. Can't figure that one out completely.

My oldest is now playing catch-up, as he chose to put off school - but is rebounding well and seeing that mom wasn't crazy afterall. Married with a baby on the way, he is realizing I made sense all those years ago! He is working two jobs as he gets through Fire training and EMT school, hoping for a full-time spot on the department where he is now part-time.

With my youngest now - at 6 months it's hard to tell what will work - I am already finding if I allow him to be 'on his own' for short periods of play (he sits in the bedroom floor with toys, or in the middle of my bed and doesn't know I am steps away watching him), he does much better. Less whining, more independent - everything. Allowing him to lay in bed when he wakes in the middle of the night or way too early a.m. (like now!), is teaching him to get himself back to sleep and he is doing much better. I had to break my husband of running in with every peep and picking him up. I know these things with him are small - but we are building to being able to function on his own wihtout mom in his hip pocket.

I truly think it not only depends on circumstances, but on each individual child and maturity. Some you can back off of, others you need to stay on top of 24/7. BUT - in looking at the majority of kids whom my older boys grew up with - those left to fend for themselves typically did better, although a few did fall to drugs and lots of trouble from absentee parents.

Again - I believe each child needs to be considered individually, as some are just not 'wired' to be left alone.

So for me, this time around....play it out and see where it goes! I just want him to nap during the day!
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:28 AM
 
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I'm too hands-on and think I may be squelching my daughter's childhood a bit.... She's 5 today... I'm overprotective maybe (though this day and age I'm not sure if there is such a thing with regard to a 5-year old), but also nitpick and correct her too much I think.

I'm trying to teach her good manners and make her a very polite little lady and an intelligent one as well, but I think I might be throwing too much at her at one time. It's driving me crazy as well, so I guess I should back off a little bit, huh???
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:04 AM
 
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I was way too hands on during the ages 1 and 2, so I put him in daycare which helped curb this monster I was creating. Then I decided I would treat him not like the only child he was, but treat him more like a 3rd born child. So, I backed off. It helps having a relative with one of those mega-sized families. Her kids are very independent because they don't get 24/7 attention. It's a good thing.
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:09 AM
 
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I call my method of parenting benign neglect . Two of my children need me much more than the others, so I would probably be considered an involved parents with those two (lots of communication with teachers, helping them with most things, etc.). But the other ones are left to their own devices much of the time.
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:21 AM
 
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It depends. Some might say I'm too "hands on" because we homeschool, and I don't delegate their education to someone else. I know exactly what they know... there's no fooling mom when you're one of two students, LOL. After my son does his math, I circle the ones he got wrong and he corrects them.

On the other hand, I leave some subjects completely up to them. Science and history are child-led... if they want to learn all about volcanoes for an entire year and not do the "human body" books that I bought, then so be it. There are some fellow homeschoolers that I know that stress out over whether their child learned about space in 1st grade or 2nd grade. So to those moms, I might look too "hands off."

As far as safety and awareness, I'm very hands on... they don't get out of my sight very often, and never in public. I'm the mom on the park bench watching my kids the whole time while I'm chatting. My kids are not allowed to go play on the tennis court while I sit at the playground, out of sight. Some might think I'm hypervigilant.

On the other hand, I'm chatting iwth the moms. I'm not pushing swings and playing with my kids at the park. We went there so they could play with other kids, not so they could play with me. They are with me all day. So some of the moms pushing their 5 year olds on the swing might think I'm hands off.

I guess it's a matter of perspective.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:15 AM
 
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My kids are 6 & 8. I am very hands on with many things. My parents were extremely hands off with everything.

Children do not learn how to form good homework habits through osmosis. They need to be taught. When children are small, they need someone there showing them right from wrong, explaining and talking to them.

As children grow, my involvement won't end, but I'm sure it will change. When my son was 2, I learned the value of reading his books to myself before reading them to him. (learned while reading him a story that taught that when you have something others want, you should give it to them and then they will like you). Now I help choose his reading materials that we purchase, but I don't read every one of them and he picks his own books out from the school library. It's a process.

I no longer need to sit with my 3rd grader to make sure he completes his homework, though he still likes me to check his work. I do sit with my 1st grader. I look through all backpacks and folder while they're eating their afterschool snack. How frustrating it is for teachers to send home notes, newsletter, notices etc only to be whined at during conferences that they were never told something vital.

You cannot and should not put those responsibilities on the shoulder of a 5/6/7 year old. Yet many do.

A 13 year old should be trusted to hand you stuff coming home from the school. But if they weren't taught to do it, don't have a habit of it and don't think it's important to you, they won't.

I am the leader for my dd's Brownie troop. In GS we're taught that it should be "girl-led". You start out with Daisies (K), asking what they want to do, then putting it together for them. In Brownies (1-3), you slowly introduce the concept that they make decisions and make them responsible for putting parts of it together. In Juniors (4-5), the girls should be planning their own activities with the adults helping them to figure out how to get it done. By the time they are Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors (6th and up) they should be looking at the adult leaders as advisors, transporation and a checkbook. I like this progression and think it's well laid out. Parenting progresses along these same lines (or should, IMO).
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