Friday, February 19

Are YOU a Hyper Parent?

Are you a "hyper parent"? Did you play classical music to your fetus? Have you competed for spots in prestigious preschool programs? Do you question your child's teacher over half marks on tests? Do birthday parties involve caterers and  lavish gifts? Have you already started writing your baby's university application?

If so, then perhaps you need to check out this documentary:  http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/doczone/2010/hyperparents/index.html

Follow the link to a short article, accompanied by a 3-minute trailer and a complete 43-minute video: "Hyper Parents & Coddled Kids".

As an educator, I have certainly met some of these "hyper parents", but I can't say I agree with the article's statement: "Ask any teacher and they will tell you that the toughest aspect of their job is dealing with overbearing parents who fiercely intervene at the first sign of trouble." I have several pet peeves that would come in ahead of this one, and quite frankly, the practically non-existent parents concern me more than the overbearing ones.

With my "teacher" hat off, and "mommy" hat on, I am trying my best not to morph into this caricature of a mother, but I have to admit, sometimes it's hard. It's even trickier when my daughter will be starting Junior Kindergarten at the school where I teach, and I have to keep reminding myself that no one will be (or should be) judging me on how well-behaved or academically advanced my child may or not be. That issue is all about me though, not about concern for my daughter's success. Even I know that the daydreaming glue-eaters may very well have the brightest futures ahead of them.

It's funny, though, that sometimes I feel like I am a bad mommy because my kids' birthday parties thus far have been very simple compared to others I've seen -- certainly not the $4000 affair shown in the documentary -- the mother argued that reaching one's first birthday is "quite an achievement". Hmm.

By the way, I may appear to be a hyper-parent because I forced my daughters to watch Baby Einstein videos, but honestly, it was because I was using the TV as a babysitter, not to increase their IQ's! (Which would you judge me for more??)

So, what do you think? Are you guilty of a bit of hyper-parenting? Have you seen any extreme examples in your own life? Or do you agree with those who think that this style of parenting is on the decline, due to the recession and a change in values over the past number of years? Leave a comment and let me know!

5 comments:

Kim Hennekam said...

Oh I hope I am not one of those Overbearing parents!!!!! LOL
Yes I sometimes feel too that people will judge me for the things my kids do or don't do! I know I worry about that too much but I think there is quite a few parents that don't think this way enough! Sometimes a kid's behaviour does reflect on the parent!
As for birthday parties, sometimes the simplest parties are the most fun. To a child, as long as their birthday is being celebrated that is the most important thing to them! My 8 year old was told after her last birthday and she agreed that is the end of bigger parties (8 other 8 year old girls present and too many personality conflicts!!) From now on it will be 1 or 2 friends and a special outing (movie and dinner etc..)Less stessful hopefully!!!

Joan said...

First of all - I did eat glue, and I really don't think it hurt me. I can clearly remember stashing a paper craft plate of glue in my desk to dry so that I could sneak some to chew later. I think this was about gr. 4.
I don't think hyper parenting is on the decline. I spend quite a bit of time each day with moms-to-be and new mommies, and so many of them are SO hyper. The baby magazines seem to still be overfilled with rules about how a perfect parent should feed, dress, and stimulate her baby. And people do take this stuff seriously. I had one woman actually crying to me when she found out about the idea of playing classical music to her unborn baby. She was so upset b/c there was only 2 weeks left of her pregnancy when she heard about this, and she didn't think that was enough time to properly expose her baby to enough Mozart before it was born!

Pam Putnins said...

Hi Kate

I am not a hyper parent. I enjoy being involed with my kid's life but when it comes to activities it is there chose if the want to do it or not. But one rule I do have is if I pay for the program you will be commited to it for the time it runs. When it comes to my kid's schooling I knew when my oldest needed the extra help and did everything I could and still do to get him all the help he needs. I will put myself into big time money trouble to get him the help so he can reach his best. I would do this for all my kid's and will not stop until they get what they need. Some teachers I may come into contact with in the future may not like it but that is to bad, But I hope that will never happen. So far all the teacher's I have had to deal with have been great and very helpful I have to give them all a big high five.

Diane said...

I have a suspicion that some people may think I'm a hyper parent. I'm very proud of my son, (my daughter, too, of course) who is definitely gifted verbally and in reading, but I take absolutely no credit for that. I think people would be surprised at how little I have done to develop this, it's just his own innate interests and talents. Although.... Baby Einstein did babysit for me too.
I really don't like how often I catch myself telling stories about his accomplishments. I sincerely don't want to be bragging, it's just that I am truly stunned by these gifts straight from God. Can my friends forgive my need to share?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. This should be required viewing in pre-natal classes.