A Little Over Protective with a Side of Paranoia

from sodahead.com

I have to share with you what I observed on Friday and the revelation that it brought me to….

On Friday evening the local high school (where my kids will attend in a few years) was having a big home game. I had encouraged my son to go because they wanted all the future football players to be present on the crowd. After a long week of games and homework…he wasn’t having any of that so my tired kiddo stayed home. However…I had already bought the tickets so I decided to take my daughter who was very eager to go. I thought this was strange because my daughter could really care less about football.

We get to the game and shortly after sitting down a “young man” with semi-baggy short, a faux hawk and some funny looking plastic glasses (given to the kids at a party earlier in the day) seems very interested in sitting next to my daughter. Amber quickly brushes me off and they go to sit together on the bench in front of us. I just looked over at my mom and mouthed the words “Here we go…” with an eye roll.  Obviously she must’ve planned this with her “friend” from school because we could see he was expecting her to be there.  Now I can see where tis new found interest in football had come from!

My daughter is not even 12 yet….her father and I have warned her that there will NOT be any dating before at least 16 so she should just forget the word “boyfriend” until then. It seems that kids are SO advanced these days. she told me….”well, his parents let him date.”  I thought…oh sure…that’s just wonderful.  As I’m trying to enjoy the few “innocent” years my daughter has left….I’m being rushed because she tries to act so much older than she is.  I look back to when I was that age and things then were so different.  I think I was still playing with barbies, care bears and pound puppies (showing my age) when I was 11.

My daughter was very upset with me because I wouldn’t let her hang out under the bleachers with other kids her age during the game. Let me explain this to you – it was very crowded with adults and kids alike…no security there and even though we live in a nice area, it doesn’t mean predators aren’t hanging out in places like this to find their next victim. Am I crazy?  Halfway into the 2nd quarter I needed to use the restroom and was shocked to find how many kids…most looked even younger than middle school…were running around down there by themselves. Where are their parents??? I thought. Anyone could grab any kid at any moment and no one would be the wiser. Predators are smart….they are calculating and they know how not to get caught.

Then, on Saturday night I brought my son and his friend to the movie theater. I drove them and dropped them off right in front, and watched them go in. When the movie was over I pulled up to the door early and waited for them to come out. As I’m sitting there I see a group of really, really young kids….maybe 8-10 years old with NO adults to be seen. They were waiting to be picked up. It was almost 11pm at night and they are just hanging outside the theater. It amazes me that parents let their kids do this. Don’t they realize anything could happen?

This is when the revelation occurred to me. I have become my mother. My mom was very protective of me as a child and even a bit paranoid….she still is. But, you know….I was always safe and I think I had a good upbringing because of it. My kids might hate me now for all the times I say NO when their friends’ parents say yes but they will thank me when they are older and wiser.

In the meantime I’m going to try not to watch so much CSI reruns….

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29 thoughts on “A Little Over Protective with a Side of Paranoia

    • haha….it’s funny the things we learn as we have kids of our own. I certainly remember the feelings that I had at that age so I can totally identify with my kids but they just have to trust me and know that what I do, I do because I love them. I think a lot of the problems in society today have to do with parenting. Too many parents just don’t care — or, they try to be their kids’ friend first, parent second. It just can’t work that way!

      • it is quite a chore being a parent – I would so rather be a friend–but you are right-it cannot work that way –they need direction and you generally don’t get directions from your friends (until you are older)

  1. Yup, when they’re older they’ll realize why you do the things you do. I can’t blame you. So many parents are so irresponsible. How do they NOT realize how many dangers there are everywhere? So good for you. 😉 I say a little paranoia is necessary as a parent.

  2. I had the same situation as I was 13 – my parents didn’t allowed me to visit a Festival – at this moment I thought they had ruined my WHOLE life. Today I understand and agree their decision and I am with you too. ;o)

  3. Le Clown says:

    Jen,
    I’m in between you and my over protective father as a parent. I do believe in setting strong boundaries, defined in respect, which will try and cater to my kids as much to me as a parent. I will often remember how frustrated it made me feel to have such strict guidelines from my dad, and as much as he meant well, to try and not do the same to my kids. I hope I can raise them in empowering them to make the right choices, at whatever ages they are. And I of course expect mistakes, and heartbreaks. But whatever the outcome of a choice it will be, they will always know that daddy is there, without judgement.
    L’Éric

    • Eric,

      I totally agree. I try to let my kids learn from their mistakes but I also do everything in my power to make sure that I don’t put them in a harmful situation. In the end…we try and try to raise our kids to the best of our ability but they all turn into their own “people” with their own opinions and their own decision making capabilities. All we can do at that point is hope that they choose the right path and take comfort in knowing we did our best.

  4. You are so smart to do these acts of love for the kids, God bless you mom! Stinks that we must watch out for creepy people like you describe. Our society uses sex to sell toothpaste to children on TV, should anyone be surprised? uhg.

  5. Yeah,… I’ve seen the seeds my parents planted spout and grow in me, too. First time was when I made the “dad grunt” getting up off my knees.

    Kids do seem to mature so early these days (TV and movies have a lot to do with that, I think.) Here’s some ammo for you: we used to think the important part of the brain was the greys cells (the neurons) and that the white matter was just a matrix in which the all-important gray cells lived. Turns out the white matter is crucial to proper brain function, too! And the white matter isn’t fully formed until one is about (ta da) 21 years old. So until that time, kids are literally “not in their right mind.” Science is on your side, mom!

  6. Don’t we all become our parents in one way or another? Wanting to protect your kids is the best way, especially these days when they seem to grow up so fast.

  7. I think you and your husband are totally doing the right thing not letting her date until she’s older. 12 is so young, so kudos to you for helping preserve her innocence. She may not understand it or like it right now, but she will definitely be thankful later on. 🙂

  8. Chancy and Mumsy says:

    In my opinion some parents now days are allowing their children to dress and act much older than what they are. They are totally missing out on childhood while trying to be older than what they are. I was very protective of my children when they were growing up and do not regret a minute of it. I shudder when I see very young children out unattended on the streets and at public places, no wonder there are so many missing children. When I read in the paper that children as young as 10 have been shot and killed I wonder where were the parents and why were these children out on the street at 11:00 or 12:00 o’clock at night. Here in my state a little girl was taken many years ago from a ball park during a game she nor any traces of her have ever been found. I would much rather be called an over protective parent or some other things than to take a chance on losing a child. Too many say and think it will never happen to them…but it happens every day…several times a day not just on TV either it is a fact of life. We as parents have an obligation to keep our children safe. Keep up the good work protecting your children. Hugs

    • You are so smart and correct! I’ve said many times to my kids…”I’d rather have you angry at me but safe than not angry and have something happen to you.” I think they really do understand, they just like to put up a fuss about it.

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