Their intentions are good — however overprotective. What happens to the resilience of the child when mom and dad are hoverers? My sister and her husband post daily Instagrams of their adorable offspring. It’s the language, though, that’s giving them away as being possible overbearers.
For instance the posts are labeled, “Our first day in nursery school.” ‘Our’ meaning the child and the parents! And “Our first soccer shoes.” Who is the soccer player? I pity the coach. It reminds me of the overly aggressive behavior parents of our son’s teammates display. How do we politely call attention to this excessive interest before my sibling suffocates her kids? What do we have to look forward to? “We’re applying to colleges? Notre Dame is our first choice?”
How do we not appear critical, but make a point nicely? I should add that the “we” and “our” are used in conversation as well.
–E.P., Detroit, MI
At least you are not asking your sibling and her husband whether of not they are neglecting their children. The problem is that helicopter parenting comes off as caring too much. Relationships have to have a happy, healthy middle ground.
It is best, however, to tread lightly when expressing your views. Using humor to illustrate that you get a kick out of seeing a photo of “our first soccer shoes” would be a start. Call them on their usage of pronouns when it comes to family members. Add that you may have done the same thing.
Sometimes when a parent feels he or she is deficient in their parenting skills they imagine ill-will or evil-doing toward their child, and champion themself as the child’s hero.
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Accepting A Compliment