Spoiled kids vs. well-nurtured kids. vs. Helicopter parents vs. Roomba parents.

Oh boy. This is going to take awhile. And with my ADD and short term memory issues, it might take longer for me to get to my point.

You all know what a Roomba is right? That self run vacuum cleaner that just rolls along bumping into the furniture and finding it’s way while sucking up the dirt? You know what helicopter parents are right?  Helicopter Parents are parents that hover. Take care of their kids even when there’s really nothing wrong to take care of. In Scandinavia, they are called curling parents. I mean, those Nordic countries know their curling right? So, it means to them, sweeping away problems before they transpire.

Look at them furiously sweep that ice!! How metaphoric for parenting right?

After People I Want To Punch In The Throat‘s blog about people needing to be happy, I felt a light bulb go off in my attic. Yeah, an a-ha moment, if you will. Kids are bored. Twentysomethings are bored. So we need to not be so damn cajoling to our kids all the time.

I seriously doubt I would call myself a helicopter mom. I mean, do helicopter moms hope and pray the neighbor kid will ask your kid over for dinner so you don’t have to feed them? Does a helicopter mom hope that the sleepover your daughter plans is at her friend’s house and not yours so you don’t have to host? Do helicopter moms stick Uncrustables in their kids’ lunches everyday because it’s easier than actually making a sandwich?

God Bless Smuckers

See what I mean?

On the other hand, I make my kids wear their helmets when they ride their bikes. I like to know who they are with and have the parent’s number. I make them buckle up and sit in the back seat. Daughter has started riding in the front- she’s 12, it’s legal. If they are invited on to a boat or somewhere, I make damn sure there’s life jackets. I would never let them do 4 wheeling or anything hazardous like that. Too many Dateline stories. I don’t let my daughter go with her friends to the ice rink at 9pm on a Friday. Who are you kidding? I was a teenager once!

Safety is a priority with me.  But if they have a problem at school, with a friend, with homework, whatever- I will make sure they can solve it first before I step in. Kids need to figure out the world. They need to know how to fight their battles. Some battles I had as a kid, I hated. But I still fought them. I’m not going to make my kid run around in the snow in his underwear to learn a lesson. (That was stupid) I’m not going to drop them off at the mall and say, get your own ride home. No. And I sure as hell won’t forget my kid at a Chuck E. Cheese on their birthday!

So this is why I think of myself as a Roomba parent. I’m there, I take care of the messes after they actually happen, I do my job. But am I as hovering and attentive as a helicopter mom, I don’t think so. Maybe I’m better than a Roomba parent. Maybe I’m a Zamboni parent?  But you get the idea.

My kids have it good. They are ‘lavishly indulged’ compared to most industrialized countries, I am sure. As most kids in this country are. When I say ‘lavishly indulged’, I mean, roof over their heads, laundry done, snacks stocked in the pantry. But I am okay with this. I try hard as a parent to provide them with the best things and experiences. Healthy meals (except for Uncrustables, a mom’s gotta have some slack here and there), I sign them up for swim lessons. Soccer if they want to. Theater. Yep- daughter does that. But only one thing at a time. I can’t stand driving them all over creation. We need down time. And by down time, I mean, time where I’m not in my car and I can watch GCB on DVR while having a glass of wine! My kids don’t have a TV in every room, iPhones, name brand fancy clothing or shoes. They have Target clothes, Supercuts hair cuts. I’m a bargain shopper. But don’t get me wrong- I buy some quality things too. And special things like a Kindle for my daughter. Anyway…my point is- I don’t think my kids are spoiled. Because, and I stress, because- they are gracious and appreciative.

My son says thank you for every blessed thing. Okay, he can be a little shit when he wants pancakes on a Saturday if I haven’t had my 3rd cup of tea, or he asks for milk when he sees me sitting with the laptop and the dog and have no intention of getting up. But still, he says thank you when I take him to the library. Thank you when I get him a burrito from the drive thru on the way from something, thank you for getting his hair cut, thank you for taking the family to the movies. When he was 2 years old he had diarrhea in the middle of the night. Like any two year old. I changed him, and when I put his jammies back on he says, ‘fank you mommy’. OH melt my heart!!!

The girl is gracious too. For her bday I took her to get her haircut, shopping, lunch and bubble tea. She said how much fun she had and thanks for taking her out. She needed a haircut, paid with stuff with her own money, and didn’t whine about anything. I didn’t exactly hire the Jonas Brothers to sing at her birthday or anything!

Okay- this is making my kids sound really good. And don’t let me fool you. They are not angels. They are little shits sometimes. But most of the time, they are awesome, I will admit.

What I worry about, is our future generation of adults. The twentysomethings of today.

We have two rental properties near a local college. Our tenants are students at the college. All in their twenties. Some tenants are very low maintenance, pay the rent on time, buy bug spray if they see ants in the garage, call the fire department if a pipe bursts. You know, basic stuff.

OTHER tenants- I swear still want their mommy or daddy to wipe them! They have no concept of when to send the rent check in. For how much the rent check will be. That we say no pets, we mean- no pets. That if they bust a window or a smoke detector because they were fucking around- they will have to pay for it. My husband and I repeatedly shake our heads in disbelief with some of the calls we get from tenants. Or when we have to send them their rent reminder on the 10th of the month. Seriously? <<SIGH>>

So where does this lead me, oh crap, I forgot to buy cat litter today, see- ADD snuck in!

Anyway, where was I….

Parent your child how you see fit, but please, I hope that means, teaching them how to pay their bills on time when they are older. Thanking folks when they have something done for them and speaking for themselves when they have a problem. So if you want to shower your kid with Juicy Couture clothes, Ugg boots, crackPads, new cars, whatever, make sure they APPRECIATE it. I like nice things. If I could afford it, I would buy the next Marc Jacob’s bag in a hot second! But know where it all comes from. Someone’s working hard for it. Because I like nurtured kids. Spoiled kids- not so much!

Oh, and for heaven’s sake- helicopter moms- teach your kids how to chew their OWN food!!

The Bearded Iris plays Helicopter Mom and chews her kid’s food for them. Trust me, it’s hilarious, and don’t take it seriously!

15 thoughts on “Spoiled kids vs. well-nurtured kids. vs. Helicopter parents vs. Roomba parents.

  1. I am married to the child of a helicopter parent. He has absolutely no concept of responsibility most of the time and just the other day informed me that he and his life (career) trumps me and the kids and any sense of responsibility he should feel towards us. There are obviously more issues there, but I believe much of it stems from the fact that he just has no sense of responsibility, which is a big problem surfacing with helicopter kids. Mama Bear babies them way too long and handles everything for them, and then as adults they can barely even make their own breakfast, let alone handle real problems life throws in the way.

    And I agree wholeheartedly about spoiled kids. There is too much of a sense of entitlement coming out of kids these days! Great post.

  2. I am always amazed at the sense of entitlement today’s twentysomthing’s have! I also hate parents as best friends. My sister is married to someone who was coddled and listening to her talk you would think she was talking about a small child rather than her 40-something husband. I give her the same advice I use on my three year old.

  3. I had a feeling I was going to love your site when I saw the picture you used for your profile pic on voieBoks! I love this piece and could not agree more. I have a very similar parenting style and am thrilled when my kids actually want to solve their own problems and really appreciate the things they get. Of course we have our own little bratty moments too, but I have real kids not fake ones!! I’m now happily following your site and look forward to reading more! We 40 something drama queens have to stick together! Lol!

    • Thank you so much for those kind words! Hey, we’re just trying our best here, right? My mom always told me, she raised me to be a pleasant person that others enjoyed the company of. I try to instill this in my parenting too! Glad you liked it!

  4. I’m right there with you…BTW I love the way you write—I like blogger who just type what ever even when its to remind yourself to by cat litter-as I was reading I was reminded to add it to my shopping list too LOL

    Poping in with vB welcome-your locker is the one on the left of mine and WE HAVE CLASSES HERE?!?!?!?!?!?! =^D

  5. It’s gonna be interesting in another 20 years to see what happens with that generation. We spoiled our kids some, but in other ways, they didn’t get a lot of the things other kids got. True helicopter parents will regret how their kids turn out, I think.

    Hopefully they will surprise us and be model, responsible citizens. 🙂

  6. Love your post! I hear you! Could not agree with you more… on everything. I can’t stand spoiled unappreciative children/kids who EXPECT things… definitely do not want to know them when they’re older! Blessings.

  7. I completely agree with you, and think you are probably an absolutely fantastic parent! Thank goodness we still have some good ones rearing these people we all have to deal with eventually in society!;) Loved this!

  8. I am with you! All about finding the balance. We do helmets, but no knee or elbow pads (part of being a kid is skinned elbows and knees), they have great clothes but most are hnd me downs from their legion of cousins (Waste not, want not), they pick up their own toys (noone is going to clean their room as an adult) and, they know we are lucky to have a house that is always filled with food. I feel like the job is to make them well rounded, INDEPENDENT non-aholes. I feel like the best way to do that is to let them have a few bumps along the road. You can’t always get what you want (sung in high pitched church choir vibrato)

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