Thursday, September 19, 2013

Slacker Parenting.. Yes Please!

"Slacker Parenting"- has anyone else heard of this? Apparently it is a new term for something that has been going on for many, many years. I heard about it on the radio yesterday morning. To be more specific, a slacker mom has more of a laid back approach to parenting. She doesn't check her children's homework to make sure that it is free of mistakes, or finished. She is somewhat organized but forgets to sign the odd permission slip or may even send a child off to school without a lunch. So basically, she's human and not perfect. I like it.

 There's been big discussions about slacker parenting. Are you a slacker parent? Is it wrong to admit to being a slacker parent? Were your parents slacker parents?

 On the radio a large number of people phoned in to share their stories. Most of these listeners were raised in the 1970's when the world was a lot less violent. Parents weren't worried about their kids being kidnapped as soon as they were out of sight. But at the same time, some of the stories were shocking.
 One story was of a four year old that walked home from school alone. She had to cross a highway intersection on her own and would sometimes end up at the wrong babysitter's house. She was supposed to go to different sitters on different days of the week. But of course, she was four and wouldn't likely know what day it was...  I would call that one Bad Parenting..

Another story was two kids riding in the car with their parents straight from the grocery store. The parents pulled into a pub and told the kids that they were going in to have a jug of beer. They opened a bag of chips and two pops and left them there for a couple of hours. Again, this was in the 1970's. Again, I would call this Bad Parenting.

 I read an article from a woman that considers herself a slacker mom and is proud of it. She talks about some of the things that she allows her boys to do..

She lets the older boys pack lunches for themselves and the younger boys everyday. Her younger sons can pour their own cereal in the morning. One middle son can whip up "a mean spaghetti" for supper. ... Slacker Parenting.  The boys also do not go to summer camp in the warm months because it is too much money, too much of an effort to get them all packed up and taken to each different camp every morning. Instead, she has them stay home and play together. They ride their bikes in the neighbourhood, make lunches to eat together, play video games and other activities that boys like to do.  ... Slacker Parenting.

  Honestly, I think that slacker parenting is the way to go! I refuse to be a "Helicopter Parent". Hovering over and smothering children is the worst approach in my opinion. I find it to be so invasive and irritating. Kids need to be kids. They need to get dirty, to make mistakes and to have some independence at an early age. I have friends that are such helicopter parents. One has two boys and she is constantly babying them. She asks so many questions about everything. It is suffocating now and the boys are young. Wait until her boys become tweens, they'll learn fast to answer her nagging questions with short, vague answers.
 Obviously, everyone has a right to how they want to parent. But some people, or moms specifically need to learn to back off, to let go and allow their kids to do things on their own. I want to be the best "Slacker Mom" Alina has ever known! I don't want to hover over her while she's doing her homework. I will want her to know that we are around if she needs help, but not to rely on us for every question. She will need to learn to have independent thoughts so she can build up her confidence at a young age. I won't be running behind her when she learns how to walk, covering any sharp edges of tables with the palms of my hands.. I won't buy her those water wings that stretch across the child's torso. I just find them to be the perfect example of people being overly protective. How many children in the past have done just fine swimming in water wings, with the proper supervision? She will wear a regular bathing suit, not one that covers every bit of skin on her body. She has been using a blanket at night and not a sleep sack because I am not afraid of her suffocating herself. So many children in this world, survived having slept with a blanket at an early age. I think she's going to be okay. It's no way to live.. It's exhausting and unnecessary.

I mean, let the kid TRY swimming with water wings.. This is just going to hold him up uncomfortably and then tip the poor bastard over.

This is a Japanese floaty device for babies. It fastens (Safely!) around the neck and the baby just floats in the water. This is an example of our Slacker Parenting... There were A LOT of people looking at Alina with concerned looks on their faces... But guess what? She survived. AND she liked it too. Go figure!

She was flying a plane the other day.. boy did we get some serious glares for that one! BUT- she landed the plane and now she knows how to fly a plane!!

 I want Alina to be strong. I want her to not question herself and I want her to be able to do things that aren't usually expected of a child her age. I would love for her to be able to help me make supper and to help dad chop wood. I want her to be safe, but I also don't want to shelter her from every, little possible bump or scratch along the way.

 My name is Haley and I am definitely already a Slacker Parent and I can honestly say, I am proud to be one!

 If you are a parent.. are you a slacker parent? If you aren't a parent yet.. what kind of parent do you think you'll be!?


Amanda said...

One of my really close friends is a "slacker parent". And honestly her son is one of the most healthy and well adjusted kids that I have ever met. The only thing she ever did that shocked us was when she went back to work and enrolled him in daycare and we were like, "Did you research the background of the daycare?" And she was like, "Nah." xx

Lisa-Jade said...

I try not to smother my little one too much, but she's really a busy, clumsy and a complete explorer type child so she has to be watched about 80% of the time to make sure she hasn't climbed into the washing machine or switched on the dishwasher.
But I agree with the Slacker Parenting style of things, especially with older kids. You have to let them discover the world on their own but they should know that if anything is need or goes wrong, you're there for them in a heartbeat!

Noor said...

My aunt is the best example of slacker parenting . She's expecting her second child just in coming week (yes I bursted the bubble here) but her older one is a little master of devil . She doesn't check on what's his guy is doing (he does paint walls with unwanted chalks , make their wardrobe a mess) but you know what , I like it this way . He learns better than other children because he isn't pressurized . He knows what's wrong and what's bad (though he does what's bad *more*) though it's not always like giving children ALL the freedom that's exaggerating but giving them a chance to learn completely freely is much better than anything .
Oh my Haley , you're on of the careful parents I have ever seen . You're caring but it's different :) I love Alina's pool shot . She's gonna be great swimmer ;)

Areeba said...

Oh my! I would be a super-dooper-slacker parent! I'm glad you know that kids need to be kids, I am sure my mum was a slacker parent as my granny told me that when me & noor were 2, we used to play with mud (remove the part that I once tried to eat a lump) and painted our room door with her lip colour. Alina is a lucky lady with such awesome mom. I have a friend and her parents are of Adolph Hitler type , Geez!

Anonymous said...

Be the Best Slacker Mom you can Be!And Wow - so Glad Alina can fly a plane. That is awesome .... obviously Uber Talented just like her Mom.

Haley said...

I plan on being the best slacker mom I can be.. !! And yeah, I have no idea how she became a baby pilot.. but she did. Rob's sister Erin is dating a seaplane pilot and he must have showed her a few things when we weren't looking. She's a quick learner!!