Author Topic: Overprotective? Reasonable?  (Read 3724 times)

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shygirl

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Overprotective? Reasonable?
« on: June 13, 2013, 08:10:29 AM »
I'm going to visit my family, back in Hometown.  I'm going with my almost 3yo son, and we need to take a flight (about 2.5 hours long).

So, the night that we arrive, there is a concert that my sister wanted to go to.  She asked if I wanted to go.  I said it probably wasn't a good idea, because it will be our first night and my son is probably going to be like a wild animal.  My sister was like "So?  Just leave him with our parents and let them deal"

I don't want to do that because my parents think they know better than me how to take care of my child.  So I think it would be better for me to be around the first night, and establish some "safe zones" and rules for my son before my parents have an opportunity to mess things up.  Also, it's extremely important for my son to have a comfortable sleeping spot, which is usually a safe zone for him.  Where he goes when he needs some alone time and needs to calm down.  My mom wants him to sleep in their room, which is huge and open, and has a slider to the backyard.  That's not going to work for him, because he needs to be alone when it's time to relax.  That's just the way he is.  He cannot be in my parents' bedroom unsupervised.  Since my son doesn't fit in playpens anymore, I was planning on him sleeping on the floor in "my" bedroom, which is much smaller and much easier to make safe to keep a 3yo by himself.  I'm pretty sure if I'm not around the first night, my mom will just do whatever she wants, and I don't want that to happen.

Anyway, I think my sister was rolling her eyes at me, so I eventually said that I'm okay with leaving my son with my parents so we can go out and do adult type of things, just not the FIRST night.  She said "ok, ok", but I'm wondering if I'm being overprotective? 

Also, if anyone has tips on sleeping arrangements for toddlers while traveling, I'd love them!

otterwoman

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Re: Overprotective? Reasonable?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2013, 08:18:07 AM »
You know your child best, I think you are being a reasonable, responsible parent.

My dd still fit in a crib at 3, so that's where she slept when we traveled to my parents. They rented one while we were there. Otherwise, I would share a bed with her to keep an eye on her.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Overprotective? Reasonable?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 08:18:31 AM »
I wouldn't call you overprotective, just smart in dealing with a toddler.   In fact I think he might be upset if you were to dump him at grandma and grandpa's in a place he doesn't know as well and then take off without him.   Which might make him all the more anxious. 

I also think setting ground rules is good, but if your parents are like that it might not make any difference whether you take off the first night or the last.  If they are that disrespectful of you and your boundaries, I'm not sure it'll matter if you've set up the safe zones and rules yet or not.
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acicularis

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Re: Overprotective? Reasonable?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2013, 08:29:01 AM »
I don't think you're being overprotective. Even if you had no concerns about how your parents might do things, it would be perfectly reasonable to want to stay in that first night after arriving.

People who don't have kids, or who have kids different from yours will always think you're overprotective about something or other. But they're not the ones who have to deal with the fallout if you go against your instincts and things don't go well.

shygirl

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Re: Overprotective? Reasonable?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2013, 08:35:40 AM »
I also think setting ground rules is good, but if your parents are like that it might not make any difference whether you take off the first night or the last.  If they are that disrespectful of you and your boundaries, I'm not sure it'll matter if you've set up the safe zones and rules yet or not.

I think they won't establish safe zones or rules on their own, but if I do it first and my son gets used to the new environment, they will follow along.  If they see that he needs to decompress by being by himself in his bed when he gets stressed out, they will let him do that.  But if I'm not around to set things up first, they will just try to calm him down, or soothe him by talking to him, or giving him what they think he wants.  Trust me when I say that is going to be an absolute failure.

learningtofly

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Re: Overprotective? Reasonable?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 09:03:22 AM »
People who don't have kids, or who have kids different from yours will always think you're overprotective about something or other. But they're not the ones who have to deal with the fallout if you go against your instincts and things don't go well.

I agree one hundred percent.  Every kid is different and you will have to deal with the fallout if things don't go well.  My DD sleeps in her own room at my parents house, but she started in a crib there and transitioned to a bed.  (We fly there as well)  To her that room is a safe place because her whole life that has been her room at their house.  However, it took a few years of traveling before I felt comfortable enough to go out on the first night and my parents always follow my rules.  You may be tired after traveling with a three year old in a confined space.  Relax and get some sleep.

lowspark

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Re: Overprotective? Reasonable?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 09:34:22 AM »
I don't think you're being overprotective. Even if you had no concerns about how your parents might do things, it would be perfectly reasonable to want to stay in that first night after arriving.

People who don't have kids, or who have kids different from yours will always think you're overprotective about something or other. But they're not the ones who have to deal with the fallout if you go against your instincts and things don't go well.

POD to all of this. I wouldn't leave a child alone in a strange place at night after flying there and having just arrived unless they were maybe teenagers, much less under three years old. It's just good parenting.

And yeah, if your sister doesn't understand because she doesn't have kids or has never been in that sort of situation, oh well.  Your answer is no, you've said you'll go out on another night, and that's the end of it.

Your child, your decision.

bopper

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Re: Overprotective? Reasonable?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2013, 09:51:30 AM »
YOU have to deal with his behavior/crankiness if the first night not with you causes issues.
YOU have to be ultimately responsible for his safety.

All I would say to sis is "I would like that, however, instead of one night of fun I think it would be better to get him into a routine so that the rest of the vacation goes well."

TootsNYC

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Re: Overprotective? Reasonable?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2013, 09:55:11 AM »
I think if you don't want to go to the concert badly enough to suffer the inconveniences that will result from doing so, then what you are really telling yourself is that, well, you just don't really want to go to the concert all that much.

That's a perfectly reasonable stance.

I can tell you that I probably wouldn't want to go to a concert the first night I arrived in Hometown. And especially if I'd been traveling w/a toddler in tow. I'd want to settle in. (Unless the concert were one I really, really wanted to see.)

I will say that kids are really NOT harmed by one night of not sleeping well, or feelings stressed, or whatever. (And your kid might surprise you by being far more flexible than you think, once he's required to so do.) And that your mom setting things up one day on the first night does NOT mean things have to stay that way.
   And hey, if your mom does what she wants, the way she wants, and it turns out to be a problem, then you've actually gained ammo to say, "See, I really do know better than you."

It's ONE night. It's just not a permanent thing. And your son might suffer for an evening, but my own opinion is that nobody promised ME any stress-free life, and my kids didn't get that guarantee either.
    In fact, I'm of the belief that facing the really-not-that-dangerous stress of sleeping in a strange place, not getting to sleep, etc., etc., is actually one of the important ways kids grow and learn and adapt. From "suffering" comes growth. Muscles get stressed, and then they get stronger; bones get stressed from activity, and then they get denser; brains get stressed by learning and experiences, and then they get smarter/faster/more  agile. Ditto character.

So if you do really wish you could go to the concert, my advice would be, go. You son's "suffering" won't be that severe, and he can be inconvenienced in order to make it possible for you to do something you enjoy.

And I'd say, then tell your sister, "I don't want to go badly enough." Then she can't argue with that.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Overprotective? Reasonable?
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2013, 09:55:35 AM »
As someone without kids, I think you are being completely reasonable to get your son established in a new place before leaving him with anyone.
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Sophia

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Re: Overprotective? Reasonable?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2013, 10:00:21 AM »
Your sister doesn't sound like a very nice person.  She wants you to dump your "wild animal" child on your parents because she wants to have fun.  Not fair to your child or your parents. 

Maybe I just don't tolerate eye-rolling. 

Winterlight

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Re: Overprotective? Reasonable?
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2013, 10:01:33 AM »
Since you're the one who has to deal with the fallout of a potentially freaked-out, stressed-out toddler, I think you get to decide what's reasonable here.
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lowspark

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Re: Overprotective? Reasonable?
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2013, 10:11:18 AM »
I don't think you can generalize about how all kids adapt or grow or deal with stress or recover from stress. Every child will be different.

Aside from that though, I do agree that you don't want to try to protect your child from every bad situation that will ever happen. Not only is it impossible, but I agree that it's not healthy.

However, I would certainly not pick a vacation as a time to knowingly put a toddler in an additional unnecessary stressful situation. That is, more stressful than the already out-of-the ordinary experience of flying somewhere, staying in a strange place, etc. In other words, a two-year old traveling via airplane (which includes all the lovely airport stuff you have to go through) and arriving in a strange place and seeing people you don't know (or know well) and sleeping in a strange place, well, all of these are going to be at least somewhat stressful in addition to being exciting. And between the excitement and the stress, as a mother, I wouldn't want to add anything that wasn't necessary to that.

Not only would it not be best for the child, but as a parent, I'd rather not deal with any fallout from it while I'm on vacation. So I'm not sure any concert would be worth that.

*inviteseller

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Re: Overprotective? Reasonable?
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2013, 10:14:01 AM »
Parents know how their child will be and they are the only ones who can make decisions about how to work with their child.  Toddlers do not just get over changes to their routine..it can cause problems for days unless a routine is followed.  Your sister probably just thinks "Mom  & Dad are parents so they can handle it."  It is actually not fair to your parents if you just leave your son and go out when he is in an unfamiliar place with people he is not used to.  That would just seem to be the perfect ingredients for an epic toddler meltdown.

And Toots, I agree with you that kids do have to learn to adapt, but a toddler, after a flight, in a strange place, with people he barely knows>  No, that is too much to expect a 3 year old to adjust to, especially when OP says she can't trust her parents to stick with his routine (one that makes him comfortable).

bah12

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Re: Overprotective? Reasonable?
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2013, 10:32:14 AM »
I think that you're being both adequately attentive to the needs of your son and kind to your parents by not dumping a toddler on them who will be "wild all night" the first day of his vacation.  And while I do agree that you can't protect your children from all uncomfortable situations at all times and even agree that children need to learn how to deal with uncomfortable and new environments, I do think it's the parent's job to guide them through that.  He's already going on a plane ride that day and will be sleeping in a new environment.  Why make it worse by immediately leaving him alone and especially with people who you don't feel have his best interests at heart?  I think to be there the first night and helping him establish his 'safe zone', you are aiding him in learning how to deal with a new and uncomfortable environment, so that he is better equiped to handle it later in the vacation when you do leave him with your parents.