Recently, I watched this segment on the Today Show ..."No Rescue" parenting.
It was so interesting to me as I feel like a "helicopter grandparent" and I was, at least a part-time helicopter parent when my own children were growing up.
As a pediatric nurse, I saw what could freakishly happen to kids. It made an indelible impression on me for better or for worse in my young parenting years.
It was me, who requested to have our local grammar school doors locked in the late 1980's. The principal, who always wore rose-colored glasses, promptly and proudly told me the school in our bucolic village had an open door policy to which I answered that child safety was my concern and it was time to revisit an open door policy of a neighborhood school located up against railroad tracks and a train station.
Tragically, a short time later, Laurie Dann walked into a Chicago North Shore grammar school with a gun, killed a child and wounded others. From then on the doors were locked to our school.
I always felt compelled to speak up when health and safety of my children and other children were concerned.
More recently, I approached a nanny, who left children in a car with the engine running, to go inside school and retrieve an older sibling. I informed her this was against the law and put the children at risk, mandated reporters such as myself are obligated to call the police in these cases. She responded by telling me, the mom had told her she could do this...What?
Parenting labels are becoming annoying at this point. Why do we have to label parenting styles and set up quasi rivalries among moms? Is there not more than one "right" way to parent a child? Can we not value each other's perspectives on parenting children?
What about this idea of "No Rescue" parenting? Does it really need a label or is it simply a progression of many parenting styles that work as a child gets older and assumes more responsibilities for his life?
The idea of "No Rescue" parenting is not offensive in and of itself. It may make sense to introduce this concept into your style because children learn from problem solving their own situations. To me, helping kids remember things and become organized is something we should be teaching our children and grandchildren. It is a learned skill, so reminders are good and consequences are also good if there is repeated forgetfulness.
- What kind of parent or grandparent are you?
- Do you feel guilty when you cannot bring something to school that your child or grandchild forgot?
To be honest, I always felt guilty when I did not rescue. But that is a whole other discussion.
We should be able to see the children in our lives learn consequences of their behavior and take responsibility for themselves even as early as first grade within limits and a given framework. They may not ever thank us for it but isn't that what parenting is all about?
But can we please resist calling this a "style" of parenting and just add to the list of tips on how to teach children independence and responsibility.