Monday, June 25, 2007

Overprotective much??

I try very hard not to be an overprotective mom.
I don't freak out if my son falls. I don't generally get annoyed at other kids being kids around him. He's in daycare, and I'm not one of the parents who wants an accident report for every cut and scratch.
So, it struck me as rather odd when my overprotective mothering instinct kicked in a couple of weeks ago.
We live in a townhouse complex, so there is a wall that divides our house from the house behind us. (so we have a side yard rather than a backyard). The house behind us has several children, four we think, one of whom, M, is 6 going on 7.
I met her when we had taken Rosie Rose Petal, our kitten, for a car ride and we were carrying her back home. M stopped us and asked to hold Rosie. I said no because she was really scared. But, M wanted to talk and play with Matthew. I finally told her that the next time Matthew and I were outside she could come hold Rosie and play with Matt.
I thought she would forget.
But, the next time we were outside, out she came. She wanted Matt to come over to her place. I said no. It went back and forth. I finally had to put on my mommy voice and say that it was time for her to go home. (she and Matt wanted to play on his bunk beds - I didn't really want her to come in).
Again tonight Matthew and I were outside with my nieces, my husband and my brother in law. Over she came - decked out in her bathing suit - to play in the sprinkler. Apparently she had asked her mom.
I didn't really mind it. First of all, it was kind of nice to have a 6 (almost 7) year old play in the sprinkler while I took a break. If she's playing outside, with me around, I'm okay with it. She seems nice. But, she's a little pushy.
What worries me is she wants Matt to go and play with her and her friends. There are lots of kids in the complex. I want Matthew to have friends. I want him to ride bikes and play and have a good time. But I'm not ready for him to be out of my sight.
I'm not quite ready to let go.
I'm sort of worried that I'll turn into that mom chasing her child around, bottle of sunscreen in one hand, cookies in another.
And, the other thing I wonder about ... why is this little girl allowed to run around to some other kids' house, with no concept of time or who these parents are. I would say my parents were fairly protective of me, but not overprotective. But, I guarantee you that they would not have let me go over to a stranger's home dressed only in a bathing suit. Isn't dangerous????
So, what do you think? Am I overprotective? And at what point do you start to let go a bit? I think 3 is just way too young.


AndreAnna said...

No, I don't think you're being over-protective. He's three - he shouldn't be off on his own anywhere. You're doing just fine!! :)

Cori@SAHMbles said...

Trust your mommy instincts, looks like they are telling you that this is not a good situation. I have a 3 year old as well, his name is Matthew :) and I would not let him go off an play with a 6 year old who is almost 7. When he is out, he is either with me or my husband.

Why don't you go over an introduce yourself to her mom? And tell the little girl that Matt is just too young to go over and play a other people's houses, maybe in a few years.

LoriD said...

Not at all over-protective. Three years old is too young to be out of your sight. I have a 6 1/2 year old girl and she doesn't go anywhere where I don't know the parents. When she walks to her friend's house two doors down, I either walk with her, or her friend's mom comes to get her. I agree that you have to trust that mommy instinct... it's usually right!

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

I completely agree with you that 3 is too young to go over to someone's house that they don't know and play on their own!
It is a scary world out there and it is our job, after all, to protect our children.
I am with you, that I don't want to be that overprotective parent and I fear I will be. When you have that fear, it is hard to know where reality sits. For me, that's where my hubby comes into play to shake some reality into me.
I think that you cannot be too careful when it comes to strangers and until you can know with confidence that your child has a good, strong head on their shoulders, you need to make the choices for them!