Yes, I've gotten angry at the mom who could not seem to look up from her conversation to take her screaming kid out of a restaurant.
Yes, I've watched a dad play with birthday presents that his 5 year old received, all the while ignoring the kidlet's protests and demands to play.
Since all these things leave me close to rage, it might seem weird that I believe ignoring my kids is a completely appropriate strategy in a lot of cases.
But I do. I ignore my kids like ignoring them is a contest with a million dollar prize at the end.
You see, I've noticed something. If I ignore them - or at least APPEAR to ignore them - they figure most of it out on their own, faster than they do with my intervention.
Riding bikes is a great example. I walk while my kids ride bikes. Sure, on the inside, I am 100% helicopter parenting. I never look away from them. But I pretend, under my dark sunglasses, to see nothing.
A fall? Mommy is way down the road and can't help, so The Loki better wipe away the scrapes and pick up his bike himself.
Three days of that technique, and the only time he didn't get back up was when he was truly bleeding and needed help cleaning up. Otherwise, he sees falling as an adventure. Excellent!
I also ignore them during time outs. Actually, I pointedly do something else that I enjoy, to show them that they can stay there as long as they want, until they are ready to make amends and change the behavior, and it doesn't matter to me, as I am in no rush at all. (Of course, internally, I'm all "hurry up and say sorry!" But they do not know that.)
They are free to ask questions. But by letting them only get help when they ask, they naturally do more by themselves and I get to see where the real struggles are happening.
And yes, sometimes I pretend to be looking at my cell phone to achieve this deception.
Try acting like you aren't hovering over your kids and see if it works for your family. I'm raising some pretty self-sufficient kids over here!
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