My younger son and I had a little spat the other day because I would not let him have a sleepover.
He has been sick since mid-December with a stomach virus, the flu, strep throat and most recently, a sinus infection that put him on a second 10-day course of antibiotics that he finished just three days before the requested sleep over. I made the crazy (to him) statement that I wanted him to get some rest so he could recover from this string of illnesses.
His response? “You are so overprotective! People get sick. Who cares?!”
He’s right, people do get sick but sleeping does help them recover. (Besides, I HATE sleepovers but that wasn’t part of my argument at the time).
He’s also correct that I am overprotective…ish. In my defense, I pointed out that I was willing to let him go to Italy this summer as part of his Latin class. “That seems sort of reckless if you think about it,” I told him.
He scoffed. “The only reason you agreed to let me go is because you knew that my classmates’ parents would say no,” he told me. “You knew I wouldn’t want to go without my friends.”
We will never know because, of course, as I knew, his classmates’ parents said no.
See, where my oldest is a little more cautious my youngest leaps before he looks. So, I have to say things like, “Can you not run down the ice-covered sidewalk? It’s a little slippery after the ice storm.”
Does that mean I’m overprotective or is it my job to warn my accident-prone son of the dangers that he would never notice until it was too late and we were in the ER…again.
Mind you, this is the kid who, among other things ran into a pole (those big cement things that don’t move) when he was younger and required multiple stitches, hurt his tailbone by taking a jump with a sled on a pile of icy rocks, and slammed his knee into a metal pipe trying to jump over a series of metal pipes.
I know, I know. Boys will be boys, but does that mean I’m overly cautious when I suggest that maybe he NOT ski straight down a mountain.
Well, according to my 14-year-old I am.
Here are 10 more examples of things that I’ve said that my youngest found unreasonable, restrictive and just plain no fun. I call them parenting decisions; he calls them torture:
- I told him he couldn’t have a motorized mini-bike when he was 10-years-old because he would drive it on the street and it can fit under a car and, well, he was 10 (have you seen what can happen with those things??);
- I made him wear a bike helmet;
- I had to be allowed to “friend.” “like,” and “follow” him on all of his social media accounts (and, yes, I know that he might have other accounts I don’t know about but his brother does…);
- I say crazy things like, “Be careful!” and “Don’t do anything stupid,” when he is engaging in any activity that could result in bodily injury and/or death like skiing, climbing a tree, or being a boy;
- I talk to him about the dangers of drug addiction, alcohol abuse and unprotected sex – often – and usually over his very loud objections about discussing this topic with his mom;
- I told him – all 5′ 5″ and 115 pounds of him – that he could not tryout to be the kicker for the high school football team (did I mention that he is only 115 pounds?!);
- I don’t let him drink coffee before bed (yes, he’s asked);
- I make him eat things like fish and vegetables because they are good for him;
- I make him set his social media accounts to private so strangers can’t access them and I tell him not to share his passwords with anyone even when he insists that no one he knows would do anything stupid like log on to his accounts and post inappropriate things;
And the most ridiculous thing that I make him do?
- I make him tell me where he is going and (gasp!) who he is going to be with!
I don’t know how he stands it.
What do you think? Am I overprotective? Are you?
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