When child services are called ….because of a blog …. no really ….

I may be coming a bit late to this party, I do not read as many blogs as often as I used to, but none the less, I do eventually get there, albeit it a bit later.

I saw this on blogher and of course, it made me a bit nervous, and apprehensive.  I raised a need-an-appointment-for-waxing eyebrow in suspicion, and asked “What is really going on here …?”

I went along to read the original story and unless I am missing something: – a son sold his calculator for Pokemon merchandise, his mom thought okay, that is fine, you do what you must, but you will need to earn the money back to pay for the calculator, which you do need for school – and oh, seeing as you sold your calculator it appears you will not have one for your maths test.

Sorry for you!

You sold/swapped the calculator = You suffer the consequences = Seems like good parenting.

Possibly I am further on the scale towards “free range” parenting, than say “helicopter” parenting.  But I personally have no problem with this concept.  (In truth out of guilt I may have stopped en route to school and bought my son a calculator, but good sense would have told me to allow the lesson to be taught and granted if I bought him a calculator now, what would stop him from swapping his duvet for a cool skate board tomorrow?)

The child in the blog post is eleven.

Eleven you can work out a few things, including you will not have a calculator for a maths test if you swap it for Pokemon merchandise, for instance.

I figure, if you can’t work this out, well then maybe you need to be kept back a grade anyway, whether you pass the maths test sans-calculator or not.

I do think as a parent we struggle to give our children everything, and balance this off against a sense of entitlement (the child’s) and a sense of their place in the world (the child’s) and guilt (ours as parents, which seems to arrive at the same time as the child).

I know far too many children who are catered to, and who have no idea what a consequence is.  They do as they please, and mom and dad, pretty much smile and nod and the child merrily skips through life thinking their sh*t does not stink.

These are loving parents, but for some reason they perceive discipline=hate my child, and they just can’t discipline, or choose not to.

I do think it is wonderful to be a child and be given toys and no restriction on rules and sleep time and all of those wonderful things.

It sounds like Disney Land every day.  Great for kids, maybe not so great for parents, or society.

I sense that by not setting boundaries and a sense of consequence we will affect how our children go through the rough (and trecarious) teenage years and thus develop in to responsible adults.

I may be wrong, but I will update my blog in about 5 – 10 years and let you know how that works out.

I am not sure what the result is of “giving in to everything our children want” being “restrictive about what we give our children” and I am sure for everyone there is a happy medium.

Yours may be very different to mine.

I try my utmost not to judge other parents, as really you have no idea what they are faced with, and how much sleep they have had, but I do roll my eyes.  Inside. Quietly, so they don’t see.

Have I told you the part where we made Connor pay for a second tennis racket we had to buy for him. (We bought the first one, because we are good parents who encourage sport and involvement, but we draw the line at kitting out the same child for the same sport a second time.)

Because he had lost the first one.

And we explained the value of looking after your possessions.

Then I found the tennis racket in a box.  I had put it in to.  After I had cleaned out my car …… yes, CPA anyone?

Leave a comment


  1. adesolaf

     /  October 25, 2011

    Reluctant mum you are not alone, I actually had to re-read the post a few times to see if there was child abuse somewhere that I might missed, then went a step further and read older posts and still could not find anything. Shocking what some people think about parenting. Maybe it’s just someone who has a grudge and didn’t know how to go about it….. Either way it’s very very sad and so uncalled for!!

  2. Unbelievable! Since when is “teaching consequences” an offence? Makes you think twice before doing the “honest mom blog” thing…..which of course it shouldn’t!
    Ai jai jai….

  3. Scared & Imperfect Mother

     /  October 24, 2011

    Oh my freaking word! This is really really ridiculous! I am shocked!

  4. I read this article last week and also went to the original blog and for the life of me couldn’t see where someone would feel that a child is so ‘threatened’ or ‘mistreated’ that CPS would need to be called…

    sometimes I have to question people’s motives and wonder if we’re not only hovering helicopter parents but also hovering helicopter states and countries, when it suits us, of course

    • reluctantmom

       /  October 24, 2011

      I share your thoughts on this.
      I keep thinking I am missing something … I have bookmarked to go and read again in the event that I am medically unsound/caffeine deprived today ….. but I also am not “getting it” and maybe I need someone to explain it to me … with a flip chart …. and short words …..

  5. Janine

     /  October 24, 2011

    Words fail me. Seriously. I am shocked. Where in the world has logic gone? If that is what she had CPS called on her for then I ask that they please don’t read about anything I do. My poor child is so abused in comparison.


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