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Moms Talk: Please Don't Help My Kids

A Patch blogger's post about not helping her children on the slide is being debated across the country.

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics.

This week’s Moms Talk question relates to a Patch blog post called “Please Don’t Help My Kids.”

Originally posted on a California Patch site in September, the blog has taken on a life of its own in recent weeks, thanks to the power of social media. At the time of this writing it had 124,000 Facebook recommendations and 833 people had tweeted the blog. Written by Kate Bassford Baker as an open letter to other parents at the playground, the blog centers on Baker's request that other parents not help her girls on the slide. Baker says that getting up the slide’s ladder on one's own is the first step to learning new things and overcoming obstacles, which is a critical life skill.

Read "Please Don’t Help My Kids" by clicking here.

And that brings us to this week’s Moms Talk question:

Do you agree with the blogger's point of view that children should be forced to climb up that playground slide on their own? Why or why not?

Our Moms Council members include:

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International.
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.
Janet Persing January 27, 2013 at 09:16 PM
The question is very leading. Asking if children "should be forced" to navigate the slide on their own is ludicrous. Figure it out and learn is the point. Just like climbing a tree--well, there's always a danger of falling, slipping, skinning a knee...that is just life. And perhaps the reward would be a fresh-picked peach or apple. Imagine that!
H. R. Paul January 28, 2013 at 12:14 AM
you must be joking...
Beth January 28, 2013 at 01:55 AM
I can understand the bigger message this Mom is trying to send. And, I applaud her for putting it out there, because this constant hand holding is getting a little out of control. Personally, I wouldn't make it as big a deal as she has. Since it only happened that once, I would definitely talk to that Mom, but I also know that what I say is not going to change how that one person acts. So, to answer the question (after reading the blog post), yes, I do agree that children should be encouraged to do things on their own.
Marcie Nor January 28, 2013 at 02:18 PM
I guess I agree with the blogger, but it's not such a big deal that I'd write a huge essay about it. Some moms overanalyze everything. So somebody helps your kid once or twice? Big deal. Take it for what it is. Be glad the person isn't yelling at your kid (which would no doubt get a blog entry as well) and just meaning to be nice. Not everything is a life-altering incident
Lisa Merk January 28, 2013 at 07:06 PM
I agree with Marcie, while I guess I agree I don't see the harm in helping. If it's such an issue for you, ask the Mom not to help or go when they aren't there, until your child masters the skill. But this question leaves alot of information out, for instance how old are the girls, is this a standing playdate or just chance meetings at the playground, etc. Just seems like a damned if you do, damned it you don't senerio....others would complain that if your standing there why can't you help?
Lisa Amey January 28, 2013 at 11:18 PM
I did actually click on the link to read the original blog post and skimmed most of the comments; there are WAY too many to read all of them thoroughly. It baffles me that this went viral and actually reached so many other countries. I get her point about helicopter moms and it certainly has me checking myself in certain situations with my kids. But this blog content getting that much attention is unbelievable.
Janet Persing January 29, 2013 at 12:44 AM
Please read the entire article. Not the blog posts, the original article. Once you do, you will not be baffled by support for the writer. It is well-written, and makes the author's point. Seems like you're jealous. And the world-wide attention is deserved, if that is actually true from your post.
Rosemary B January 29, 2013 at 01:35 AM
I say, get over it! It is a ladder to a slide! You are also teaching your child that it is ok to ask for help and work with others! Is that lesson not just as important.
j p castle January 31, 2013 at 07:33 AM
I wonder if she's one of those moms that I've come across that let's their child do whatever they want including things where they do something stupid or dangerous that u can just see them falling and cracking their head open or doing some thing like running into the street or hanging on a shopping cart upside down ( Ive seen this and the mother didn't say a word) and what's wrong with telling a kid to be careful? I've seen parents not say a word when their kid runs in front of a moving car playing. And if that child on the slide awere falling backwards and someone helped would she tell them to let the child fall and so they would learn a lesson? It's a slide, not the ars for Pete's sake.
j p castle January 31, 2013 at 07:35 AM
I meant its a slide not the S A Ts . Sorry for typo.
Ann January 31, 2013 at 12:00 PM
j p, you are over the top. Your wondering went way off the tracks! Why do you need to make her into a bad mother, it's her point of view.
Mary Anne Looby February 01, 2013 at 12:33 AM
I have not heard anything about this until now. I have not read the article but I do remember vividly the first time my first born climbed a slide. He had no fear, and it was a really big slide. The ladder was slanted with hand rails on each side so I am sure that gave him confidence. I had my heart in my mouth the whole time. My husband kept telling me he was fine. When he reached the top and was standing there I thought I would pass out. He managed to get his little self situated and down he came with the biggest grin I have ever seen. He is almost 44 years old, but I remember that day as though it were yesterday. He was so proud of himself. He hopped off, ran right back to the ladder and up he went again and again. I say let them climb, but stay close and don't let them see YOUR fear. Thanks for reminding me of one lifes best moments.
Jennifer Elston February 01, 2013 at 06:10 AM
I think the article is perfectly worded and that mom is teaching her kids how to be strong and independent people. Good for her! Yes, I agree with her.
j p castle February 02, 2013 at 01:39 AM
I didn't go off the rails. I've seen the kids in the neighborhood who I end up having to tell them to pay attention because their parents let them run the streets from age 3 and because they leave their door open their kids get in trouble and they hear nothing. Because they are left to themselves with no supervision they have been left to do for themselves. And I've seen a child hit by a car us no one paid attention. To me she went off the rails about one incident. it's opinion. The person thought they were being helpful so explain it to r person why go on about it. U have ur opinion Ann, this is mine. Sorry u don't agree. But that's why everyone's entitled to one.
Ann February 02, 2013 at 02:00 AM
j p, I agree with you in regard to some of these parents that don't pay attention. I raised 4 kids and I was always out with them when they were young. I have seen 3 yr. old kids and younger on driveways ALONE. It is ridiculous! The same kids grow up to drink and behave without responsibility...parents still oblivious. We are on the same page there. I felt that you over read the basic principal of what the mom was trying to say. Sometimes kids have to fall and pick themselves up to build character and perseverance. That's what I got out of it. I guess it's like a piece of art, everyone has a different interpretation. You are entitled to yours. I think maybe the fact that you were so close to such a horrible tragedy certainly affected you. It certainly would have affected me.

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