Moms at the park playing with their kids are a common sight in most neighborhoods. After all, children love playing and moms, for the most part, love playing with their kids. Not surprisingly then, is it any wonder that there are as many different types of moms at the park as there are days of the week? No, actually, there are more. Ten, to be specific. Read on and you'll find that you'll likely recognize at least a few of these parents at your local playground.
1) Hover-Mom -- Think helicopter mom on steroids. This mother believes that anything and everything in the world outside her door can and will harm her child. As a result, she will be in extremely close proximity to her child at all times to the point of practically smothering her little darling. And don't get in between her and her kid or else you will have a "mama bear" scenario on your hands and it won't be pretty.
2) Freestyle-Mom -- Live and let live. This mom believes that the child could and should do whatever they like. Accordingly, you'll be the one watching them in the sandbox just before they eat a mound of dirt. Just make sure that you have 911 on speed-dial when you're in the presence of this mom's child because you know that you'll be the one having to call emergency.
3) Techno-Mom -- This mom is up on the latest tech gadgets. Think smartphone, iPad, e-readers and more. This mommy looks at an afternoon at the park as an opportunity to catch up on her email, phone calls, latest bestselling novel (in digital form, of course) and music. She also will spare no expense on being fully outfitted with the trendiest new gizmo as per Mashable, in order to accompany her kid to the park. After all, it's really important to spend quality time with her child.
4) Business-Mom -- A very close relative of Techno-Mom, Business-Mom is a no-nonsense, Type A parent, even when she's helping her kid to navigate the see-saw and the monkey bars. Following the philosophy that it's "all business, all the time," this mom has no problem closing a multi-million dollar deal, delegating a killer presentation or chastising an employee all while smugly glancing at those "simple" parents who don't have the sophistication to be employed in such a high-powered career as hers.
5) Bossy-Mom -- To this mom, it's her way or the highway, no questions asked. This includes questions from other parents as well, as this mom will not only direct her child as to what playground item to play on next, but will tell you and your child what to do as well. She knows, you know. She knows.
6) Superior-Mom -- "Mother Superior" in the true sense of the word, this mom is so much better than all of the other mothers at the park. After all, she's given her child organic, top-of-the-line, farm-grown dandelion leaves for lunch, unlike you. She is also going out of her way to make sure that her child wears only the best, most expensive, healthiest and synthetic-free clothing that was purchased at the leading natural clothing co-op, because she's doing her part for the environment, her child and the world, and you're not.
7) Passive-Aggressive Mom -- "No, do it this way, Darling," you'll hear her say, and often. This statement will then be followed by something like "You know that mommy will be so hurt if you fall down and break your collar bone! Mommy doesn't like having to go to the hospital with you all the time, even though she loves you so much! Mommy does everything she can for her sweet little boy, so please don't make Mommy upset!" Guilt and indirect shaming of the child are part and parcel of this mom's arsenal.
8) Food Issues-Mom -- You'll know this mom by the fact that she's following her kid around with a juice box, sandwich, pieces of cheese and veggie sticks with an extremely anxious and worried look on her face. She's convinced that her child is on the verge of starvation and that it's only a matter of time before he faints from malnourishment. Thankfully for him, her very large backpack is stuffed to the brim with supplies that are evidently required to fend off certain starvation that would have occurred for that one hour trip to the park.
9) Competitive-Mom -- This mom's child is better than your child and this mom will let you know it -- over and over and over again. Tell Competitive-Mom that your son hit a home run at his latest game and you will be quashed by stories of how this annoying parent's kid always hits home runs, not to mention the fact that her child is the team captain, MVP and hero of every kid's sporting team possible. "Insufferable" is an understatement in describing this parent; avoid and ignore her at all costs.
10) Kiddie-Mom -- It's often difficult to discern the difference between who's the mother and who's the child in this combo. Kiddie-Mom is reliving her obviously too-short childhood through the opportunities presented by her own children and doesn't care who is there to witness the debacle. Kiddie-Mom will swing higher than her child, bounce her daughter too hard on the see-saw (while she sits on one end of it, weighing four times her child's weight, just to make the drop down extra good) and will compete with her child on the monkey bars. She will also play tag with the other kids at the park and catch them really quickly when she's "It." This is because her legs are three times longer than the other children who are playing and she can easily grab a hold of the terrified kids who are trying to avoid her. Stay away from Kiddie-Mom. She may be the scariest archetype of all.
And yes, you can insert "Dad" in place of mom, though just not as often ;).
This post also appears at www.multiplemayhemmamma.com
<a href="http://www.dummies.com/store/product/Coaching-Kids-For-Dummies.productCd-0764551973.html" target="_hplink">Read Coaching Kids for Dummies</a>. There’s no shame in admitting you’re a ‘Dummy.’ Starting with the very basics will give you a good sense of everything you’ll be dealing with, from fostering skills and promoting good sportsmanship to preventing burnout and dealing with irate parents.
Check out <a href="http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/coach-your-own-child.htm" target="_hplink">TLC’s comprehensive online guide</a> to coaching your own child. It offers valuable advice about details that could be easy to overlook if you get caught up in the big picture – like making sure you’re familiar with the proper rules of play and determining if your kid even wants you to coach her team in the first place.
Be sure to separate your ‘parent’ and ‘coach’ roles. Psychology professor Shari Kuchenbecker recommends using a ‘Two Hat’ trick in her article <a href="http://www.momsteam.com/team-parents/coaching/coaching-your-own-child/attitude-objectivity-preparation-keys" target="_hplink">Coaching Your Own Child: Attitude, Objectivity and Preparation are Keys</a>. The trick can be as simple as stating that you’re taking off your ‘Coach’ hat and are now speaking with your ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ hat on after the game. With your parent hat on, you can even refer to your ‘coach’ self in the third person to replay the game from a supportive parent’s perspective.
Remember your end goal is to do what’s best for the team – not ensure that your kid is the next Sidney Crosby or Mia Hamm. <a href="http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/coach-your-own-child1.htm" target="_hplink">TLC</a> warns that if you’re grooming your child to be a star athlete, you really shouldn’t be coaching her. After all, if your eye is on that kind of prize, how could you possibly be objective when you’re assigning positions and setting starting lineups?
Avoid treating your child differently from teammates – either by showing favouritism, or by being overly harsh to demonstrate that you’re not giving her preferential treatment. The article<a href="http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/balancing-parenting-and-coaching.html" target="_hplink"> Balancing Parenting and Coaching – for Dummies</a> points out that showing favouritism can cause teammates to resent your child, and ultimately make her a pariah on the team. Being extra hard on her, on the other hand, can cause her to resent you and potentially set back her progress if you’re treating her unfairly. <a href="http://www.momsteam.com/team-parents/coaching/coaching-your-own-child/attitude-objectivity-preparation-keys" target="_hplink">Kuchenbecker</a> recommends giving equal advice to everyone based on “observable actions” to avoid paying too much attention to your own child.
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