Hard to know when to butt out......

MaraFebruary 3, 2001

My son and DIL take their two small children (3 yrs. & 10 mos. old) to hockey games, whenever their friends, with same age children, get tickets. I say, with the loud noise level of fans, and sometimes violent behavior of the players, which is becomming more and more common...that it is no place for these babies. Taking them out at night in freezing weather seems no problem to them.

I am very worried the puck will go flying into the stands (as I've read sometimes it does). They have some sort of shield up, but they announce at the beginning of the game that it could happen, to warn people.

We babysit often, and I've tactfully suggested they leave the kids at home, since they dont know what's going on anyway, and we will babysit them; so they can relax and have fun at these games. But, as long as DIL's friend takes her small ones, she will also. Son says, "dont worry about it."

Do you speak up when seeing a possible danger or problem, or keep quiet? I keep telling myself not to offer suggestions or advice to any of my adult children unless they ask for it, but in my case, its easier said than done!

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Well, I am not a grandma, but a mother, and I really can't think of any more you could do. I doubt your dil will stop taking the kids, unless/until her friend leaves hers home. I understand your concern, but apparently they don't find it risky. And they are the parents. At least you have tried to help them out. Hopefully they will come around and accept your offer. I know I would rather go to something like this without little ones, but it's their decision. Sorry, I couldn't come up with anything useful, just my own thoughts.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2001 at 12:04AM
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I agree with you, the kids should stay home. However, the parents are in charge of their kids and if something should happen to them at one of the games, you can't even say "I told you so!"

    Bookmark   February 4, 2001 at 7:00PM
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I think you are probably overly anxious. You can't keep your kids in a bubble to protect them. Everything has hidden dangers. The most realistic danger of going to a hockey game is the car ride there. How many people are injured or killed in car accidents. My point is, if you live in the "what if's", you'd never leave your house. You have to have a little faith in your children that they will protect their kids. God gives a parent special instincts for that reason.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2001 at 1:32AM
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Patti H - Ont

I've been taking my GrD to hockey games since she was 4 years old.

Perhaps to ease your mind ..find out where they sit. Pucks rarely rarely go up to the top of the first level or second levels. That is where we sit, and we've never had a problem.

I personally wouldn't take a baby ... but at 3 - 4 - there's tons of kids there.

Patti H

    Bookmark   February 12, 2001 at 3:51PM
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There are questions you can ask yourself, and things you can do to check out the situation there so it is not 'unknown.' You can go to a game. Different people seem to have different noise tolerances and not every hockey arena is very loud. If the children showed signs of _not_ wanting to be there at all, or of being in pain the whole time their parents would not take them when there were offers of care. That you have to take on faith.

I don't think it's any more dangerous than walking around the block or crossing the street. It's probably safer actually.

If you feel strongly enough to say anything keep in mind first and foremost that the parents are in charge, and as the people in charge they can take your concern under consideration. They will then have access to more information, but it is still up to them to assess the situation. It is possible that even with all due consideration of your points, and fears that they still feel it is safe. (Try not to take kind of result personally, or to interpret it as them taking wild risks.)

It's easier to be able to say something if it can be delivered as commentary which is just added information and not felt to be in any way shape or form a comment about parenting ability. That is especially difficult in matters felt to be safety-related. One possible guidline might be that if it is not something that really seems worth involving law enforcement, it's probably not a life or death matter and can rest.

The hockey I've seen where there were small children? Basically they tend to run around and have great fun. They seem to like the noise level, or if they don't to have access to ear plugs (the foam ones can allow hearing and damp out the noise). You should go sometime with them all, and be mindful of your own comfort requirements so that you can relax and watch how the children seem to like it or not. You can see for yourself how likely it is that what you fear can or is likely to happen.

the parents I've seen at games seem to _like_ to bring their children and the children seem to _like_ to be at the hockey games with their parents but in that new environment,

P.S. Try to keep in mind that people tend to develop an increasing capacity to think first before acting as they move through adulthood. That's mostly good. Try to have patience with younger adults who don't seem to have the same capacity (you didn't either when you were a younger adult).

    Bookmark   February 17, 2001 at 12:24PM
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I agree with Paula, if you want to worry about something worry about the cleaners in their cupboard, the steroids in their meat, the polution in the air. Just make sure both children are in the proper car seats!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2001 at 5:16PM
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It's not easy to hold back unsolicited advise. If the danger is real, we should go ahead and give it. Otherwise, we Grandmas should step back and let the Parents raise their own children.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2001 at 11:23PM
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My son and his wife have taken their children to evening sporting events including hockey and outdoor baseball games since their first one was a newborn. It confuses me why they do this and bothers me when the babies are out in cold, drizzly weather but I made my offer to babysit and it was declined. I repeated my offer every six months or so and was finally told in no uncertain terms to BUTT OUT. So I did. Our DILs were not raised in our homes so they have often have "strange" preferences to our eyes. We have to remember that "strange" doesn't mean "wrong." We MILs seem equally "strange" to our DILs, of course.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2001 at 8:25AM
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I respect your concern--I too am a grandmother. But we have to respect our children as parents too, and choose carefully the things we feel we need to disagree with. The children are with their loving parents, whom, I am sure, are looking at this sporting event as a family night out to-gether.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2001 at 10:40PM
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i think you have to learn to but out. i am a grandma also. i just bite my tonge when i see them doing something i don't agree with. my grandchildren belong to their parents not me. i just love them. i think you it's nice that they want to take the children with them. this is what memories are made of. to many parents leave the kids with sitters all day while they work then go out at night and leave them with sitters again.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2001 at 11:52PM
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As a new mom, let me tell you, according to my MIL, I do nothing right. I have so little use for her "advice", I don't even take my child to see her any longer. What's the point?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2001 at 8:26PM
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Jodi, I'm sorry that you have this type of relationship with your MIL. It's hard when you are a young mom and some-one older criticizes everything you do. Maybe you could have your husband speak to her in your behalf. She needs to change, because she is the one who is going to lose in this situation.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2001 at 7:39PM
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Since I've had grandchildren I've learned more and more things that I did that probably drove my parents and inlaws crazy! LOL

Funny thing - my kids survived and their kids will, too. I just always tell myself that my kids are doing the best they know how with theirs - just as I did.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2001 at 6:35PM
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It is not hard to know when to butt out, if you never butt in.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2001 at 3:42PM
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