Sittervising is not necessarily a new parenting method, but it is being "relearned" and praised by parents across social media.
Parenting trends come and go. Some stick around and just get rebranded. While many mothers and fathers have heard of “lazy parenting,” “helicopter parenting,” and “crunchy parenting,” a new trend is gaining popularity across the internet: sittervising.
In true modern fashion, this term takes the words “sitting” and “supervising” and puts them together to define a commonly used tactic that parents have been doing for ages — sitting and watching their kids play. This is an age-old method of child rearing. While many moms and dads sat by and watched their kids play in previous generations, modern parents often feel pressured to schedule everything. From playdates to sports programs and dance classes, a lot of mothers and fathers feel the need to constantly entertain their children so sittervising is something they have to learn to do.
Instead of engaging children with crafts, reading, games, and exhausting every moment with their little ones, some parents are re-learning the art of letting kids be kids. They’re taking a step back and sitting down to watch. Sittervising isn’t rocket science. It doesn’t take much to do, but some moms have even displayed their inability to just relax and sit down by listing the different components of sitting down to supervise children.
At Scary Mommy there is a list of sittervising techniques from remembering to be safe and “schedule” playtime and learning how to let children be independent. Sittervising may be the next phase after helicopter parenting, being that parents are instructed to teach children how to play on their own (something that many kids are happy to do when given the opportunity).
How many children a family has may also be a factor in this new trend. While larger families do not leave parents much time to constantly hover over their little ones, parents with one or two children are more able to “helicopter” around the child and follow them whether this act is healthy or not. As family sizes have shifted throughout the years, so have sittervising methods.
Getting the kids outside and taking a break to see them run around was a common practice in the 1980s. For decades before that many mothers were home with their kids and knew when it was time to keep a watchful eye on their brood and just let them have fun. While sittervising is now growing in popularity and plenty of parenting sites are hailing its success, each family has different needs and so it may not be for everyone.
Whether sittervising their children or just enjoying taking in a T-ball game, parents love being able to sit down and relax. Modern demands are full of tight schedules and checklists. Milestones are recorded and enforced everywhere. Those pressures can lead to a load of stress and exasperation. By re-branding the method of just sitting and watching the kids play, sittervising gives modern parents permission to stop feeling guilty for being human and that is the main appeal. Everyone gets tired, but mothers and fathers often have to press through their exhaustion. Affording themselves a little time to sit and let their kids play, or even do a few chores while watching, is an age-old method that’s getting renewed praise from less experienced parents.