The results are in! And it looks like the majority of us are middle-of-the-road when it comes to tough lovin’! The most popular responses are highlighted in bold. Most of us selected the middle answer, but there are some instances (with good reason!) where we all chose to take the toughest stand with our kids. There was one result , however, that surprised me. The majority of us are pretty soft on walking our preschooler into school versus using the designated drop-off line. I do a little bit of both, but I have to say my preschool drop-off line stays pretty busy!

Thanks for participating in this survey. Take a look at the results and let us know what you think. Do any of the results surprise you?

When your baby was crying in his crib, how soon did you go to him?

Answer Options

Response Percent

I would always go to him right away


I would wait a few minutes or so, but every time it happened, I would wait just a little bit longer


I would wait a good long while – at least until the hysterics kicked in


I rarely went in. As long as I knew he was safe, I was adamant he soothed himself to sleep.



How did you wean your child away from his blanket, binkee or something similar?

Answer Options

Response Percent

We never weaned him – we let him continue as long as he wanted


We created a plan to help wean him off his “addiction” that took anywhere from weeks to months to years


I talked my child into letting it go within a day or two


We removed these “security objects” cold turkey and never looked back


Most Interesting Response: Umm I made this mistake with my first kid and did not introduce sucking object to next kid. It might be easier to actually chop off thumb than to get kid to STOP sucking it.

How did you prepare your child for his first separation from you (with a nanny, sitter, daycare, preschool, other)?

Answer Options

Response Percent

I have never separated from my child


It was not easy for either of us. It took us both a long time to let go, but after lots of tears, we made it through it


I gave him lots of hugs and kisses, told him I’d be back soon, and immediately left (even if he was crying and it was killing me)


I did not do any special preparation or make any fuss. I said goodbye and left.



For your child’s last year in preschool, did you walk him in or drop him off in the car drop-off line?

Answer Options

Response Percent

I walked him in every day


I did a combination of both


I rarely strayed from that car drop-off line – that’s what it’s there for!


When you introduce something new to your child (like a new playgroup, event, or an extracurricular activity) do you ask your child if she is willing to do this, or do you just tell her she is to do it?

Answer Options

Response Percent

I always ask my child if he wants to do something new or if she’s willing to do something different, and if she says no, we don’t do it


I do a combination of both – it depends on the situation


I do a combination of both – but if my child says no and there’s really no reason for her to say no – I override that decision


Unless I know for some reason my child is scared or upset at the request, I never ask her – I just tell her she’s doing it


Most Interesting Response: I’ve always felt like I needed to ask my children about activities they might do, such as choir, Girl Scouts, soccer, etc. However, I am rethinking that. I think a combination is good because there are many things that a child might benefit from, but may feel a little shy/awkward at first. It’s important for a parent to figure out what things to push for and what to let go. Not easy!

Whenever your child does something new (like a camp, extracurricular activity, etc), do you make sure your child has friends who are also doing it?

Answer Options

Response Percent

I always make sure my child has a friend with him when trying something new, otherwise we don’t do it.


If I sign my child up for something, I do it because I know he would like it, not because of who else is – or is not – doing it.



When your child gets physically hurt (not the kind of hurt that needs a doctor or an ER – but more like a bad scrape of the knee or minor fall down), how do you normally react?

Answer Options

Response Percent

I immediately tend to her and cradle her until I know she is alright and has calmed down


I first wait to see if she is hurt or crying. If there’s no reaction, I do nothing. But if she’s obviously hurt, I go right to her


If it’s just a minor fall down or scraped knee like suggested above, I tell my child to shake it off and that cuts and scrapes look cool – and then continue about like it’s no big deal at all. (Even if tears were involved)



If your child told you something bad happened to her in a social situation (not necessarily bullying – but something that has clearly upset her for good reason) how would you most likely react?

Answer Options

Response Percent

I would listen to her entire story, and then seek an immediate response or apology from either the instigator, the instigator’s parent, or the teacher/coach/adult present at the time it happened.


I would offer my best advice, but also follow up with an adult in charge (teacher, parent, coach) at some point in the near future to see if any action has been taken or will be taken


I would listen to her entire story and offer my best advice for dealing with the situation, and cross my fingers that the situation takes care of itself


Interesting Response: I would check with my child the next to say to see how things went. My son was being bullied called names by a kid on the bus and he got off the bus at our stop said “Mom I need to take care of something” stormed up to that older kid’s house and told him he was being a bully and told his Mom. They played together for the rest of the afternoon and it did not happen again. I so wanted to follow him up there and make sure it went OK but he was determined to do it alone. I was so impressed.

When you punish your child – whether it be time out or grounding – how steadfast are you to your own rules?

Answer Options

Response Percent

I rarely to never use time out or grounding


If my child gets time out or grounding, I am willing to adjust the punishment based on good behavior from there on out


Once my child is “sentenced’ he has to finish the term – there’s no negotiation



If your child should ever get in trouble at school and you know your child was clearly in the wrong – would you…

Answer Options

Response Percent

Feel completely crushed, let him pay his dues, and never want speak of the situation again?


Listen to both parties but fight to reverse your child’s punishment?


Let your child pay his dues knowing it’s his responsibility to own up to his actions – no matter how difficult the situation is?


Interesting Response: No punishment does any good if my child doesn’t learn from it. He has to know I still love him even if he is in the wrong, and also why I am letting the punishment happen and why I am letting someone else dole it out.

When you know your child’s homework is wrong or incomplete, do you offer to help?

Answer Options

Response Percent

I always check my child’s homework and make sure she has all correct answers before turning in her assignment


I offer to help a little bit and explain some of the questions and answers, but I want my child to do the majority of the work – even if it’s painful


I rarely help my child because I want him to learn how to find answers and solutions on his own – and to to take responsibility when he has answered something incorrectly



If you know your child is making a bad decision, do you let them anyway (knowing it’s not something that will cause harm to your child)?

Answer Options

Response Percent

I would never let my child make a bad decision


I encourage my child make her own decisions as much as possible but I usually offer my two-cents when possible


I rarely intervene in my child’s decision-making process because I want him to learn the consequences of his decisions – as painful as they may be


If you child fails at something – or loses at something – what is usually your reaction?

Answer Options

Response Percent

I rarely let my child fail or lose – I try to keep her from situations in which this may be possible


I think it’s healthy to fail and lose every now and then – but if I see it happening frequently – I will try and step in to help if possible


To me, every loss and failure is part of character building and I think it’s a necessary growing pain


Two Interesting Responses: 1) We all are going to lose or fail at some point, so it’s important for kids to experience this early on. If the failure or loss is really upsetting to them, I try to talk with them about what they can do to try to create a different outcome the next time. 2) Depends on what it is – rec league soccer for us = never win, but she likes playing anyway so who cares? Constantly failing in school would be a situation I need to be involved in