Kate Winslet's Scary Parenting Mistake Doesn't Make Her a Bad Mom


Kate WinsletIf you're going into a big battle of the mommy wars, I might not be your best soldier. Because when I looked at a picture of Kate Winslet making a big ol' blunder of the parenting variety, all I could think was: "Oh thank GOD! It's not just me!"

The actress was out with boyfriend Ned Rocknroll (nephew of billionaire Richard Branson) and her kids Joe and Mia when paparazzi caught a shot of them. Looks like a cute family shot, right? Bonus points to you if you can spot what's wrong with this picture.

That's right, Joe is skateboarding down the bumpy sidewalks of New York City without a helmet to protect his little noggin. The 7-year-old appears to be having plenty of fun, and there are two adults right there should anything happen. But when you consider the American Academy of Pediatrics blames skateboarding injuries for 50,000 emergency room visits annually, and at least 1,500 kids are hospitalized for getting hurt on one of these things every year, you could say mama Winslet is either brave or an idiot.

Personally, I'm going to go with option three: a mom who picks her battles, but not a bad one.

I say that because I've so done this. For the most part, we are a safety-conscious, helmet-wearing household. I have one of the dorky brain buckets not because I particularly like them, but because I want to set a good example for my 6-year-old. If I wear one, she doesn't have an extra excuse to avoid buckling hers on.

But then there are those days! When you're out on the front lawn, the sun is shining, and you're thinking, "OK, I'm RIGHT here, what could go wrong?" I find myself relaxing on the rules when I'm standing with my kid, watching her every move vs. when I'm working in the yard and my back might be turned.

As parents, we tend to consider ourselves relatively omnipotent, like simply being there will make disaster turn its tail and run away like a hiker who sees a mama bear and backs away from the cubs. It's not always right. We should make our kids wear their helmets, wash their hands, eat healthy foods. But sometimes, feeling like we are better protection than a big chunk of plastic is the only thing that keeps us from going insane over all those things out there that we can't protect our kids from!

Do you see other moms making mistakes like Kate Winslet, and think, "Thank goodness I'm not the only one"?


Image via SplashNews



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PonyC... PonyChaser

How many of those 50,000 E.R. visits are due to kids riding down the sidewalk at walking speed, and how many are from kids trying to jump over their parents' car using a makeshift plywood ramp while racing their buddy who is riding his bike?

And how many of those 1500 hospitalizations are because of a head injury, and how many of them are due to non-helmet-covered areas, like wrists?

I'm not ready to call Kate Winslet, or anyone else, for that matter (not even you!!), an "idiot" for not making her kid wear a helmet. We're talking walking speed, here. Even if he falls, he's going to fall forward (look at how he's leaning, his weight is over the board, slightly forward), and end up with skinned knees and skinned hands.

Now, if he was in a skate park, I might agree. Those are made for high speeds and jumping. But this? He's likely not moving much faster than if he was walking. Does she make him wear a helmet while he's walking?

Man, has our society become a bunch of wimps

Lucre... LucretiaMcEvil

@ponychaser - I'm glad you said it first!

I was thinking myself that it's not like he's bombing a steep hill, or riding off his parents' roof.

My husband skates (well, used to more than now), and I've never seen him wear a helmet. He's done some crazy stuff, such as hang on the side of an SUV that was doing donuts in a parking lot, while on a skateboard.

He ate shit, and took all of the skin off the right side of his body, but no head injuries.

When kids are learning to skate, most learn how to fall properly, as to avoid hitting the head.

This little dude is riding a board. It's not that "extreme".

nonmember avatar Emma

Wow, you'd really suggest that she's an idiot? We live in such a paranoid society now. You wouldn't see this article in the 90s. Here are a few points I want to bring up:

1. He's not a professional skateboarder.
2. He's not at a skatepark learning skateboard tricks.
3. The fact that everyone is close together tells me three things: mum is staying close just to be extra cautious, he's moving at walking speed, and he's not wildly racing down the sidewalk out of his mum's hands.
4. Lighten up. The boy is fine. People are far too worried about kids getting scrapes and bumps and bruises. They have to fall down to get up.

tinyp... tinypossum

There are battles not worth having and there are non-negotiables. Wearing a helmet is an absolute non-negotiable in my house. My kids' bikes do not leave the garage unless the rider has his helmet PROPERLY on his head. Period.

It doesn't take a fast speed or crazy stunts for a fragile head to slap the pavement. Totally not worth the risk, IMO. Just this week, my neighbor's kid hit a rock while riding on his scooter and going at barely walking speed. He pitched forward and his forehead hit the street. Thank God he was wearing his helmet, and wearing it properly so it protected the front of his head, and he was not injured. It could have easily been catastropic.

Sometimes as parents, we have to make rules and stand by them, even if the consequence for enforcing the rule is enduring a tantrum. I have worked with many, many people over my professional life who have suffered brain injuries. It is not something I am willing to risk for my kid just so I don't have to be bothered with enforcing a rule. I won't call her or any mother an idiot but I do think not fighting (and winning) the helmet battle is foolish. 

fraoch fraoch

My daughter is 15, she was walking home from her bus stop (2 houses from mine) and fell on an ice patch, hit her head and had a horrible concussion that lasted months. We had to pull her out of band, have her take half days at school and have her on meds.

Speed doesn't matter really, if you hit your head, it can cause damage. However, saying that, I don't think any parent is an idiot for allowing their child to ride a skateboard w/i grabbing distance of themselves and not have on a helmet. If he were at a skate park, skating alone (w/o someone in arms reach) or trying to jump I'd worry about not having a helmet.

Littl... LittleManMama

Pretty soon we are going to insist on bubble wrapping our kids from head to toe before leaving the house. It's probably safer to wear a helmet when we walk or run in case we trip and fall but where do we draw the line. I grew up skiing and we didn't wear helmets. Is it safer to wear a helmet? Probably. Will I make my son wear one when he learns to ski? Probably. But I can't help but think as a society we have become far too focused on preventing even minuscule risks.

nonmember avatar blh

I agree with ponychaser.I don't skate but I never wore a helmet riding a bike or rollerblading and I lived to tell about it.

KamiB79 KamiB79

I don't think Kate did anything wrong. The kid isn't racing around on ramps like a maniac. It looks like they are just strolling down the street.

slw123 slw123

While wearing a helmet would be safer, but if she's going to be that paranoid about him skateboarding while he's right there with her (and probably very slowly) then maybe she should just make him walk.

Jennifer Ives O'Meara

Kate's scary parenting mistake, written by a judgemental woman who has diet pepsi running thru her veins. Just because Kate is famous doesnt mean you or I have carte blanche to criticize her every parenting move, imagine yours being discussed. Your not improving the quality of life for any moms by writing this crap. Her kid, her helmet choice, not yours. She isnt abusing her kids, so stop focusing on every little negative you can find and instead ask yourself, why you drink something in such large quantities like diet soda? I use that stuff to remove hard water & food stains from my porcelan crock pot & toilet. (see it kind of sucks when a total stranger starts criticizing your personal choices).

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