Wikipedia defines Helicopter parenting as a colloquial, early 21st-century term for a parent who pays extremely close attention to his or her child’s or children’s experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions.
My daughter Chloe (for those who know from my earlier blogs, that’s not her real name) is at that age now where you have to let go a little and let her play with her friends privately. Yes, you supervise, but you have to give some distance and space and no longer be a “part” of every game.
However, from time to time you are secretly happy about those parents who are still “helicopters”. That is, they hover around their child everywhere they go. When my daughter plays with a child who has a helicopter parent, I get to stand back and she feels like she has space (I’m the hero), yet… there is supervision. So yes, I am anti-helicopter, but secretly love when my child is around them.
Helicopters are everywhere still… even at age 7! Think of the mom at the playground who won’t let her children go down the slide without standing next to it. Think of your neighbor who drives her children to school, because she’s scared that the school bus may get into an accident. Think of the Dad who walks up and down the street next to their bike riding child.
In order to protect your children from A future more harmful than their activities today, you have to recognize the different between protection and being over-bearing. It becomes dangerous to a child’s sense of well-being and their ability to make decisions and be responsible if you don’t give them the chance to make mistakes. It also affects the ability of these children to socialize with people within their peer group and handle any encounters, social or physical that they may face.
When you are overprotective it can also easily sap the confidence of your child without you realizing it. When you hover it prevents your children from experiencing the challenges and successes that children need to experience in order to grow into strong and confident adults prepared to face the world.
After all, isn’t that out main goal as parents; To raise healthy, happy children who become productive members of society? I won’t be around forever, but I want to be sure that when I’m not, my daughter is an adult knows how to take care of herself.
So I am beginning to let her learn that now.