I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I feel like “Helicopter Parenting” is on a massively upward trend. You know what I’m talking about…the parent who hovers over every teeny, tiny facet of their child’s lives. I get how this type of parenting is so easy to give into. I mean, our world can be a very scary place. And any loving parent wants to protect their child from harm. But, I’d like to share why I think “Helicopter Parenting” may actually be doing your child more harm than good.
1. YOU MAY BE INSTILLING IN THEM AN UNHEALTHY FEAR
Our kids see the world how we see it. If we are constantly looking at the world with only a worst-case-scenario mindset then we’re basically telling our kids that they have a lot to fear. Don’t get me wrong, it’s so important to go over safety precautions and possible situations but it should stop there. Let’s teach our children how to see the world (and the people in it) for the beauty that it is.
2. YOU’RE FOSTERING DEPENDENCE
I try to keep the big picture in mind when it comes to parenting. If I get caught up in the thought that my children are only young once then I’m only focusing on them being children. I always have to remind myself that someday (and all too soon) they’ll be adults. And if I don’t take the time now to teach them how to be independent of me then they won’t be able to operate to their fullest as adults.
If you’re hovering over your children then you’re not allowing them the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. You’re not allowing them to experience success independently thus gaining a tremendous amount of confidence from doing so. Every year that goes by that you’re not fostering a sense of independence for your child, it becomes increasingly harder for them to be independent of you. Yes, I know, this is a sad and scary thing…but it’s good. You know it, I know it….it’s good.
3. YOU MAY BE DEPRIVING YOUR CHILD OF LIFE-CHANGING PEOPLE OR EXPERIENCES
I’ve seen this first-hand. I recall one instance where a mother wouldn’t let her children go swimming for fear of something happening. So, those children sat on the sidelines and watched as all the other children played, laughed, and made memories. Her fear was preventing her children from experiencing what could’ve been a lifelong memory.
Do you have situations that you don’t allow your child(ren) to participate in because you’re afraid of what may (or may not) happen? Is there a chance that by doing so you may be robbing them of meeting new friends or making new memories that they will cherish for a lifetime? If so, it may be worth re-evaluating your choice.
Here’s the thing…I get it. There’s this pulling force within us moms that wants to protect these sweet little creations from all harm. But the reality is that we can’t do that. There are things in this world that we simply can’t control. We can do our part to be responsible and to give our children information so they know there are dangers out there. We can give them instructions on how to handle such dangers. But that’s all we can do. Once we’ve done our part as “responsible parent” we need to hand them over into God’s loving hands and trust Him. And let our kids experience things….and grow….and become who God wants them to become.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7