Caleb is out in the backyard playing with his helicopter and aeroplanes. My mind jumps to the phrase “helicopter parenting”.
It refers to parents who are constantly hovering over their kids like a helicopter. These parents are overprotective and overly focused on their children. I’m sure it starts off with good intentions – every parent wants to protect their children from harm. But when you cross the line from parenting to over-parenting is when you’ve got a problem.
You’ve seen it in action at any park or playground:
Although Xavier is five, his dad Ted is always a hair’s breath away, making sure he doesn’t fall or scrape his knee, intervening before any possible conflict erupts in the sandpit.
Or at school:
Mum Kim completes all of darling daughter Darcy’s homework projects. She’s constantly asking for one-on-one meetings with the class teacher.
So how do you know if you’re a helicopter parent?
Let’s put it this way: if you’re doing something for your children that they can do for themselves, you’re not helping them; you’re “helicopter parenting” them.
It could result in your kids being too afraid to take risks for fear of failure and always turning to mum and dad to solve all their problems.
I must admit, I’ve had to take a step or two back when it comes to my own kids. I’ve had to let them make mistakes in order to learn a few of life’s lessons.
By the way, the opposite of helicopter parenting is “free-range” parenting.
I think I’m going to aim for a happy medium between these two…
So tell me, what sort of parents did you have – strict disciplinarians/uninvolved workaholics/tough love/effortlessly cool?