Believe it or not, I have been asked for parenting advice from time to time. Even though I love my cocktails, swear a little (ok a lot) and call my kids Thing 1 & 2 because I can’t remember their names, oh and also call them “Children of the Corn”, people still ask my advice. Go figure. And we wonder why the world is going to hell in a handbag?
Let me start by saying I am no expert on parenting. Parenting fails maybe, but not parenting. My goal was to keep them alive and get them to the age of 18. And I reached my goal so yeah, I think I will add parenting guru to my resume.
So let’s talk about Helicopter Parents. Don’t delete just yet! If you are a helicopter parent, I can help! Here’s the definition of Helicopter Parenting from Google: a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children.
“some college officials see all this as the behavior of an overindulged generation, raised by helicopter parents and lacking in resilience”. Oh and another definition from Parents.com: The term “helicopter parent” was first used in Dr. Haim Ginott’s 1969 book Parents & Teenagers by teens who said their parents would hover over them like a helicopter; the term became popular enough to become a dictionary entry in 2011. Similar terms include “lawnmower parenting,” “cosseting parent,” or “bulldoze parenting.”
That’s not you right? I admit I have done a few moves that might be considered “hovering” but for the most part, I like to say I am more of a free range parent. (A post for another day). But seriously, you can do some serious damage from helicopter parenting. I mean we need to change the direction of our world, we need to make sure our kids can make difficult decisions on their own, be able to work through everyday stress and feel confident for the most part. They can’t learn these life skills if you are constantly “helping” them.
I know we live in the social media age and everything our kids do is online somewhere now. If that were the case from our childhood, a lot of us would not be running for office or running companies etc. I don’t know about you but I can safely say I was no goody two-shoes. (What does that even mean?) So we often feel we have to protect them from things like that.
What about every time your kid forgets his gym clothes or violin or sports equipment? Do you rush it to them? STOP! Land the copter! They have to screw up to learn. We all do. I’m not saying you can’t ever help. Just be less extra! I saw it all the time when my kids were in high school. Not that I don’t love my kids but I really didn’t want to drive back to school and drop something off. Geesh, I just wanted a full day without having to go anywhere.
Let your kids figure it out. Let them make mistakes, fill out their own college applications, and go to the dentist on their own. Make them shop for themselves. Have them go to the grocery store for you. It’s your job to let them learn independence and help them foster self-confidence. You’re not their friend, you are the parent!
Lastly, stop watching their every move. You don’t need to know everything. Did your parents know everything you did? Your job is to instill them with your morals and values. The rest is up to them. As for me, I keep a little bail money ready. (Just kidding) Maybe.
Land the Helicopter! Get in your car and drive away. Be there when they come to you for advice. But let them make some mistakes and learn to be a responsible kid. It may hurt for both of you, but it will be worth it in the end. I promise.
Let me know if you need more advice. lol Cheer’s Y’all!