Helicopter Parent…no not me!

Helicopter parents attempt to “ensure their children are on a path to success by paving it for them”. My children were only 12 and 13 years old when I was rudely accused of being a Helicopter Mom.  I did not take this as an insult until later years when I became to understand the title a little bit better. I had assumed my children just thought I was too caring and was afraid to let them fail.  I certainly do not remember hearing this term or using this term when I was a child.

Reading articles on line I quickly became quite knowledgeable about this term and continued to discuss this with other parents and children.  “Helicopter Parents” is often used to define a group of parents who engage in the practice of over-parenting. These parents are accused of being obsessed with their children’s education, safety, extracurricular activities, and other aspects of their children’s lives.

Critics have scrutinized helicopter parents for overprotecting their children and for failing to instill them with a sense of independence and a can-do attitude. Helicopter parents are also accused of over-programming their children and not allowing them free time to play and explore on their own. Helicopter parents defend their parenting practices, stating that they are only looking out for their children’s best interests. These parents also feel they are proud to be so involved in their children’s life.

Upon reading many articles I decided to take a quiz to see if I was classified as one of these parents. http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/2012/0419/Are-you-a-Helicopter-Parent-Take-our-quiz/When-your-baby-drops-a-cookie-on-the-floor-you  To my surprise, I was indeed a helicopter parent and truly believed it was in the best interest for my children.

My children are now 20 and 21 years old and I feel I have completed a wonderful job raising them as a single parent. I was very overprotective and did not want my children to fail or to make the same mistakes that I had in the past. I do believe that being overprotective may have let my children grow to be adults without making many mistakes, or failing or experiencing different things on their own.  Now that they are adults and do not live with me, they depend on my discussions, advise and well as continue to do things as I taught them, not venturing out to experience something new.

Why is this topic much more popular today compared to when I was growing up? At a young age my brother and I would be across town on our bikes, at the park, playing in the forest, and our parents did not keep track or worry that we were gone all day and without cell phone communication. In school if I was not getting good marks, my parents did not blame the teachers, or if I didn’t make the sports team, they didn’t hold them responsible.

From my readings I have found that it is likely that helicopter parents have been around since the beginning of parenting, but the practice of over-parenting came into its own sometime during the 1990’s. It was around that time that parents were bombarded with news stories about child abductions, academic competition, and competition in a global economy. Naturally, these stories would scare parents and certainly want to protect their children from all of the dangers in the world. But these following video’s certainly make you wonder what you are doing to your children’s future!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HhN6IlYD2M  Dec 30, 2014 – Uploaded by kha mohd A funny video about Helicopter Parents by one of our talented students … Helicopter Parents

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crfYRhHehEM Helicopter Parenting Dr Justin Coulson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq94ga_110s  Omg this is so funny an interview that makes fun of Helicopter a Mom Helicopter Mom InterviewJoe Turner

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Helicopter Parent…no not me!

  1. I really liked reading your blog. I took the quiz out of curiosity’s sake (results: feet on terra firma); I enjoyed reading your perspective. Though you and I may disagree on parenting styles as the quiz suggests, we are all working towards the same goal, to raise happy children.

  2. Interesting post! I think that one of the most difficult things about becoming a parent is that it basically opens you up to being criticized by the entire world. I am sure that virtually every parent does what they think is best. And most kids turn out ok. I think that some people feel threatened by other people’s parenting styles (Too strict! Not strict enough!) because they are worried that if someone else is different, that both styles can’t be “right”. In my opinion, if a parent is making thoughtful choices about raising their child, they are entitled to their approach, but need to be respectful of other choices (for example, if they know their kid’s friend isn’t allowed to do something that they let their kid do, I think they should enforce that rule while the friend is visiting, to avoid antagonizing the other parent).

    I love the live-and-let-live attitude of Coleen’s comment above!

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