Helicopter parents – I have a beef with you.
It’s the summer, so naturally I’ve been taking my kids to more activities, and I’m noticing that you often stay with your kids at events that are clearly meant for them to attend on their own.
Case in point: my child went to a creative workshop at our local library tonight, and almost every parent stayed. Just to be clear, this program is for kids ages 7-12 (not a toddler or preschool program) with both male and female adult facilitators in attendance.
All of a sudden, my daughter, who is an otherwise confident, friendly 8-year-old, wants me to stay… assuming there must be something to be wary of, since all of YOU aren’t leaving.
Ask yourself these questions…
Are you contributing to your child’s sense of independence and self-sufficiency by hovering over him?
Does she learn trust, when you don’t give her the opportunity to trust others (in a safe, organized environment) or herself?
I feel it’s completely unwarranted to insert myself into an experience that is meant for my child’s enrichment. I don’t want to undermine their confidence and keep them from enjoying all that life has to offer.
And, in all honesty, I don’t think it’s healthy for my kids to think parenthood means giving up doing what I love… in this case, perusing books at the library. It’s important for kids to know that we have interests and passions too, and that self-care is a priority. Kids learn by example!
Parents – we need to stop being afraid of all the bad things that *could* happen and, instead, have some faith in our kids, in others, and in our ability to teach them the skills to stay safe.
Let’s not unwittingly instill fear into our children. They need to know we trust them, and in turn, they’ll start to trust in their own abilities and be the amazing, resilient kids we know they are.
(P.S. Of course, there will always be exceptions to the rule, such as accompanying children with emotional issues or learning disabilities. I would think that’s obvious, but just wanted to put it out there.)