Are you a helicopter mom? This is a relatively new term to me. I have heard it several times over the last few months but since my kids are grown I didn’t pay much attention. I sort of figured out what a helicopter mom is, but for the sake of argument let’s start by defining the term.
Helicopter mom: (dictionary.com) a style of child rearing in which an overprotective mother discourages a child’s independence by being too involved in the child’s life.
Wikipedia puts a little different spin on it: helicopter mom is a mother who pays extremely close attention to a child’s or children’s experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions. Helicopter moms are thus named because, like helicopters, they hover overhead, overseeing their child’s lives.
I think it’s safe to say that there are certain ages that being a helicopter mom is not only acceptable but also necessary to the well-being and safety of the child. From birth to kindergarten age, for instance. It is extremely important to be present, fully engaged and overseeing almost every facet of your child’s life. They depend on you to be there for not only their basic needs, but to help them maneuver the many new and different things they will encounter during those early years.
There comes a time, however, when it becomes important to the emotional healthy development of the child to…well, STOP HOVERING!
There, I said it!
I must confess there was a time that I would have been considered a helicopter mom. In fact, in my heart I may always be a helicopter mom. Let’s face it, what mother wants to see their children go through tough times? Yeah, me either~
But it’s necessary to loosen those reigns and let the kid experience life in all it’s pain and glory.
Isn’t that what parenting is all about? Isn’t it our jobs as moms and dads to allow our kids to experience the consequences of their decisions in a loving and caring atmosphere? There’s one thing for sure, the world is a crazy, hard place. It doesn’t really care if your kid makes the team, is left out of a group or outing, doesn’t get the job, the scholarship, the medal they deserve. The world could care less if your kid gets a broken heart, loses a job, becomes an addict, falls in with the wrong crowd.
Here’s another thing you can take to the bank…it doesn’t matter how much hovering you do, your helicopter mom act is only going to protect your kid from so much, because if your child decides they are going to do something, they will find a way, no matter how hard you try to prevent them from doing so.
And if you really think you have control over your kids, you are sadly mistaken.
You have very little control over your own life, much less the life of another, no matter how much you love them or want to protect them.
They need to know what we expect as parents. We need to share our beliefs and values with our kids and the reasons behind them. We need to be the ones to tell them about drugs, sex, alcohol and any other important topic in their young lives.
But if we think we can protect them from every”bad” thing that comes their way, we’re not doing them any favors. In fact, we are doing them more harm than good.
Helicopter moms are women who love their kids with a fierce devotion, who want the best for their kids, so much so that they are willing to sacrifice the emotional well-being of the kids, even though they are not even aware that’s what they are doing. It’s important to be able to detach from your own insecurities and self-worth issues to do the best thing for the kids.
And being a helicopter mom isn’t in the best interest of anyone.