Helicopter your kids all you want, but please don’t hover over mine
Helicopter parenting image from https://cyanidexroses.wordpress.com/
Krystyn from Really, Are You Serious is our guest poster today, talking about Helicopter parenting, for those people who can’t get enough of parenting their own children and decide to parent strangers’ kids, too.
Parents take on many different approaches to their parenting style. I get that. We are all different and our kids are all different. One thing I am not, is a helicopter parent. I like my kids to be out, not attached to me and to learn new things. I, of course, keep a protective eye on them and don’t intentionally let them into harms way. Kids need to learn; by doing and by experience.
Recently, we’ve been experiencing helicopter parents that hover over their own kids and other people’s kids. Not only do they hover over their own children, preventing them from learning and experiencing, but they hover over your (meaning not their own) kids. Yes, they actually will interfere with your parenting style and your kids actions. And, they will do it, right in front of you. They basically stand in front of you, give you a look that says “you aren’t doing it right” and then they swoop in and “rescue” your child.
Our youngest daughter (18 months) loves the play area at our local Chick-fil-a. When her dinner is over, we let her walk over to it (while watching her) and go on into the area. She even likes to open the door. We’ve checked the door; it has a handle that is kid height, it doesn’t close all the way (so no fingers can get stuck) and the bottom of the door is higher up off the ground (so it can’t catch any toes). It’s perfect for our little munchkin to practice opening and closing and even proper door etiquette.
And, it never fails, a helicopter parent hovers in. They walk over to the door, almost exasperated that somebody would let their child attempt to open the door, and open it for her. The worst part is they give us a dirty look when they do it; a look that says “hey, you need to watch your kid and pay attention.” It’s very judgmental and wrong. They have no idea that we know what is good for our child. They are assuming the worst. At one point, my husband (who I like to call Mr. Serious, not because he’s serious, just because Mr. Really, Are You Serious? is too long), said quite loudly “She’s got it, she’s fine, leave her alone.” That’s when I know the helicoptering has reached a whole new level.
While I’m not a helicopter and neither is my husband, if that’s your thing, I promise not to judge you or think of you poorly. However, I’d appreciate the same respect when not helicopter parenting my kids. And, certainly, please don’t helicopter children that aren’t your own.
Do you ever see yourself exhibiting “symptoms” of a helicopter parent?
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