Positive Parenting- Caution How To Stop Being a Helicopter Parent
Instead, learn to be a parachute in your child’s life.
Parenting should be empowering, not controlling. Simer Dhume
To be a parent is challenging and rewarding at the same time. Oftentimes, we take too much pressure as parents to raise a perfect child that we forget the fundamentals of parenting. To begin with, why did we become parents in the first place?
Too often, caught up in the rat race to raise genius children, parents hover over their children like helicopters, doing everything for them and becoming overly controlling.
This kind of parenting, called Helicopter Parenting, can have a negative impact on your child’s development and lead to decreased self-confidence and independence.
I remember as an adolescent riding my bike to the tennis courts every day. It would take me about 30 minutes to get to the courts, door to door. I would practice for 3–4 hours and be home before nightfall. In those days, there were no cell phones, Internet, or GPS tracking devices.
About Me — Simer Dhume
A mother, writer, blogger, and tennis coach. I don’t want to be perfect but play these myriad roles perfectly.
But there was this one thing that I’m so grateful for — my mom’s trust in me.
Contrary to how I was raised as a child — free-spirited, an explorer, allowed to get hurt, and encouraged to solve my problems. This generation of overprotected parents of young kids doesn’t want them ever to get hurt or feel pain. Instead, they constantly monitor their child’s activities online.
Parenting should be empowering, not controlling.
As Rachel Samson puts it, ‘A child’s secure attachment to their parent is like a parachute that gives them the confidence to jump into life and guides a safe landing when they fall.’
In my previous article, I talked about the ‘Roots and wings’ parenting concept. How to give your child roots to stay grounded and wings to fly. In case you missed reading it, here’s ‘This One Best Parenting Advice for Positive Parenting.’
I gave birth to my daughter in 2020, and ever since I conceived her, my journey to motherhood began. To make this journey less bumpy (at least I try), I have read endless articles, blogs, and journals on parenting, with a keen interest in child psychology.
In this article, ‘Positive Parenting- Caution How To Stop Being a Helicopter Parent,’ I’m sharing my self-learning as a parent, research, and knowledge with you to help you raise confident, resilient, and well-rounded children.
Let’s dive straight in and deal with the beast — Helicopter Parenting, and it’s side-effects.
Here are some tips on how to stop being a Helicopter Parent.
1. Stop focusing on fears rather than possibilities.
Parents, your children are not mini-adults.
They are still learning and developing skills. Please encourage them to learn through fun and play.
Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact with the world around them.
✅Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master.
✅ Play helps them to conquer their fears while practicing adult roles, sometimes in conjunction with other children or adult caregivers.
As they master their world, play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need to face future challenges.
2. Teach your child self-resilience and self-discipline.
It’s OK to learn it the hard way.
Having obstacles to overcome helps children build resilience and develop coping skills to deal with difficult situations. As they get older, they’re able to say, when facing a challenge, “Well, I got through that, so I can probably get through this.”
✅Children need to learn through trial and error — this worked, this didn’t work.
This is something that parents may have difficulty with because, of course, they don’t want to see their children suffer at all. But with no suffering, you build no skills.
It is important to understand…
➡️Eventually, an overprotected child will grow into an adult and face adult problems:
❎“I’m having trouble getting a job.”
❎“I didn’t get accepted to that program I wanted.”
❎“That guy didn’t ask me to marry him.”
Whatever it is, if your children have no tools in their armory for coping with disappointment, for struggling, and persevering, then they’re in trouble.
I think that lack of resilience — the feeling of being overwhelmed as an adult and unable to cope — often ends in depression.
3. Make allowances for your child’s mistakes.
Make room for mistakes.
Often, helicopter parents are caught up in their own self-image as a parent. They fear that if something doesn’t go well for the child, it means you have failed.
✅It is critical to emphasize that children are not perfect and to make allowances for their mistakes.
✅It’s something to watch out for as you try to do your best for your kids: you don’t want them to fear failure more for your sake than their own.
What builds confidence in kids is working hard at something and seeing that something real was accomplished — even if it is partially a failure.
So as a parent, you’re better off praising something that has more to do with those qualities of coping and managing something difficult than letting your kids know that just about everything they do is a perfect story.
4. Stop constantly monitoring your child’s activities online.
Iunderstand that many parents today feel the need to monitor their child’s whereabouts or their online presence constantly.
Ask yourself these questions the next time you cyber-snoop on them:
➡️Are you actually helping your children to make better decisions by electronically hovering over them?
➡️Are you building a lifelong relationship of trust with your kids by cyber-snooping on them?
The answer to all of these questions is an absolute NO.
Instead, let them learn to trust their own judgment and be independent. No amount of spying on your kids is going to make them safer. It can lead to a host of unwanted consequences, like building mutual distrust between you and your children.
It can backfire and encourage them to try even more challenging ways to hide risky behavior because they know you’re looking for it.
I would instead suggest you practice open conversations with your child.
5. Set strong boundaries
The goal of healthy parenting is to set strong, conscious boundaries.
You are not your child, and your child is not you. If you don’t have appropriate limits as a parent, you won’t be able to model them for your child. Parents who habitually overstep teach their kids that their opinions are unimportant.
✅Cultivating solid boundaries is everything when it comes to raising kids who can think and act for themselves.
❎Kids with poor boundaries will likely have difficulty forming and maintaining healthy relationships in the future.
Final Take Away
Most parents want the best for their children, so you’ll go to great lengths to be wonderful providers and protectors. In doing so, let’s not make it about ourselves. The priority must be the child you’re raising to be a strong and independent individual.
Fam, what are your views on Helicopter Parenting? Did you enjoy this article on Helicopter Parenting?