I will start by telling you the definition of a helicopter parent just so you can understand just how crazy I am! A helicopter parent is a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children. Crazy right? Okay, I might not be to the extreme of excessive but I do like to protect my children’s innocence and happiness.
I feel like as parents we become overprotective from the day they are born. We control when they eat, and sleep, even somewhat when they go to the bathroom (prunes, peaches, and pears 😉). As they get a little older we set up their play dates, choose where we go and who they play with. We continue to provide meals to them and put them to sleep when we know best. When it comes time for them to leave our nest and go to daycare or school, we have to learn as parents to let go of the control. That’s where I really struggle.
My daughter started preschool at the age of three. I always thought she was pretty outgoing and school would come easy for her. I learned quickly not to always trust the stories they come home with, but sometimes they don’t rest easy on my mind. Especially when it involves kids being mean, her being alone, or not making friends. Our first parent teacher conference, it was brought to our attention that our daughter was struggling with socializing. The teachers had a hard time understanding her and she tends to gravitate to the teachers instead of the students. My heart broke. The thought of my daughter going to school every day and not having friends just made me want to cry. I would email the teacher asking to help with it and all I wanted to do was spend a day in the classroom so I could help introduce her to some friends and just “break the ice.” I even considered being a room mom so I could physically be in the room to see what my daughter is doing and help her if I can. Every day I look forward to seeing the day’s pictures so I can rest easy seeing my daughter playing with friends. Obsessed as I am, I even zoom in on the pictures to see if she’s happy and engaging.
The world is tough right now. Girls are mean, kids can be mean. My daughter is so excited to go to school every day and just to think of anyone being mean to her breaks my heart. I Know the problems will get worse as they grow, I know they will need to learn all the fundamentals of being a friend, problem solving and growing thick skin. For now and for as long as I can, I will “helicopter” over my children and protect them from everything that I can control in this rough world.
I am ok with being a helicopter parent if it ensures my kids are happy and safe! What about you? Are you a helicopter parent and proud of it? Tell us about your parenting style in the comments. We can all learn so much from each other!