Helicopter Parenting

I have a confession to make – we are helicopter parents.

Helicopter parenting refers to “being involved in a child’s life in a way that is overcontrolling, overprotecting, and overperfecting, in a way that is in excess of responsible parenting” (Source: Dr Anne Dunnwold)

We use to hover over him when he was a toddler, not letting him go down the stairs without holding our hands while worrying that he will trip and hurt himself. When he was three, his gross motor skills were behind and I wondered if, apart from his prematurity, our constant hovering was making him anxious about trying out new skills. We sent him to gym class and was glad to say that they really made him try out all kinds of activities that he would not have tried with us around.

It was also at the gym that we read about helicopter parenting in a magazine while waiting for his class to be over. So I did my best to hold myself down when he’s climbing on the playground, or when he has a little fall, or when he is learning to put on his clothes.

I’d like to say I’m a recovering hoverer but to be honest, I still am. With great willpower, I’ve learned to remove myself from situations where I will hover and nag. He puts on his shoes and socks while I sit at the computer distracting myself with email. I’m trying to not visit him during his school lunch too often though I would really like to peek at how he’s doing on school lunch days. I do not fuss over him when he comes home with scratches on his lips or stories about how someone pushed him and he bumped his head.

The mama bear urge to charge into school to accost anyone who hurts him is strong, but I’m reminding myself to let him and his teachers handle it. I’ll just be here to provide a loving hug and to dispense advice if he needs any.


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