I had a strange epiphany the other day thy I will share with you. My children have entered the stage where they do nothing but fight and bicker. The constant back noise of bickering has driven me to a state of desperation. I can not take it anymore. When they get along they are adorable, but lately they are at each others throats with blame and anger. I have read a few parenting sites and followed some suggestions there. However, to my surprise the one that seems to work the best is ignoring it.
I was utterly amazed when we were in the car and I heard the familiar “Mom, he said this….”, ” Mom, she did this….” I was to tired to referee so I told them to work it out. And to my amazement they did! After a few minutes I actually watched as they talked through it and worked it out. About 5 minutes later they we’re laughing and having fun. This made me realize something else. I am a helicopter parent. What is a helicopter parent you ask.
One that ‘hover’ over their children in an effort of trying to control their lives in order to protect them from harm, disappointment, or mistakes.
Yup! That’s me.I don’t know when this happened but I am one of those parents ho are always jumping in to save the day, referee a fight and in my head keeping my kids safe.
It dawned on me that I do entirely to much and are handicapping my kids. I fully understand the need to let them do for themselves and even have failures, but I haven’t been letting them do any of it. I have not given them an opportunity to have any independence because I’m to tired, or to busy or to afraid.
I know the world has changed but has it changed that much from when I was a kid and riding my bike all over town? The media bombardment of constant threats has made the world into a much scarier place to raise kids. This is totally something I have been sucked into. Also in the back of my head I have a constant stream of mommy blame going on. “Am I screwing my kids up? Will they be in therapy because of me? This has also caused me to “pave the road” for them on far to many occasions.
So know that I know this how do I stop myself from being a Helicopter Parent? Will I learned the first lesson. I need to step back and keep my mouth shut. Instead of intervening to fix their fight let them work it out. Let them develop proper communications skills and make the decision about how they feel.
Another part of removing myself as a helicopter parent is to let them fail. This will defiantly be a tough one. No one wants to see their child fail especially when they can prevent it. However, they will never learn to overcome failure if they never experience it in the first place.
I know I must also work on letting them handle the responsibility of their own school work. I totally hover. I lay out their work for them and make them sit down and complete it. My sister-in-law raised to daughter who are highly intelligent, capable and mature. (They are borderline genius, no joke!). When I asked her how she helped them prepare for school she said he didn’t. She made it their responsibility. I know she is right! So as hard as it might be I will have to try to stop hovering for the sake of my children. For more information and definitions of “Helicopter Parenting,” I found this article helpful.