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How To Not Be A “Helicopter Parent” (And Still Raise Your Kids Right)

Posted by Leilani Maeva
June 9, 2017

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

If you don’t already know, helicopter parenting is one of those things you either are or aren’t… and if you are, you likely don’t realize how your behavior affects your children.

While it’s great that you care about them, there is a point where there is TOO much involvement in your child’s life, and they become emotionally undeveloped as they mature into their pre-teens and teen era.

I’ve witnessed this behavior first hand with fellow parents who are friends of mine, parents at school, and parents where they gather at a dance studio where my children dance. To avoid being judgmental, I avoid getting too involved in the affairs of others, but it’s hard not to notice the difference children have in maturity at a young age.

Children from 5-12 (from my guessing), can vary greatly in terms of emotional development and awareness depending on how they are raised. I’m not afraid to whoop my kids – I was raised old school, and that’s the treatment my kids get (to a degree – a good hiding serves them well once in a while!)

They don’t get sent to a “naughty corner” or have their behavior scolded in private and left alone. But there is a bit more behind the scenes than simply “punishing” bad behavior.

Anyway, let’s talk briefly about why being a helicopter parent really sucks (for you, and your child too).

Last Christmas, I had some friends over who also had children about a similar age as my son, and to be frank — I did not want to be anything close to the type of mother she is.

She was paranoid about what her son would watch on the television, sit behind him while using the internet (and even read through a personal story about meeting my husband which I had left open), hover around every few minutes to see what he was doing on the phone…

It was one of the most depressing, bizarre things I’ve ever seen.

The child, also a boy, seemed to be extremely introverted and shy when it came to expressing himself or speaking up in discussions. And as I got to know the family better, I understood why.

When we are around people we fear, we fear making mistakes, learning, and growing.

Simply put – being a “helicopter parent” makes your children incapable of deciding their own actions and using their own thinking and logic.

No, it doesn’t mean that you can’t keep a close eye on your children – but for crying out loud… there is a thing called trust!

When you hover around all day everyday, it is bound to affect the way children see themselves.

Not being exposed to reality, always being told what to do, and never taking action on your own can have devastating effects as a child matures. Low confidence and self esteem, social awkwardness, not being able to communicate clearly. 

And being a parent who knows other parents, you can clearly see the difference in how some children are raised, and how their behavior, perception, and other important personality traits get hindered or grow.

To be frank, I let my son get away with a little bit of debate because it’s a normal part of life – and it’s quite funny sometimes to see the kinds of crazy logic kids use.

But it also opens up the doors to having open discussions with your kids, which means you can also influence them and make them think about their actions too.

I see my son being more confident and open with people, making smarter decisions, and also being a natural leader – all because I have a bit more trust than the usual parent.

Encourage your kids to think for themselves, and also allow them to be open with you, and keep an eye on what they’re exposed to.

Just don’t waste too much energy trying to micromanage every life experience they’re going to have in life… they’ll be fine! 

And one last thing before I close this out.

This is not just a “do what I say” article – this is just my personal view. Being a counselor, I have seen many romantic relationships fall apart, and have enormous consequences – particularly when children become withdrawn and anti-social.

This experience has changed the way I view parenting forever. There a lot of “snowball effects” – from small pats on the back, to being discouraging and negative to children. This all affects their world view, and its important to nurture positive, rational, and confident children.

They are the future after all!

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