Looking to know what is Helicopter Parenting?
I have been reading a lot of different articles about over-parenting or “helicopter parenting” and thought it might be a topic that warrants a discussion. I believe that if parents are always there to pick up the pieces or make all the decisions in the kid’s life, they rob them of most of their growth experiences.
How do we learn and grow?
We learn and grow from doing, from having to figure things out, not without guidance I might add. If as parents we are guiding our children instead of making all of their decisions or running to fix everything, there is a better chance of learning that is present. Think about it, if we as parents are always making the decisions for our kids without their input about what they think is the right way, they will always need our input. As parents we want to help them develop the skills they need to become independent, happy adults. Isn’t this our job?
The only way to get good at something is to practice, practice, practice. Instead of making the decisions for them or automatically fixing what they have messed up, we ask for their input. Ask them how they would fix this or handle that, and ask them why. The idea is to get them to explore why one way or another would work better. During this exploration, keep your opinions to yourself and just keep asking questions. This allows them the opportunity to explore their feelings and thoughts around the issue. It helps them develop the skills of making good decisions. If we are constantly making these decisions for them how will they ever learn? Off to college they go, and you are nowhere to be found and they have the decision-making skills of a 4-year-old. You can only guess what the outcome will be. It’s not pretty.
The problem is two fold. You have been holding them so tight for so long that they break out and do things they might not necessarily do if they had been given more freedom to developed better tools to make good decisions. Then there’s the fact that they simple don’t have any tools because you never taught them, you thought it was better to make the decisions for them.
When we allow our kids to participate in the decision making process we help them learn how to make decisions, it’s really simply. If we make the decisions for them, they don’t learn. Maybe in the beginning of this process they will think certain decisions are good and you will think they are crazy. That’s when we keep asking questions. The more questions asked the better chance they will have of figuring things out.
I also encourage you as parents to explore in yourself why you have these fears surrounding your kids making bad decisions. Yes, I know, they might make a mistake, a really bad mistake. This is why talking to them and guiding them is so important. The mistake can either be made under your guidance or as an adult without you around. This is where our journey comes in, as parents we are on our own journeys that our kid’s actions are helping us figure out our life. Really look at your fears, which contribute to your controlling behavior.
Parents, it’s ok to ask for help!
If you are looking to find other ways to help get out of the Helicopter Parenting cycle, I would be more than happy to provide a a 15-minute Complimentary Discovery Session with me where I can help you break down some of your biggest obstacles. Please take a moment and sign up for your free session here: http://meetme.so/DebraBeck
This is my PERSONAL calendar, so please take advantage. I look forward to talking to you soon!
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Teen and parenting mentor Debra Beck, who has spent over 20 years working with teens and parents, is a devoted mother, sought-after presenter, and author. She has helped thousands of girls develop their self-esteem. She now runs her popular parenting website, EmpoweredTeensandParents.com, publishes the “Empowered Teens and Parents” newsletter, encourages girls to be the best “young women” possible, and gives moms and dads the understanding they need to help their girls mature with pride and confidence.
Debra has helped thousands of teenage girls with their self-esteem. Her award-winning book “My Feet Aren’t Ugly: A Girl’s Guide to Loving Herself from the Inside Out”, has been revised and updated for re- release in September 2011 with Beaufort Books.