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helicopter

There's this guy I work with that I would describe as a young man who is a flower child at heart.  He's very carefree, caring and full of educated, but useless knowledge. Our office was hosting a baby shower for a co-worker and he had his child with him who was having a great time.  She was running around, eating, giggling and having so much fun.  I overheard him say that he's just not interested in being a helicopter parent.  At the time, we didn't have kids and thought that this was a pretty hilarious comparison between how parents parent.

Since, then (not to state the obvious) we have had two kids and I have become that helicopter parent, but (in my opinion it's only) to an extent.  My husband would state and argue otherwise.

Let's be honest.  When you have a child, you are trained to always keep them safe.  Your brain is wired that way.  And well, mine might be over-wired.  I have this constant fear that something will happen to my children that will be completely out of my control if I'm not watching them.  I think I've said before that I have this thought in my mind that any time Sean calls me in the morning when he's with the kids in the car, it usually means that something bad has happened.  Now, he's probably called me a dozen times from the car in the morning and nothing has been wrong, but my mind still goes there.

If I'm my kids, I try very hard to play the "cool-non-helicopter-parent" role and while that usually lasts for about 15 minutes, I immediately revert back to the "worry-wort-helicopter-parent".  I wonder where he is, who he is with, what he's playing with and if he's playing nicely.  I think or thought that these were all things that normal parents worry about, but I'm learning that maybe I'm an outcast. 

When they are young and don't know rules, manners, right from wrong (do they ever know this?), what can hurt them and what can't, where the edge is and when to stop, etc... I cannot control myself from wanting to hover and help them.  I know that there is a bit of trust and they will learn and I do understand that, but that doesn't mean that I'm also not the the first to respond when something happens because I was trusting and allowing them to learn (aka trying to release my helicopter duties).

This is a very hard thing to let go of and it's also a very hard thing to learn.  They are your kids.  You want them to be safe.  And you can't help but protect them, in every aspect of life.

So, with all of that said, I'm stating all of this aloud, to let you know that I'm fully aware of my position when it comes to my kids and parenting them and I don't plan on changing much.  I will loosen the "leash" as they both grow and learn the things that I'm protecting them from learning the hard way.

Are you this way?  Have you been this way before and it gets better?  Do you have any insight?

Comments

kari said…
I'm a helicopter parent about certain things. I can be fine and carefree one minute and the next I'm googling until I make myself sick.
Whitney said…
It gets so much easier as the kids get older, I promise. You slowly realize their independence while they push back on your hovering. They got older and wiser (at least in theory), and you recognize less need for a helicopter parent!

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