Overprotected: What Do Some Parents and Choppers Have in Common?
The question may seem quite strange to you. But if you are a parent of an underage kid, then step back and take a look at your daily routine. Can you now draw any parallels between you and a chopper? If not, then either you are not what people call a helicopter parent, or you refuse to notice the resemblance.
A mother or father, who shows excessive protection, thus hover over a child, is called a helicopter parent. The term was first coined back in 1990 (according to Dictionary.com) in American English though the metaphor appeared even earlier. Some support the idea of being too involved in one’s child life, and some voice their cautions over problems of becoming independent an adolescent might face with such a helicopter parent in charge.
What Seems to be the Problem with Helicopter Parenting?
A helicopter father or mother is the one you call overprotective. That seems to pose a problem as it’s hard to quantitatively measure protectiveness.
Here’s the example of helicopter parenting. Meet Stacy and Michael:
- You are not paying attention to Anna! How come you let her climb that tree / ride a bike / play with older kids. She might fall or harm herself!
- Stacy, she’s just a kid. She is having fun! Let her enjoy it! I’m here to help, if something happens.
- If something happens?! You don’t care about your own child!
In Michael’s opinion, Stacy is overprotective of their daughter. That is she does not let her experience new things, in which she has no control over Anna’s moves. Stacy views things differently. Anna is her first and only child, and she is afraid of potential dangers, which means she wants to shield her baby from every new experience. You may take sides in the abovementioned situation, but we will go on and explore some myths helicopter parents hold to.
Myth #1. It is Okay to Keep Be Overprotective of Your Children
While it might be natural for you to keep watch on your toddler’s activities, some mommies and daddies maintain overprotective behaviour for much longer. The term ‘helicopter parent’ stopped being a metaphor, when parents started calling university professors, arranging job interviews, and then make a scene should their boy or girl not get a job. Even if it still seems normal to you, an average boss would avoid hiring a person with a ‘hovering baggage’.
Myth #2. Parents Are the Only People with Whom Children Can Share Their Secrets
It is true that you can confide in your parents, it is what we are told when we rise to our first problems and challenges. However, a person’s universe spreads far beyond a family. Every child should learn how to build own trustworthy relationships, make reliable friends, and stand up for him- or herself. To tell your kids that you are the only person they can trust is like to doom them to the life lacking in true relationships. Let them make few mistakes to learn the value of true friendship and relationships.
The noise. That is what first springs to mind. The noise helicopter parents make over their child’s every move, the fuss others make about that style of parenting, and annoyance with such surplus care often loudly expressed by children themselves.
Myth #3. Parents Know Best What Their Child Needs and Wants
Parents know many things, and they can certainly recognize their children’s needs. However, they must also teach children to listen to themselves, and not always seek the advice of others. Today, it is you, who knows what’s best. But what will happen if you are not there tomorrow? Having got used to being told what’s best instead of making own decisions, your children become an easy target to everyone, who is assertive and authoritative enough to take the role of their guardian.
Myth #4. If Something Bad Happens, It is Only Parent’s Fault
You can shield your little ones from many things, but there will always be some aspects you cannot control. You should accept that. Besides, taking responsibility for every problem might have some troublesome results. First, if you are always to blame, your child will not learn to accept responsibility for his or her actions. Second, opposite, if you are not there, a child can bear the responsibility for actions of others.
You may still hold to a parenting style of your choice, just try to make less noise. A child of any age deserves a moment of silence to hear the inner voice.