I try to avoid any type of discussion that argues there's one "right" or "best" way to raise children. It's not easy to side-step these conversations though because, well, everyone has an opinion. And in my experience, a mom can only take so much before she starts tuning out all the unsolicited advice and following her own instincts; the very thing I'm doing right now. So believe me when I say there are more than a few reasons why helicopter parenting won't screw up my kids, thank you very much. Any commentary that argues otherwise is no longer up for consideration.
For the record, I'm not a textbook helicopter parent. Well, not anymore. But even if I was, so what? In my humble opinion, helicopter parenting gets a bad rap, but I'd much rather be "too involved" in my kids' lives than not involved enough. In fact, I wish my parents would have been more involved in my own life as a child, even if that meant hovering over my every move and being more protective than what others might consider "reasonable."
As a child I was neglected and often forgotten, so it's not lost on me that I essentially overcompensated when it came time for me to parent my own kids. In the end, I wanted to make sure my two children know, deeply and without a doubt, that they're loved and cared for. I also know my helicopter parenting hasn't harmed them. If anything, they're just as strong and independent as any other child I've come across — they just know mom is there when and if they need her. So with that in mind, here's some more reasons why I believe I'm doing a great job as a helicopter parent, and you won't hear me apologize for my choice to parent this way any time soon:
Because My Kids Will Fail Regardless
Supposedly, if you're a helicopter parent you're so afraid of your child experiencing failure that you swoop in and "save them" before they have a chance to deal with this common life occurrence. Yeah, I don't buy it.
Do I stay close to my kids to make sure they're not in any serious danger? Of course. But I also let them make their own decisions, and if failure is a result of those decisions I don't step in and shield them from it. Regardless of what I do or how close I watch my kids, they're going to fail and learn how to pick themselves up.
Because They Still Have Responsibilities
Just because I worry about my kids, and I am concerned about their wellbeing, doesn't mean they can't contribute to our household. I still give my kids chores to do and tasks to complete, I just watch them from a close distance to make sure they're doing so safely and responsibly. In my opinion, this is helicopter parenting at its best.
Because They Deserve To Feel Supported
While some people might view my parenting tactics as as helicopter parenting or hovering, I view it as nothing more than fulfilling my basic duty of making sure my kids feel safe, secure, and loved. It hasn't screwed them up so far and, actually, they're probably more well-adjusted than I'll ever be.
Because They're Still Individuals
Listen, I understand that some people might be concerned that my helicopter parenting will create clingy, needy, dependent adults. But I truly believe my helicopter parenting has helped my children find the courage to be more daring, more independent, and more self-assured. Because they know mom is there, they take more risks and feel more confident. They have been able to explore who they are an who they want to become, in a safe environment and with the knowledge that someone will always be there to support them.
Because They're Not Scared To Be Alone
In my experience, hovering over my children from a safe distance has only prepared them for independence. In fact, it's made them hungry for it. They're not afraid to try new things and create new experience themselves, and I believe they're looking forward to the day my helicopter parenting is no longer necessary and they can go at it alone. I'm not raising needy kids. I'm raising independent, self-sufficient ones.
Because They Can Speak For Themselves
I don't speak for my children. I trust what they're thinking, and listen to what they want to say, when they want to say it. I'm not obsessed with everything going right or being perfect to the point that I'm willing to risk stepping all over them in the process. They don't hesitate to tell me to back off when they need a little more space.
Because I'm Their Mom & I Know
In the end and always, I know my kids. I definitely know them better than the strangers feigning faux outrage over my decision to be a helicopter parent. If my choices as their mom were hurting them in any way, I would know it and I would adjust accordingly. But they're not, and I'm creating a healthy, safe, and sustainable environment in which my kids can learn and grow.
At the end of the day, my helicopter parenting is working... and my children are the living proof.