I am, admittedly, a helicopter parent. Through the years of parenting both my 10-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son, I've learned that the accumulation of my decisions and actions are based mostly on an upbringing void of neither "helicopter" or "parenting." This isn't to shame my parents for their choices but, rather, to validate all the reasons why I won't apologize for being a helicopter parent. What my parents failed to do are all the things I do — sometimes, however subconscious, to the extreme.
Raised by a single mother after my parents divorced, my younger brother and I could be found wandering the streets at all times with little to no supervision. My mom put herself through college and worked full-time to support us while my father, whom we saw every two weeks, also worked until a mental breakdown left him unemployed, penniless, homeless, and at one time, in jail for non-payment of child support. Both of my parents had various relationships, some as volatile as the marriage they once shared itself, while my brother and I navigated life on our own. I still find myself relentlessly trying to pick up the pieces of the childhood lost while simultaneously working to be a better, more present parent, for my babies. I realize that also means I may hover (at times) because I don't want them to feel what I felt growing up.
While there are many different types of parenting and no one way that's right, I can't apologize for my style because I don't believe being present to guide my children through their decisions means I'm sabotaging their abilities to feel empowered. Actually, I think it gives them the chances to make their own decisions, to develop their own coping skills, and to find their own voices, because they'll have me to talk things through when something doesn't go their way. I'll never be the kind of free-range mother I'd like to be, but if they asked me to back off, I would. I respect the parenting process and all it's taught me, and I want them to find their own paths in life. It's my job to support them in any way I can. On that note, here are just a few of the reasons I won't apologize for being a helicopter parent. If I only get one shot at raising my children, and I want to do it right.