When it comes to my kids, I can't help how slightly overprotective I am. OK, fine: I'm more than slightly overprotective. I hover, so there are times my affection and protection may come off as "smothering." Of course I mean well and only want what's best for my kids, but there's always going to be some who think my way isn't the "right" way. What is the right way, really? This is why I have a whole list of things all helicopter moms should say to the haters.
I don't remember being much of a helicopter mom when my oldest was little. I shielded her at times, to be sure, but I think my need to overprotect came after I suffered through two miscarriages, then finally had my rainbow baby. He was such a miracle I feared something might happen to him. I never intended to helicopter, it just sort of became part of the way I mother him, and eventually that spilled over into how I parent my daughter, too. If you ask my kids, they'll probably tell you I'm strict or "no fun," but my choices don't stem from spite or control. Instead, they come from a place of wanting them to be OK, always.
It's only when I step back to see things from others' perspectives that I start to wonder if maybe I could take it down a few notches. However, my kids are great. They're well-adjusted, happy, and healthy. They make good choices (for the most part), and we have an open line of communication. I must be doing something right. With that, here are some things helicopter moms (like me) should say to the doubters, haters, and instigators. It's time to shut it down.
"The World Is Different Now"
Part of my near-constant hovering is the result of the world we now live in. All this technology has changed the parenting game, forever. If I weren't a helicopter mom, I'd have missed the fact that my daughter nearly gave out her personal information to a stranger online. Motherhood is hard enough, but add in a world that's evolving at a rapid pace and it's downright terrifying. I want to protect my kids as long as I possibly can.
To all the haters that think I'm sheltering them – that maybe they're in for a shock when finally on their own — I respectfully disagree. A helicopter mom can prepare her kids for the world, while still protecting them from it.
"I Don't Judge Your Choices"
There's many labels for moms today that didn't exist 20 years ago. Who cares if I'm a "helicopter" parent or a "free-range" parent? I'm just a parent. Period. Whatever you choose to do with your children isn't my business, just as my choices aren't yours. Can we stop the judgments already and start lifting each other up?
"I'd Rather Be Too Involved Than Not At All"
I know some of my choices might appear extreme and there can be middle ground. Hell, sometimes I find that middle and it's just fine. However, I carry my childhood with me; constantly thinking back to all the times I wish my parents had been more involved in my interests, dramas, and even breakups. I was left to my own volition and though I'd have fought them if they tried to interfere, I wish they'd at least tried.
I don't want my kids to feel the same about me when they think back on their early years. So, if I have the choice between being in their life too much, and disappearing completely, I'll choose the former every time.
"Kids Are Notoriously Sneaky"
I remember being young enough I thought I could get away with anything. Part of that was because my parents weren't always paying attention, but my kids do the same and I'm very much paying attention. I'd hate to give up my helicopter ways only to let them get hurt or put themselves in a dangerous situation they aren't capable of identifying.
This doesn't mean I'm quick to shut down their curiosities or discourage them from going on adventures. It just means if I let their bad choices play out, I'm always watching from afar so I'm able to step in when needed. It's a tricky balance, to be sure, but I like staying one-step ahead of whatever trouble they might get into.
"We're All Just Learning As We Go"
I'm not a perfect mom by far. I make a lot of mistakes by choosing to hover and I'm sure my kids aren't always a fan of my constant presence. Still, when they're grown I hope they'll look back fondly with the realization that everything I did was for them, even if it didn't feel like it at the time. When being a helicopter mom becomes an issue, or if my kids tell me to step back and let them handle it, I do. I'm not so stubborn I'd prevent their mental and emotional growth. It's all about living, learning, and implementing so we can all evolve, together.
"My Kids Are Just Fine"
If you write down the things I do to protect my kids and stay involved in their lives, I can see how it might look to outsiders. However, when anyone is in doubt about my choices I just advise them to take a good look at my kids. They're not rebelling or delinquent. They get good grades and are compassionate human beings. They're fine. Seriously. Maybe part of that is because I'm a helicopter mom.
"I Won't Apologize"
The most important thing any helicopter mom can say to the haters is that you won't apologize for the way you choose to raise your children. You don't owe those words to anyone, you shouldn't feel guilty for the choices you make, and as long as your kids are healthy, happy, and cared for, you go right on with your bad helicopter self. #sorrynotsorry