Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

It’s normal to be concerned for your child, especially when they are doing something for the first time (riding a bike, going to school, staying with a friend). Are they going to make the right decisions? Are their teachers offering the best education? Are they safe? Unfortunately, you can’t monitor your child’s entire life.

Helicopter Parents

There’s a term for parents who simply can’t let their child be for a moment. Picture a helicopter circling a landing pad nonstop and you’ve got the right idea. Although these parents may have the best intentions, they actually end up hindering the child’s ability to grow and develop normally.

A helicopter parent is always present, not allowing for children to make their own decisions or discoveries. Rather than turn to peers or teachers, the child will always turn to the parent. So in situations where the helicopter can’t be around, the child simply won’t have the capacity to handle it on their own. It disables growth and independence, and for children that yearn for space, it can be claustrophobic.

This type of relationship creates a world in which the child cannot live without you, and while that can be an attractive prospect for some parents, it’s much healthier for both of you to teach your child the proper skills and values. Trust that they will make the right decisions. Of course they will make mistakes, but that is simply part of the learning process.

Your children need to learn to stand on their own two feet — and it is something they can handle.