Parenting

Everyday I’m Hoverin’…

Am I a helicopter parent? Are you?

I stumbled on a very funny video the other day on YouTube by the Holderness Family: a parody using the Party Rock Anthem (the picture above is of their beautiful daughter). And I cant seem to stop singing it ever since.

Everyday I’m hoverin’…

Son! Don’t run too far away I need to see you.

Everyday I’m hoverin’…

I’m sorry daughter, I will never let you go on a slumber party, even if I know the parents really well.

Everyday I’m hoverin’…

Do not kick the ball around the baby!

Everyday I’m hoverin’…

Hello there, my name is mom. And I may be guilty of being a full on ‘copter parent. So I researched the term and this is the information I got:

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What is Helicopter Parenting?

  • The term was made up in 1969 by Dr. Haim Ginott
  • It is when parents “hover” over their kids like helicopters
  • “Style of parents who are over focused on their children. They typically take too much responsibility for their children’s experiences and, specifically, their successes or failures.” – Carolyn Daitch, Phd
  •   “It means being involved in a child’s life in a way that is over controlling, overprotecting, and over perfecting, in a way that is in excess of responsible parenting.” – Dr. Dunnewold

Why Do Parents Resort to Helicopter Parenting?

  • Fear of dire consequences (bad grade, no job, economic status…)
  • Feelings of anxiety (“worry can drive parents to take control in the beliefe that they can keep their child from ever being hurt or disappointed.” – Dr. Daitch
  • Overcompensation (parents try to give their kids what they didn’t have or get)
  • Peer pressure from other parents

helicopter

How Does Helicopter Parenting Affect Kids:

Some research suggests that “emotional over involvement,” such as helicopter parenting, “and criticism often go hand in hand.” – Chris Segrin, University of Arizona. This can breed narcissism and poor coping skills, and amplifies anxiety and stress. This type of parenting can also cause:

  • Decreased confidence and self-esteem
  • Undeveloped coping skills
  • Increased anxiety
  • Sense of entitlement
  • Undeveloped life skills

What Do I think?

I am definitely not a scholar and didn’t spend years studying this topic, but hear me out for a second. To me, the term “helicopter parenting” is misunderstood. Almost all the research and articles I read about this term concerns ADULTS (or soon to be adults) in an academic environment.

For example, a father called his son’s professor to dispute his son’s exam grade. His son got a C and he was sure his son deserved a B. The son apologized to his professor and felt greatly undermined. Of course he would! The boy must be 17 or 18, if not older!

Another example is a mom installed a nanny-cam in their son’s dorm room, and an electronic transmitter in his car!! To me, that just is plain mistrust between the parents and the child.

Moms please please please understand that you are the only advocates for your kids. Don’t be quiet just because you’re worried you will come across as a helicopter mom. As you can see in this article, there are many reasons for you to intervene in your kid’s life. Actually, it is your duty to do so, especially when they can’t fight the fight themselves.

This mom did not intervene when her daughter was being bullied in school by a teacher, even though all her mommy instincts were pushing her to, until her daughter came home in tears saying, “I want to kill myself.”

My son used to have a very bad stutter (his stutter is much better and you can read all about it here). I scheduled a meeting with the principal and sent emails to the teachers explaining that no one can ever make any remarks about his stutter. You’d be surprised how adults think it’s funny to laugh about it. And only adults notice and laugh, the kids (kindergarteners) never do.

This year I scheduled meetings with the teachers early on. I explained to them that my son has a bit of a stutter and that he was a bit behind academically but I am looking forward to working with them to catch up on all the work. I told them, without sugar coating it, that they are not allowed to compare my kid with the other kids, not allowed to remark in front of everyone that he is behind, or that he didn’t finish his work on time. They are not allowed to make him feel any different, or make him feel in any way that he is lower than his classmates. They were shocked to say the least. I also told them that they can send home any unfinished work, or any extra work they think he needs.  And I am happy and more than proud to say that now, he is not trailing behind, but catching up quick to the students at the forefront of the class.

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So Am I a Helicopter Mom?

Wanted to have a bit of fun with this so I took online quizzes. Both Babble’s quiz and Cafemom’s quiz says that I am not a helicopter parent. But to be honest, I don’t really care what I am or what label I fit under. I think every mom knows what’s best for her kids based on her kid’s needs and environments. And I don’t think it’s really fair to bully a mom into accepting one parenting style or another by saying her kids will turn out to be narcissistic entitled brats or worse. I don’t think most parents will go to the extreme of installing a nanny cam in their kid’s dorm rooms but I don’t think it’s fair to judge a mom who is involved in her kid’s school or education because you don’t really know what fight she is fighting. I think we should all cut ourselves and other mom’s some slack. We are all trying our best.  

I am far from perfect, and I might be winging it as I go but honestly, I refuse to let a psychologist, psychiatrist, or parenting expert tell me how to best raise my kids. Even if the world wants to call me a ‘copter mom, I will always be my children’s voice when it’s hard for them to find it, I will always be their support system, I will always be their cheering squad, and I will always be their number one advocate in life. And I will not apologize for it 🙂

 

Are you a helicopter mom? What do you think?

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