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Friday, October 19th, 2012
If you are a helicopter parent, think you might be one, or have been recently called one by someone you know, tell me about it.
Do you “hover over” your child? Are you considered to be “over-involved” in your child’s life?
I’m curious and I want to explain why.
Recently I finished a 3 part series on trying to figure out if I was a helicopter parent. (I know now that I’m not.)
However, to come to that conclusion, I compared myself to extreme stereotypes of what I imagine(d) a helicopter parent to be.
While that may have been effective in helping me reach the conclusion of my self-analysis, it still leaves things quite blurry on what a real helicopter parent is actually like.
By gathering stories from readers, I want to be able to present a collective image of a true helicopter parent.
I want to hear which of your behaviors cause you to be labeled as one.
Allow me to give my grandiose stereotype of a helicopter parent so that my preconceived ideas can be proven wrong:
A true helicopter parent believes the “cry it method” is evil and therefore their child rarely sleeps in their own bed, up until the child’s preteen years. The child is given prescription drugs as early as preschool to help them with ADHD and/or depression, as the child never really learns to cope with their own emotions.
Years later, the child has trouble finding their classes in high school and even college, calling their parents for help. Similarly, the child is still completely dependent on their parents, well into their 20′s, for laundry and cooked meals.
Ultimately, the child never really learns to stand up for themselves or believe in themselves.
They never learn individuality, because their concept of it is based completely on how their parents perceive them.
By the time they reach adulthood, all the “babying” their parents have done has preserved them in a perpetual state of “what am I supposed to do?”
Now is your chance to enlighten me, as well as the rest of us, who don’t understand your parenting style. Now is your chance to defend your proud stance as a helicopter parent. Set the record straight by overwriting the stereotype I just shared.
Send me an email. Tweet me. Contact me on The Dadabase Facebook page.
All of those things are super easy to do, just by clicking on the appropriate icon on the right side of the screen, underneath “Follow Nick Shell.”
Or just simply leave a comment below.
Categories: Deep Thoughts, Growing Up, Must Read, Storytelling, The Dadabase | Tags: ADHD, children, depression, extreme parenting, helicopter parenting, parenting, parents, toddler
Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
Recently I saw a quiz here on Parents.com that you could take to find out if you’re ready for a second child. I didn’t need to take the quiz. With no hesitation, I thought to myself, nope.
I am still too self-centered, still too greedy with what little free time I do have in the day, and honestly, my ability to trust in God for all it would take for a second kid isn’t strong enough. I’m ashamed but willing to admit it.
My honesty here also reveals a white elephant; there is no guarantee my wife and I would even be blessed with a second child when the time does come that we are “ready.” So I don’t mean to be assuming or ungrateful that we so effortlessly received our son Jack.
But in this moment, I am sort of terrified at the thought of returning to the days of a crying baby in the middle of the night. (I trained my son to sleep through the night back when he was 6 months old and haven’t had to worry about this problem since then.)
Man, the frustrations of not having the same motherly instincts to be awoken by a baby’s cry and therefore my wife having to take the brunt of it. Then there’s the fact that instinctively, I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time with an infant anyway.
Seriously, it’s taken 13 months for me to even feel somewhat necessary in my own home.
That’s the biggest frustration for me, as a dad, that I don’t feel needed or necessary in raising an infant. And I know I’m not alone in this. This is the kind of thing that other daddy bloggers probably write about and dads who don’t blog, still think about.
I like being needed and knowing how to help. But the worst parts of those first couple of months as a dad were like being in a play where I didn’t know the lines. I was supposed to be this certain character but I wasn’t even given a script before showtime. I’m so glad that at this point in fatherhood, I can at least ad-lib my lines and make the scene work.
Like I said, I’m too self-centered for Kid #2 right now. And that brings us to the other white elephant: What other way to be cured of my greed than to be surprised by another child? There’s not.
Having a kid, and I assume having more kids, further breaks a man down to the point he doesn’t worry as much about what he will lose; but instead, he will focus on what will he gain.
I bet that’s what Jim Bob Duggar would tell me.
Friday, June 17th, 2011
Recently in my post entitled, “The Positive Re-branding of Fatherhood,” I noted that dads are making a comeback and becoming more involved in their kids’ lives. Call it a trend, call it a movement; I call it a necessary revolution: Men are changing the future of society now by priding themselves in not settling for mediocre fatherhood, but instead, awesome fatherhood. And maybe even one day the term “Superdad” will actually be as familiar as “Supermom.”
In fact, I was pleasantly unsurprised to read today in another blog here on Parents.com about a recent poll showing that, compared to 50 years ago, fathers are indeed more involved in the lives of their children. Granted, these days there are less households where the dad actually lives in the same household as his kids. But for the dads who do dwell with their kids, these dads are definitely more active compared to 50 years ago.
So it’s not all in my head! Dads really are making a comeback. What a cool time to be a dad. This is what The Dadabase is all about.
Today, I want to brag on President Barack Obama. Last week he introduced a new initiative called “Strong Fathers, Strong Families,” which is a program that provides ways for fathers to spend quality time with their children, via free or discounted pricing on fun activities, such as bowling, sports games, and zoos.
In his recent essay, “Being the Father I Never Had,” he openly recognized the fact that despite the heroism of single moms who have raised a large portion of recent generations, the presence of an active father is valuable to the well-being and future of today’s children:
“And even though my sister and I were lucky enough to be raised by a wonderful mother and caring grandparents, I always felt [my father’s] absence and wondered what it would have been like if he had been a greater presence in my life. I still do. It is perhaps for this reason that fatherhood is so important to me, and why I’ve tried so hard to be there for my own children.” –President Barack Obama
For a guy like me whose active campaign and passionate mission is to positively re-brand fatherhood through this blog on Parents.com, I can’t help but feel strong admiration for our President in his public support for the “Strong Fathers, Strong Families.” I tip my hat to Mr. Obama for using his voice for an idea so necessary and positive for the good of our country.
I believe that it has become easy and normal to downplay the importance of fathers in the lives of their children. Because we as a society have learned to, in order to survive and move forward. But I don’t want our American society to simply survive; I want it to thrive. And even just the name of President Obama’s initiative itself spells it out pretty clearly: A strong father will lead and grow a strong family.
President Obama is not only taking action in sharing my same passion for parenting; but also just like I am doing, he is using his public platform to openly support active fatherhood. I get it, not every child has the option of being raised by a good man. Many children have selfish, abusive, and/or absent biological fathers; some who have left by choice while others were good men but have unfortunately passed away.
Still, children need a positive adult male role model to fill that void, whether it’s an uncle, family friend, step-dad, a pastor, or neighbor. It’s not okay that kids are growing up without good dads. Nor is it okay to deny the need or importance of a positive adult male role model in a child’s life.
Categories: Deep Thoughts, Home Life, Must Read, Nostalgia, Spirituality, The Dadabase | Tags: baby, baby blog, children, dads, family, father, Father's Day, Father's Day 2011, fatherhood, kids, Obama's Strong Fathers Strong Families, parenting, President Obama, role model, role models, Strong Fathers Strong Families, Supermom
Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
Ironically, while waiting for my first child to be born I am accompanied by thoughts of the finality of my own life. Having a baby is such a huge milestone, such a life-changing event, that my mind skips decades ahead to when my kid will graduate high school, to when I will be a grandparent, and ultimately, to my inevitable passing into eternity. In my mind, all those big events are strung together like bubbly Christmas lights from 1988.
My wife and I have this agreement that concerning our own inevitable deaths, we will die healthy but of “natural causes” in our sleep, both at age 92, holding hands. And I would assume that most happily married people would wish for the same thing- to be able to raise their children with their spouse, to grow old with their family, and to pass this life in our right minds – not lonely and suffering in a nursing home. I don’t consider a sudden brain aneurism, a car accident, or being mauled by a bear while hiking through the woods. No, you see, I have carefully planned out my own “natural causes” death in a romantic and perfect way.
And that’s the only way I can think about the end of my life- with optimism. Assuming I will live a long, happy life, giving all I can to my family. It’s the only way I can think, because even now, two months before Baby Jack is scheduled to arrive, I am responsible for another life. I have to be here to take care of him. And my wife.
I truly am incapable of trying to fathom how so many people in the world don’t have a solid understanding (or at least some kind of basic perspective) of what happens after this life, and that they don’t think about it on a daily basis like I do. How the afterlife is completely something to be considered, how beyond heaven and hell issues, this dream of life is the prequel to eternity. And now, already, a new soul has been created, and I had something to do with that. I have changed the course of eternity.
This baby is not just a body; he’s got a soul. A soul that will need guidance for this life and the eternal one. And I have to be here for that. Even if these thoughts may seem dark and depressing to some, I refuse to ignore the reality that life and death are intertwined. As much as I “try not to take life too seriously” like all those stupid bumper stickers and annoying e-mail forwards tell me, I still take life seriously enough to think about this stuff.
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:
Categories: Health, Nostalgia, People, Spirituality, Storytelling, The Dadabase | Tags: 1988, baby, bear, birth, blog, blogs, brain aneurism, bumper stickers, children, Christmas, dad from day one, death, dying, eternity, Heaven, hell, life, nursing home, parenting, pregnancy, soul, Super Mario, wife, woods