Posts Tagged ‘ helicopter parents ’

So What Exactly Is A Helicopter Parent, Anyway?

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

23 months.

It turns out that several people who read both Part 1 and Part 2 of “Oh Wait, Are We Helicopter Parents?” a few weeks ago had to ask me what a helicopter parent even is.

Basically, it refers to any parent who “hovers over” their child to the point they could be considered to be practicing attachment parenting.

The stereotype would be a parent who when dropping off their child at daycare, creates anxiety in their child by lingering around too long, instead of properly saying goodbye and giving their child confidence they will be okay for the day without their parent there the whole time.

I realize now, I’m definitely not a helicopter parent.

Instead, I’m simply aware that little boys die in accidents at a much higher rate than little girls. Much of my “hovering” has to do with keeping my son safe in parking lots, as I should with a 23 month-old son.

It’s more about risk management and being my son’s bodyguard, necessarily.

When I think of a helicopter parent, I think of someone who freaks out when their child darts away in the middle of a park.

My preconceived idea is that the parent sets such tight parameters on that child that he or she doesn’t know how to act when they are presented with a window of freedom.

I would like to think of myself as the kind of parent who encourages my child to be independent. I want my son to want to explore his world, but yet at the same time have a concept of the real dangers that exist out there.

While we were at the pumpkin patch a couple of weekends ago, my son Jack was excited when he saw the pick “potato sack slide.”

But as we climbed up the stairs and he saw how far down his Mommy was, he began to get scared and started to cry.

Needless to say, we went down the slide together, despite his reservations.

For me, it was a symbolic of how as a parent, I’m there to push him when he needs courage, to inspire him to try new adventures, and to remind him that while I may not being hovering over him, I’m still there keeping him just as safe.

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Oh Wait… Are We Helicopter Parents? (Part 2)

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

22 months.

This is the continuation of Oh Wait… Are We Helicopter Parents? (Part 1)

We live in a townhouse with a staircase leading up to our son’s room. A while back we used to talk about getting a “baby gate” to keep Jack from crawling up the stairs or falling down them.

But looking back now, we just haven’t got around to it, and I figured out why:

My wife and I have this default policy that we never let Jack wander into the next room without us.

But as little as he actually gets to see us, he doesn’t want to be in a room alone anyway.

So anytime Jack wants to climb up the stairs, one of us is right there with him, ready to brace his fall if he stumbles.

Sure, we let him run around free, outside. But only in a park, and we’re casually chasing him. Or in a racquetball court.

We love to see Jack explore the free world, as long as we’re right there with him the whole time.

I’ll say this: My parents were definitely not helicopter parents. Mainly because back in 1983 when I was Jack’s age, I wasn’t curious enough to try to stick car keys into an electrical socket.

That’s not to say Jack doesn’t know the concept of danger or has no real concept of boundaries, because he completely does.

But maybe he’s just a more curious kid than I ever was, and as his parent, I am overly aware of this.

Are my wife and I helicopter parents? I don’t know.

I’ll let you decide, based on what you’ve read about our style. I suppose it takes a third party to decide that.

But really, what does it take to qualify someone as a helicopter parent, anyway?

It’s not like Jeff Foxworthy has a joke series called “You might be a helicopter parent if…”.

That’s where you come in.

I would love your feedback on helping me get some good stereotypes, I mean, examples, of helicopter parents.

In fact, I think it would be pretty cool to write an article called “7 Token Signs You’re A Helicopter Parent.”

Okay, go…


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