PARENTS: Maybe your parenting style could use a downgrade?
A “helicopter parent” is one who pays extremely close attention to their kid’s experiences and problems.
They hover overhead, overseeing every aspect of their child's life— constantly.
They feel justified because they really do care.
Their hearts are good.
They mean well.
The downside is that their kids don’t get a chance to fail and flounder and lose and screw up nearly often enough
so they are robbed of multiple vital opportunities to learn and grow
which build their confidence and sense of self: resiliency.
A life that feels fake,
primarily motorized by their parents’ effort and stress and desperation
or their parents’ need to feel “good enough” via their kid’s performance
with no real buy in or interest from their kid
leaves parents feeling frustrated because
WHY DOESN’T their kid CARE??
WHY ARE THEY SO UNMOTIVATED??
Maybe because the kid didn’t get to buy in to their OWN life?
So the kid works hard at creating a secret, shady life in which they can feel some semblance of independence and freedom.
They don’t feel trusted, capable and they are unlikely to develop skills beyond hoop-jumping and game-playing.
The loud whirring of the blades,
wind whipping hard on their face,
squinting up at their parents hovering nearby and worrying what they will see, if it be good enough or not,
always in suspense about what their parents say or do or take away from them next:
having the autonomy and space and belief in their inherent goodness and wisdom that has them naturally
keep their heads down, work things through, figure things out, fall down, get up, dust off, find *their* way forward—
and bask in that amazing feeling of knowing they are growing and learning and becoming smarter and tougher.
So moms and dads, guardians and teachers,
let us try something else!?
I’ve gone up in a hot air balloon over the Arizona desert and it’s so calm, so peaceful, feels more natural than when I took a ride in a helicopter over the same terrain.
The views were similar and wonderful,
but the power and speed of the helicopter made the experience feel more like it was about the aircraft than the view.
I could feel the wind and the sun on my skin, hear the intermittent blast of energy we needed to stay afloat, see so much more and really experience with the desert’s awesomeness.
So with our parenting style...
how about being able to gradually and serenely enjoy our own experience as parents,
to be able to look down from a just-distant-enough perspective that we may see the beauty and natural progression of our kids’ lives,
quiet enough that we can hear clearly and listen when they talk to us,
slow enough that we don’t rush around and burn extra energy, making everything about us instead of the view of our kids’ lives
which we are so incredibly honored to get to witness?
Does that sound nice?
Let us be humble and simple in our approach to parenting.
Let us be available and visible.
Let us be safe, calm, nonjudgmental.
Let us be open, still, uplifting.
the kids of helicopter parents I know have a whole life underground that their parents have no idea about.
That’s the only place they could go to become more of who they are and sometimes they darkness under there, leads them to some pretty tough spots.
and they feel alone, but somehow that’s better than being hovered upon.
Also, please will you invite the people in your life to join our private Facebook group? Just parents who want to learn how to be real and clean in their parenting style.