Whoever coined the phrase Helicopter Parent is an absolute genius. My mother was the walking & breathing definition of a Helicopter Parent. When I was in high school, she was at every volleyball game. Hanging out with friends, never happened. Seriously. Never happened. It was her way of keeping me out of trouble and/or keeping her eye on me. While I understand that approach, I don’t completely agree with it.
The want for independence starts young. I see it in Gem, already, and she’s only 5 years old. She’s starting kindergarten this year and, while I know I can’t be with her throughout the day, I’ve already started mentally (and emotionally) preparing myself for those morning drop-off’s. It’s tough! Letting go is very tough. But I’ve learned that, we as parents, have to trust that we’ve prepared them the best way we can. We have to trust that all of the information and rhymes and little snippets of wisdom we’ve given them will be enough to get them through the day. Ultimately, through life.
I’ve always said that I wouldn’t be a Helicopter Parent. I’d be very involved in my kids’ lives and activities and interests, but I wouldn’t be overbearing. Would I be their Facebook friend? Probably. Follow them on Instagram (if that’s still a thing)? Yeah. Twitter? Most definitely. Keeping tabs, you know? But will I require a phone call and/or text message at every point of their way home or way to school? No. Them letting me know when they reach their destination will suffice. Now, if they don’t let me know when they get to where they’re going THAT’S when I’ll start micromanaging.
Here’s my big deal: Do not hover. Let your babies be! They will always be your babies but you can’t protect them forever. The best thing you can do for them (and yourself!) is teach them to be independent. Just be sure to prepare them for any danger or shady situations. They’ll be fine.