“Helicopter Parenting” is one of the latest labels slapped onto some of those individuals who are doing all they know to do to give there kids the best that they can.
Julie Landry Laviolette in her special to the Miami Herald on August 18, 2016 wrote informatively and advised wisely. But, the fact is that labeling is name calling and therefore, quite likely going to be received with defense.
First of all, parenting is the hardest job in the whole world. Thankfully there are some support classes like Whole Hearted Parenting being offered and a plethora of books written on how to do it well, but the bottom line is none of it is required. Besides, a diploma, certificate, or initials after one’s name doesn’t guarantee competency. That’s why I sat in a hotel room for months of intense study, training, and testing before I was permitted to carry a sales bag into a doctor’s office when I got hired by the pharmaceutical industry.
Also, while there are some skills to parenting, the skills in and of themselves are worthless if they aren’t implemented with a loving attitude by the parents. One can do the “right thing” with the “wrong motive”. Just like they can do the “wrong thing” with the “right motive”. While we may fantasize that we can do the “right thing” with the “right motive,” reality is we’re human and usually deceive even ourselves.
Most people parent based on what was modeled before them by theirs. Which is quite scary when we look at cultural statistics. Who came from a healthy family? In fact, I think this is one of the reasons why some resort to hovering over their children. Often these parents were hurt or abused as a child. All they want to do is protect their kids from the pain they still endure.
Back to labeling. Folks if it feels offensive to be called a helicopter parent, I empathize. But if you would, do what mama does in my book, Rojo The Baby Red Panda at the Zoo. Understand that viewing the world as black and white by using stereotypes and labels has a place and purpose. Yes, there are numerous exceptions and problems that can occur, but they exist for communication and teaching purposes. They simplify life and give us meaning.
Let us stop taking offense and be willing to “Listen and Learn” (one of my short motivational songs) in order to be the loving parents we want to be. And if you were hurt or abused as a child, please get help to feel and heal those wounds. We need to grow up emotionally and spiritually. We can’t do that until these wounds from childhood are healed and resolved. Check out great therapists like Dr. Sam. Get well. It’s worth it.