Are you a helicopter mom?


* Funny picture from here.

Hi! I’m Amber Anderson, I am a pastors wife, mom of 2 lovely boys, and an avid DIY’er. I post regularly about DIY projects, crafts and family life on MotherhoodMusings.com.

I know I’m typically your DIY girl, but this week I wanted to share a little something different than I usually do. I know alot of you out there are moms, and maybe this post will relate to you, like it did me.

Sometimes I find myself in constant state of helping. I use to think this was a good thing until I read an interesting article in a parenting magazine. I can’t seem to find the article anywhere online. Of course I was sitting at the hair salon when I read it and can’t even be quite sure which magazine it was. It was a article on Helicopter Moms. Moms who sweep in at every given second and help solve problems and finish open projects for their kids. There are actually a TON of  articles I found on “helicopter parenting” some of which are here, here and here.  To tell you the truth, I didn’t know it was such a huge thing until I started doing research for this post. It’s an epidemic. :) I’m sure most of this urge in me comes from just wanting to be a good mom, but I have started to learn first hand that being the helicopter mom that I am, can create a monster (a little cute monster to be exact). Jude right now is constantly asking, “help mommy help”. And until this past week I have ALWAYS happily obliged. Last night at church, he asked for help when a ball was stuck and I said, “no Jude, you get it, pull real hard” and he said “okay mommy, I get it” and sure enough, he did. What? That’s all it took? And I’ve been his personal servant for the past year of my life? What I realized in that moment, was instead of wanting to do what’s best for Jude, was actually hurting him. Independence is a big thing for little guys like him, and I was stealing that away from him. I started to think back into Judes playing routines, and yes he is a very good independent player, but rarely have I ever let him figure out a puzzle or problem on his own. I’m always there to get the ball unstuck, turn the page when it’s not turning, or fix the spoon when he’s holding it wrong. Most of the time, he didn’t even ask, I was just there, hoovering, waiting for a problem to solve.

I found this excerpt in one of the articles to be especially interesting:

“Studies reported in the journal Psychology Today show that hyper-parenting is massively disadvantageous to children’s development because it’s the failures, the challenges and discomforts of childhood that create resilient, emotionally mature, independent adults (which is really the one goal of good parenting). And many parents never realize what a disservice their ‘helicopter mode’ is doing to their children until it is too late.”

Maybe we should try to find some humor in “helicoptering”? There is a helicopter mom quiz I found, try it out. These were my results, “Be careful! You may be headed toward “Helicopter Parenting.” While it’s definitely OK to walk your child through complex situations, it’s not OK to want to solve every problem as he grows.”

So here it is, I, Amber Anderson am a helicopter mom. I swear to be better, stop hovering, and let my kids problem solve. I swear to be more observant, and less hindering. If not for my kids sake, than my own sanity. :)

Comments

  1. engineerdysfunction says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Having supervised a brilliant young man with a helicopter mom, I can’t possibly thank you enough. He was incredibly smart, but still struggled to make decisions, struggled in his relationships, and struggled in the job. I found out later that his mother had moved with him when he took the job to “help him out”. She went so far as calling management when things didn’t go the way she thought it should. While I realize that not all helicopter parents would be quite that bad, I’m sure it is difficult to know when to draw the line! Your children will thank you some day for helping them to learn to be independent (and so will their bosses)!

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