Hey, is that a helicopter, I hear? Oh no! that just my mum hovering!! That was me a few years ago. Well, come to think of it, even a few days back when I was at my relative’s place! I was a helicopter parent too.
As a mum to two lovely daughters, I often find myself thinking that I would never ever hover around my child as my mom did. But life has a way of turning on you and you just can’t help yourself! Eventually, I give in and end up doing the same thing that I so diligently wanted to avoid.
I know it happens to most parents out there, but does it help you or your child? That is a different matter altogether!
What do the statistics say?
Studies indicate that the new generation of kids come in with excellent scores and grades, but they lack the basic skills to manage their lives while they are on their own. They are sorely lacking in social skills and cunning to survive the big bad world!
All thanks to helicopter parenting! Well, it’s never too late to change.
Let’s look at some ways to avoid turning into a helicopter parent.
Teach your little one’s basic life skills
There is one simple life truth. You would not be around your child forever. So prepare your child to handle themselves independently; that way, they would know what exactly to do if they find themselves alone someday. Start with tying a shoelace or a tie, doing the laundry, cooking, perhaps even changing the tire. The benefits of these activities are twofold- not only will it teach them basic things that can someday save their lives, but it also teaches them not to take things for granted. Make it a fun activity where the entire family does it together; trust me, they will remember it even when you’re old and grey.
Encourage them to communicate face to face
Today, our kids are glued to their electronic devices and are more dependent on social media; human interactions are thrown out of the proverbial window. They end up forgetting how to talk to people and behave when they are around in public. They get finicky and anxious, which eventually affects their mental health. Teach them to forge connections by encouraging face-to-face interactions. This exercise will enable them to look others in the eye and confidently express themselves. Also read, Types of parents at a parent-teacher meeting.
Give them some kind of responsibility
It’s basic human nature that we learn by doing, and the sooner it’s done, the better. The point here is to teach them how to be independent, which is best done by giving them some kind of responsibility. Give them small jobs or chores that they will be responsible for, maybe they will falter for a couple of days, but they will make it for sure, eventually.
Teach them to solve their own problems
You can’t always be around your kids to solve their problems and get them out of trouble. Sure, we will be there to pick them up when they fall or support them if they need help, but they also need to solve their problems on their own. What do you think they will do if they are bullied or fall into bad company, and their friend pressurizes them to drink or smoke.
Allow your child to take risks, get hurt, feel pain – because it is all a part of life. As parents, we need to stop being overbearing or overprotective as it will only hold them back. Avoid hovering over them and sheltering them. Let them take the call and learn to handle the consequences.
So, mums and dads huddle up and ask each other if you are helicopter parents. And if you are, how can you rectify this and teach your kids to be independent?
I wrote this article from my own experience as a mom who used to be a helicopter parent. Do share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below.
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