Weekly I come across articles written by other moms bashing and criticizing what is known as a “helicopter mom” — the overprotective parent who is too involved, hindering their child’s independence.
I have a confession: I’m a helicopter mom.
My helicopter might be different than yours, and not all helicopter parenting is the same in my opinion. I’m not extreme but I do hover – and I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. Isn’t that what parenting is about? Directing and teaching your young impressionable children to make good decisions and making sure they are safe?
The articles that I read against helicopter moms are judging women like me for ruining their good time chatting with their friends, playing on their smart phone or reading a book within a safe eye view of their kids, but not close to their kids. They are laughing and carrying on with their friends like it’s girls night while I’m watching their barefoot kid in 40 degree weather throw sand in the air and get it in their hair and eyes.
It’s a community park, not a Starbucks.
Yes, I’m giving you the stink eye to come get YOUR kid.
It’s not my job to watch your child or bring them over to you while they are screaming because getting sand stuck in your eye is painful and scary. I shouldn’t have stop your kid from eating animal poop, old gum, bugs and who knows what else they unearthed while digging around in the community sandbox. I don’t want to have to caution your kid who is about to break their leg or another body part while recklessly running all over the play area or discipline them after pushing my kid down — all while you’re chatting leisurely with your friends. I’m there trying to have a good time with my kids.
I’m the mom who takes her kid to the park to play with them. I honestly can’t understand what else I am supposed to do at the playground besides push my kid on the swing, slide down the slide with them and make fun family memories.
That is why I had children … to spend time with them and raise them into little people I enjoy spending time with.
I stand near the play set while my 18-month-old maneuvers around it in case she runs too close to the edge so she doesn’t fall. I enjoy taking my kids to local parks and museums, and teaching them about the world.
It honestly doesn’t take a village, it just takes me and their dad.
I know all of my kids’ friends, and they know all of mine. I strictly monitor their electronic devices and I check behind them after they have completed their chores to make sure they are done correctly. I ask them daily about homework/assignments and eat lunch with my kids and their friends at school several times a month. I take them to scouts and participate in their activities. I keep in touch via email with their teachers to make sure they are doing well in school.
Aren’t these just things that make someone a good parent?
I’m the mom who checks over her kids’ assignments and asks to read their essays before they are due. I don’t tell my kids what to write, but I do let them know of misspellings and grammatical errors before they turn in a final draft to their teacher. It’s important for kids to think on their own, but they do need guidance.
I’m the mom who takes her kids’ book bag, notebook or project to school because they accidentally left it at home, and the parent who volunteers for field trips and class parties.
You may think that I am hovering, but in my eyes I am guiding them in the right direction to become upstanding and educated citizens.
I am involved and an active part of their life. I’m showing them I care and that they are important to me.
As their parent and caregiver, I am training them how to behave and cope. When my kids get older and hopefully go off to college, I want them to make choices based on the example and guidance their father and I taught them — not just on the immature mind and desires of an 18-year-old alone.
I’m raising my children to be responsible for their actions and to be pleasant individuals. I’m creating a bond between us and our family as a whole.
At the end of the day, we’re all moms — moms trying to do what we think is best for our precious children. I’m not perfect by any means, and I don’t claim to have all the right answers. My approach to parenting is just that — my own. And if all of these things make me the dreaded helicopter mom, I’ll proudly turn my propellers on high and own it!