Labels. We have labels everywhere. I am ‘ok’ with labels, not too bothered by them. I wear some very loudly and proudly. Except the one that hovers over me, literally hovers, as I hover over my now four-year old.
I am a helicopter mom. I never planned to be a helicopter mom, but here I am.
Helicopter parenting refers to “a style of parents who are over focused on their children,” says Carolyn Daitch, Ph.D.
They say that the term helicopter mom (parent) is usually used with high school and college age children. However, I am referring to the hovering I do over my child – the constant fear I have ingrained in myself that she will hurt herself.
I hover in the hopes of preventing this. I know it’s bad, I know I shouldn’t, but here I am – hovering away!
I don’t plan on staying this way; in fact I work on being less of a helicopter, every day. As I force myself to let go more, I am made painfully aware of just how difficult this is.
Recently my wife took our daughter to the park. I received these photos while they were out on their adventure.
Que **heart sinking, panic, anxiety** and I wasn’t even there to see it. Although I almost RAN to the park to save my daughter from the imminent threat to her well being, I was able to control myself, with a simple response to my wife that I hoped she was close by, should something go awry.
I know my wife laughed at my response, but I also know she expects it from me at this point.
I don’t know how to let her fall. I know she needs to fall and I know she needs to get back up again. I know she always gets back up again and we’ve started a ‘shake it off’ mantra so the not-so-serious falls, bumps and scrapes don’t evolve into full on four-year old meltdown madness.
I hope no one reading this was hoping for a fail proof solution to letting go of those helicopter propellers we wrap around our kids because I sure don’t know. I am looking for the mamas out there, there has to be more of us who are just a touch too protective of our kids.
I can’t be the only one closely following her as she runs on the sidewalk reminding her to be careful and go slowly. I try my hardest to keep those ‘running feet’ for use on carpet and other similar soft surfaces.
I know a part of this stems from my own level of being accident prone. I swear I was born with the ability to trip and fall on flat surfaces (sometimes I don’t even have to be walking for this to happen) and I occasionally see some of that coming out in Gradie. Granted some of it is probably just because she is four and learning how to coordinate her feet with her legs.
I don’t doubt that my unnecessary hovering is holding my child back. Not like she’s missing milestones or that I keep her wrapped in bubble wrap or anything. However, I know if I encouraged a more adventure seeking attitude that she’d be climbing more and challenging herself more.
What ways have worked to help you ‘let go’ a little more? I have had people tell me that if we are blessed with child #2 I won’t be as protective, but I honestly don’t know if that’ll happen for me.