Monthly Archives: February 2013

10 Ways to Stop Helicopter Parenting
Helicopter mom
Helicopter parents not only take too much responsibility for their children and fix their problems to protect them from upset or disappointment, they also tend to be overly punitive by not taking responsibility for themselves and blaming their children for their own problems.

When boundaries are poor, a parent tends to bleed the line between her problems and her children’s, unable to tell the difference. If she has a problem—exhaustion, impatience, upset—she may make it her child’s problem by reacting punitively and lashing out with blame or criticism for her child’s annoying behavior. If it’s her child’s problem—anger over being told what to do, forgetting homework, getting a bad grade—she may make it her problem by taking responsibility for it, fixing it or trying to making it go away.

When boundaries are not strong and a parent hovers to closely, the child learns to depend on the parent to step in, even in ways he doesn’t like, and so can relinquish responsibility. As he grows, he may lash out hostilely at his parent for creating the dependency he has grown accustomed to.

The most important counter action to helicopter parenting is consciousness-raising on the part of the parent to see the patterns that get established. Becoming aware of tendencies from her own background that prompt her to hover, protect, and control can release the ties and initiate the letting go process.

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Trust Your Children More; Teach Them Less
Trust more

The more stories I hear from parents, the more I know that to trust our children’s capabilities and detours is the path to connected relationships and success. But to trust a child goes against our standards of good parenting. They have to trust us. It doesn’t go the other way.

Yet who are we to know what our children should do with their lives; who are we to know what they need in order to get there? Our job is to remove the obstacles in their way of reaching their potential and accept and support who they are so they will have a firm foundation on which to launch into their futures.

A parent in my group put trust to the test. Her son didn’t like to read. He figured out a loophole in the school’s point system for reading. If he performed poorly, he would be put in the achievement bracket that required fewer points to get by. “He basically was reading See Spot Run books,” his mother told us. Her husband, who does not read, was furious and kept on him to no avail. She supported his decisions and left the process up to the school, although she did share her own experience of pleasure from reading. Allowing him to fail and trusting his reading capability, she maintained connection. With her trust, he discovered Harry Potter and everything changed.

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