Posts tagged ‘helicopter mom’
Strict or Overprotective?
I grew up in a pretty strict household. Unlike some of my friends, I had to be sure to tell my parents where I was going, who was going to be there and when I would be back. I had the earliest curfew of the group and was always grounded the longest when we got caught.
My dad was also pretty overprotective of me. Especially when it came to school, finances and car repairs. Anything within in those three categories, dad was there to take care of it, ultimately to ensure I was headed in the right direction in life.
That was all fine and dandy until I moved away to college and was left to fend for myself. I was undeclared my first two years, spent $1000 a month on an ‘emergency only’ credit card and still had dad take care of the car repairs during visits home.
During my year of couples therapy, trying to rebuild (actually more like build) my marriage, I learned that one of my big pieces of baggage is not feeling good enough or competent in life. Hmmm… wonder where that comes from? Strange.
We All Need to Fall Sometime
It’s interesting to look at the parents of today and see how overprotective most are in all aspects of their children’s lives.
At the start of the summer, my son and I spent a day together at a local park, one that I used to visit as a child. The park is perfect for hot summer days, as it has a man-made creek bed, lined with rocks and boulders, that carries water from the hilltop down to the duck pond below.
Now in my day, you couldn’t get us kids out of that water. We would be soaking wet, jumping from rock to rock in our bare feet, all day long.
When my son and I visited, I thought perhaps the water was contaminated, as there wasn’t a single soul in that creek…not even somewhat near by. I scoured the park looking for brazen signs of danger, but didn’t see a thing. I figured, if there was some sort of health hazard in the water, they would have some sort of notification….since they sure seemed to have enough signs warning of the great environmental dangers caused by feeding the ducks!
So in we went!
Our entry into the water caused quite a commotion with the other children at the park. Immediately little heads turned and large eyes watched intently. The braver, or perhaps more defiant, children came running over to join us.
Two mothers instantly grabbed their children from the water and instructed them to return to their previous location.
One child was able to stay and play in the water until he decided to start walking along the rocks in his wet shoes.
“Johnny, let’s not do that…it’s dangerous. You could slip and fall.”
She was right. I’ll give that to her. But really? If we had that perspective on life, we wouldn’t step out the front door or even get out of bed for that matter.
School of Hard Knocks
Unfortunately, it appears our children are missing out on some important life lessons, ones that you need to learn on your own. Due to our overprotective nature, the poor children of today are not learning how to live, to take chances, or to make decisions on their own – good or bad.
Just look at some of the devices we have nowadays that help us ’protect’ our children;
- GPS Tracking Software on cellphones
- filters and blocks on T.V. and the internet
- email notifications when kids make a purchase with their debt card
Things have gone way beyond yelling from the front door “Mom, I’m going to Jen’s house to play with Gem & Barbie. I’ll be back for dinner.” These devices are telling our kids “I don’t trust you…I don’t think your competent enough to make a good decision…”
I know we’re all just trying to look out for our children and help them along in life… but I see now, first hand, what that can do to them in adulthood.
It’s disheartening to think we may be creating an entire generation of individuals who don’t know how to do things for themselves and are scared to try.