To Talk About Helicoptering

 

       Hi there! I wanted to get into parenting styles a little bit, today. First, though, I want to say that this post reflects only my personal opinions on my own parenting, and I am in no way speaking about how other people choose to parent their children. This is strictly for me. That being said, the main topic I wanted to discuss is "helicoptering". According to Wikipedia, "a helicopter parent is a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child's or children's experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions. Helicopter parents are so named because, like helicopters, they hover overhead, overseeing their child's life". Now, I've never been one to overly examine pretty much anything and everything. I generally take things at face value and have always been literal. This all stems from, in my opinion, doing dance for years when I was growing up. In dance, and especially competitive dance, the instructors pick you apart. Not necessarily your appearance (although that can happen sometimes), but how you are literally doing something wrong. It's all constructive criticism, so I learned early on, to not care and to not take it personally. I corrected what was wrong, and moved on.

     This has translated into my adult life and my "parenting style", which is the opposite of helicoptering. Another big part of my lack of hovering over Bailey, is that I don't like to be hovered over myself. I've always been independent, and I've never cared for nitpicking. As I did with dance and criticism in general, I tend to now brush off the daily downfalls of what was once a baby and has grown into a toddler. Will she trip and fall? Yes. Will she accidentally bonk her head on things? All the time. Do I hover right behind her attempting and failing to stop every bad thing that can happen to her? Absolutely not. Of course, like any parent I worry about my child constantly, and in my true nature, I can get irrational when it comes to Bailey. That's all in my head though, and it stays there. I don't waste time worrying about the inevitable things, like tripping and falling, because they are just that: inevitable.

     A large part of how Bailey learns is by making the mistake of not being careful enough, and then realizing that fact after she gets through whatever issue she's having. It's been the same way with time-out so far, and she has really grasped the concept of cause and effect. It's how I've learned most of my lessons in life, and I guess it was an unconcious decision to let Bailey learn those things on her own as well. I'll always be there to help her if she needs it, but I'll never try to control her wandering life. It's one of my favorite things about her, and about most children, that they are the most curious little things. It would be heartbreaking to stifle that quality in her, to teach her to be overly cautious or scared. Mommy may freak out at the sight of a worm (and run away screaming), but Bailey can pick it up and play with it all she wants. I don't need to be right next to her to tell her not to eat it. If she does eat it, while that'sdisgusting, it's not the end of the world. Thank you for letting me share, and have a great (long) weekend!