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Coffee and Conversation Link Party #67 – Flying Too Close as a Parent?




Good Morning and welcome to Coffee and Conversation #67 – hosted by Pat And Candy.com!

Coffee & Conversation with Pat and Candy!

Are you familiar with the term “helicopter parent?” Maybe I’ve been listening to too much talk radio lately, but I can’t believe how much it’s been in the news!

A recent story on NPR about depression in college-aged students who’d grown up with helicopter parents led me to do a little more research on the phenomenon.  I found the article the story was based on; what I learned was both fascinating and caused some personal introspection.

Now I have to admit that the term “helicopter parent” has always caused me to bristle, for a number of reasons. For one, I have often heard it in connection with homeschoolers, as if just because you homeschool guarantees you hover.  Secondly, in the examples I’ve heard it used, the stories often refer to parents with very young children.  One story I recall discussed how helicopter parenting damaged the ability of PRE-schoolers to handle themselves in DAYCARE!  (Sorry, but however you look at it, I can’t see how PRE-schoolers don’t require a wee bit o’ hovering…)

But I’ll also admit that I am in total agreement with the definition of the term here: (from Dictionary.com)

a style of child rearing in which an overprotective mother or father discourages a child’s independence by being too involved in the child’s life: In typical helicopter parenting, a mother or father swoops in at any sign of challenge or discomfort.

I can see how that would be damaging.  I can see how that would stunt a child’s emotional growth and development of life skills. I understand how sending kids out to college unable to handle challenges or discomfort is asking for trouble. I will admit that this is not a healthy parenting style.

But how do you define “being too involved?”  I mean, in these confusing times, both parents and children alike are scrounging to learn how to navigate the culture.  Never before has there been such a fluidity to ethics and behavior and expectations.  And, perhaps in fear and confusion, but certainly with a desire to protect, parents may often be attempting to, well, just be good parents!

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Take a look at this infographic about helicopter parenting…Good info and statistics here. Just click on the image.

So, if you’re struggling with balance in your parenting skills, know that you’re not alone.  I’ll continue to run my kids to co-op classes, extra-curricular activities, friends’ houses and church activities.  I’ll continue to talk to them as situations come up and encourage or teach them…or at least share my own experiences and opinions.  I hope that as they grow, I’ll be able to hover less…and mentor more…

At the end of the day, I have to agree with this quote found at the end of an internet story ABC did on this topic:

“To me, the distinction between healthy helicopter and unhealthy helicopter is the degree to which you really interfere with your kids’ decision making,” said Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal. “The key is: Are you a coach on the sidelines or are you in there playing center on the field?”

I’m praying they will always know I’m on the sidelines rooting for them, and they’re always welcome to seek me out.

Because we each have our own field lives to play on live…

Now…on to our features!

What a week!  I had such a hard time narrowing it down, that I didn’t, well, not really… So this week we have 6, yup, SIX features!

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  1. from Abi in JoyInMyKitchen.com – True Stories That Inspire Courage in Boys – A great list of non-fiction, and if you haven’t read Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption yourself…do it!!
  2. Besides 3 Tips for Raising Middle School Book Lovers, Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool has a giveaway going on until November 12…catch it today 🙂
  3. This is the month for gratitude, and I appreciated the way everybody is included in Shannon’s 14 Gratitude Activities for the Whole Family, from OfTheHearth.com
  4. I’ve read recipes for DIY vanilla extract before, but CJ’s Vanilla Extract recipe is non-alcoholic and ethanol-free!  She also shares some interesting facts about glycerin and why you may not want alcohol in your extract…
  5. While I was all over Why Age-Related Weight Gain Doesn’t Have to Happen to You, I must have missed the magic-pill answer in Lisa’s otherwise informative article 😉
  6. And last but not least, Turkey Sandwiches with Blueberry Mayo from Mira at CookingSLS.com makes me look forward to Thanksgiving leftovers already!

Thank you for your inspiration, ladies!

Please feel free to grab a button to brag about it display on your site! 😉

 

And now the party!

But, first…

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  • …and then visit at least 2 other links. That’s what makes this a par-tay! Plus, it’s kinda the polite thing to do.

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  • Share posts with good quality, pinnable images and be sure to link back to us in your post or on your blog. You can use the Coffee & Conversation button above or a text link. Your chances of being featured will greatly increase.

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Don’t forget to give ePantry a try while they have their terrific Holiday offer available – until November 19th or while supplies last!

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Pat
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Pat

Pat is a Yankee city-girl who has been adopted by the sleepy, sunny south. Married for 30 years and the mother of 5, she woke up one day recently to discover she reached the stage of life where she is the “older woman” described in Titus 2:3-5. A coffee lover, the purchase of a coffee shop a few years ago was her personal foray into the small, family-owned business arena.Today, PatAndCandy.com is her outlet for packaging up and sharing the nuggets of wisdom God and life experiences have taught her.
Pat
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30 Responses to Coffee and Conversation Link Party #67 – Flying Too Close as a Parent?

  1. mira November 18, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    Awesome links! Thanks so much for the feature!

    • Pat November 18, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

      You’re welcome, Mira – thanks for sharing it! 🙂

  2. Returning Remnant November 12, 2015 at 1:16 am #

    I first heard the term helicopter parent years ago, and immediately began using it to describe those parents I saw on the playground that wouldn’t allow their kid the room to just… play. And be a kid. And figure stuff out. You know the ones I’m talking about…. 😉

    Enjoyed the article thoroughly, and we’re back to linkup! Have yourselves a wonderfully blessed day and thanks for hosting!

    XOXO,

    Carrie & Chanda

  3. Lindsay November 11, 2015 at 11:35 pm #

    Thanks for hosting another great party! Found tons of new projects I want to try out!

  4. Abi at Joy In My Kitchen November 11, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

    Good evening! I appreciate you featuring my post on books to inspire courage in boys and how you continue to “get us all together” each week. So many terms get made up to describe different styles of parenting! Rescuing our kids from the natural consequences of choices is certainly unwise as would refusing to give them more independence as they learn responsibility. But, so would letting them “fly solo” before they were fully trained. Balance in everything, of course, but one wouldn’t be much of a parent if they didn’t stay aware of and age or ability appropriately involved in the details of their kids’ lives.

    • Pat November 14, 2015 at 9:13 am #

      Couldn’t agree with you more, Abi! Balance is key…but why is it so hard to achieve sometimes??
      Appreciate your post…and your thoughts….

      Thanks so much for sharing both! 😉

  5. Amanda November 11, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    <3 Helicopter Parenting… What a topic <3<3<3
    Thanks for hosting this wonderful link up again this week ! Can't wait to come back tomorrow and read some links 🙂

    • Pat November 14, 2015 at 9:11 am #

      You’re always welcome here, Amanda! Have a great weekend!!

  6. Kristy as Giftie Etcetera November 11, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

    Thank you for a great party – and a very insightful post.

    • Pat November 14, 2015 at 9:10 am #

      Thanks, Kristy! I enjoyed your most-recent planner post – way to go to teach your kids about making movies, too!
      Video will most-definitely be a needed skill in the future 😉

  7. Deborah Davis November 11, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

    Thank you very much for featuring ‘Why Age-Related Weight Gain Doesn’t Have to Happen to You’ from UrbanNaturale this week. I appreciate the recognition and support. All the best to you!

    • Pat November 11, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

      You’re welcome, Deborah! I enjoyed your article…just wish there really IS a “magic pill” 😉
      Have a great week!

  8. Beth November 11, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    I think I’ve stepped over the ever-elusive line from being a healthy parent to being a helicopter parent here and there with our sons. I’m still trying to undo some of the damage that over-concern has done to our youngest. I’m grateful for the way you’ve brought clarity to this subject, Pat. It’s one that I think a lot of parents can relate to and often struggle to bring balance to in their parenting. Thanks also for the links you’ve shared. I’m especially interested in the vanilla one. I’ll have to check it out! Thanks for the linkup, my friend!

    • Pat November 11, 2015 at 4:46 pm #

      Ah, yes, the youngest…hard NOT to hover over that one, right? Well, Beth, the longer I’m a parent, the more I know I’m gonna make mistakes… 😉
      I’ve over-stepped, too, but I’m probably more sensitive to it because we homeschool and it’s easier for me to err on the hovering side….
      Hope your speaking tour went well…enjoyed your guest hosts, but glad to have you back!

  9. CJ Huang November 11, 2015 at 10:00 am #

    Thanks for featuring my ethanol-free DIY vanilla extract! I really like it for things like flavoring tea and coffee, where you may not to be consuming alcohol. It’s also great because it adds a bit of sweetness without sugar. 🙂

    Thanks for hosting!

    • Pat November 11, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

      Ha! I hadn’t thought of a coffee/tea flavoring! Can’t wait to try it!!

      “See” you soon…thanks for stopping by and sharing! 😉

  10. Tina Robertson November 11, 2015 at 8:47 am #

    Love your party here and reading about the changes in your life and homeschool!!

    Thank you for hosting the SWEET party and for featuring my post about middle school.

    Have a super day!!

    • Pat November 11, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

      Thanks, Tina!
      Good luck with your giveaway – I love doing those!! So much fun 🙂

      Keep writing 😉

  11. Sarah November 11, 2015 at 8:06 am #

    Thank you so much for the great posts! I devour anything to do with parenting. Also, thanks so much for the link up party, and giving us writers a chance to share our work. We are so grateful to you! I look forward to reading more from you guys.

    • Pat November 11, 2015 at 8:24 am #

      Sarah,
      Glad you found us – yeah, you’ll find quite a bit on parenting here…LOL
      Congratulations on your achievement – and keep on writing and inspiring others! ‘Course, I hope you keep sharing it with us here 😉
      Have a great week!

  12. Elizabeth Spencer November 11, 2015 at 7:57 am #

    “I’ll continue to run my kids to co-op classes, extra-curricular activities, friends’ houses and church activities. I’ll continue to talk to them as situations come up and encourage or teach them…or at least share my own experiences and opinions. I hope that as they grow, I’ll be able to hover less…and mentor more…” Love this! I’m seeing glimmers (and, sometimes, more than glimmers) of the mentoring stage with my girls, especially with my teen, and it’s a joy and privilege. Thank you for this…and for being such gracious hostesses!

    • Pat November 11, 2015 at 8:15 am #

      Oh Elizabeth, what a blessing it is to be able to mentor our children as they grow. And, conversely, how painful when we’re shut out.
      Praying for continued glimmers and growth as you continue to parent!!

  13. Latisha November 11, 2015 at 7:42 am #

    Thanks for the great Wednesday link-up. Blessings.

    • Pat November 11, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

      Ooooh, Latisha, so glad you found us! I appreciated your Veterans Day post – shared that one with my kiddos today ;-), and your Christmas movie post was so very timely! We love watching movies as a family, and although we don’t get cable, your list is great to have on hand for ideas to search on Netflix and Redbox!

      Hope you come by often…and have a great week!!

  14. Shannon November 11, 2015 at 7:23 am #

    Thanks for featuring my post on gratitude activities! I hope other families benefit from these as much as we have.

    • Pat November 11, 2015 at 8:13 am #

      Shannon,
      I’ve found that when I share in sincerity, it always blesses SOMEbody! Thanks for being a generous part of the party 😉
      Have a great week!

  15. Patricia Krank November 11, 2015 at 7:21 am #

    I don’t think being around our kids all day is helicopter parenting. That was once the norm wasn’t it? A friend of ours is a manager at Intel and hires computer experts right out of college. He has had the experience of helicopter parents becoming involved in their adult child’s jobs. Now THAT is a problem! LOL!
    Thanks for hosting and have a blessed week.
    Patti

    • Pat November 11, 2015 at 8:12 am #

      Really, Patti, you make a good point! To my mind, it only becomes harmful when we’re not teaching our kids how to make decisions on their own, and/or not allowing them to handle the consequences. Much as I want to protect them sometimes, it helps to ask myself this: might they make this same mistake at the age of 30 if they don’t learn now? Ouch – I’d much rather them learn now rather than later!
      Ohmygoodness, those poor adult kids! I’d be so embarrassed myself to get involved in my adult kid’s JOB! Can’t even imagine!!!

  16. JES November 11, 2015 at 4:39 am #

    Thanks for hosting this week and the food for thought about helicopter parenting. Does this refer to more of a parent who jumps in to fix everything for the child instead of letting the child bear consequences. This I can see as being a problem… But a parent who is involved too much… There is a tough balance there…

    • Pat November 11, 2015 at 6:29 am #

      JES, I think the term is both used and abused…and it depends on the goal of the article and slant of the writer. Really, in some cases (like the pre-schooler example I wrote about) I think it’s totally misused!

      Because I’m around my kids all day I’ve been referred to at times as a helicopter parent. And honestly, I worried about that for a while. But I started to step back and see if or how much I immerse myself in their decision making, and I’m feeling better about it these days.

      My “rule of thumb” is if it’s their first time in a scenario, talk it through and offer assistance; second time, monitor their progress; third or more, ask ’em how it went!

      Ah, this parenting thing is not for the faint of heart, is it?!

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