Good Morning and welcome to Coffee and Conversation #67 – hosted by Pat And Candy.com!
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)
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!
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!
- 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!!
- Besides 3 Tips for Raising Middle School Book Lovers, Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool has a giveaway going on until November 12…catch it today 🙂
- 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
- 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…
- 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 😉
- 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!
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