Confession: I'm a Bit of a Helicopter Parent


“Impressive.” That’s what my husband said when he saw this picture as I was flipping through the shots I snapped that day while he was at work.

“What? My phenomenal photographys skills?” We both laughed.

“No, that you paused long enough to take a picture of him doing that before running over there and putting him back on the ground and telling him how dangerous that is.”

Confession: Despite my best efforts to control this urge, I am what some have termed a helicopter parent. What does that mean exactly? Well, it means I tend to hover over my children as they go about their day alerting them to any danger their activities may be putting them in.

Occasionally, this is warranted like when Anders empties out an over-sized tupperware bin, climbs inside, and attempts to ride it down the stairs. Other times I’m willing to admit it may be overkill, like my household ban on bouncy balls due to my fear that they are the perfect size for swallowing and subsequently choking and dying. (Until recently this ban was also extended to grapes. I know. Neurotic.)

I often worry about how my constant crowing of ‘Danger!’ during even the most mundane of tasks affects my children. That’s right. I worry about worrying. I don’t want to give them the impression that the world is a place to be feared instead of explored… or do I?

There’s no question that I want my children to develop a sense of autonomy. In fact, this is necessary for them to grow into well-adjusted, contributing members of society. I can’t very well hold their hand throughout their adult lives, but where does one draw the line in being hands off enough to instill a sense of independence in one’s children and reckless parenting?

Perhaps this line is more clear for other parents and in some ways I do recognize when I’m being overly worrisome, but I find myself repeatedly falling prey to the ‘what ifs?’ Where do you stand on helicopter parenting?