How To Avoid Being A Helicopter Parent

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If you recognize yourself as being one of those parents who overshadows your child, then you already know you need to stop. Maybe you have been worried about how you measure up as a parent, and you have been comparing the amount of time you spend hovering over your children to that of other parents. Perhaps you just wanted to protect your child from experiencing any pain, believing that if you were vigilant enough you could keep them safe and happy.

Let Your Child Solve Their Own Problems

As children grow older, they should be taking on more and more responsibility for their own problems. This is true for all kinds of problems. Problems with their peers, with their teachers, managing their time and completing their homework are all problems you child needs to learn to solve on their own by the time they leave home.

Keep Your Eye On Their Future As Well As Their Now

Remember what your child will be like when they are an adult. Your instinct may be to solve a problem for them now so that your child is protected from pain. Remember to ask your self what your child will learn from an experience. Will your child learn to run to you for help or will they learn how to solve a problem themselves, and perhaps come to you for advice as needed?

Can Your Child Do It On Their Own?

If your child is capable of doing almost any task on their own, then you should encourage them to do it on their own.

Children learn to be self-confident when they successfully complete tasks or solve problems.They learn that they can do it. As hard as it may be, step back, let your child have a go at tackling new age appropriate task and problems.

Give Them Space to Come Up With Their Own Solutions

It is tempting to jump in and dictate a solution to your child's problems.

Even when you step back and give them time to come up with a way to handle an event or complete a challenging task, it may not be what you would have done. Before you correct them, stop and ask if they will be effective and safe. If it is alright, look at their different way of approaching a problem as something unique to your child. You can learn a lot about someone by seeing how they approach tasks your child is no different.

Remember That They Will Be Different Than You

Your child may grow up to have different political views or personal tastes than you. This is part of what makes your child a unique person. Allow them the space to make their own decisions and form their own opinions.  Your child is not a younger clone of you. While it is healthy for children to look to their parents for influence, it is not healthy to expect children to want and like exactly what their parents like.

Find Out What They Can Do, Then Let Them Do It

If you know you jump in and take over for your child, stop and ask yourself what they know how to do on their own.

You can also ask your child's teacher what sort of things the children are able to do. If your child is able to look up directions to their friends home, while they are at school, yet run to you to have you look up directions on the web, then back off and have your child do it themselves. If you find out that your child washed the dishes with their friend while staying the night at their home, encourage your child to wash their own dish when they are at home with you. You can even use this tip if your child wants you to help them with something that is age appropriate for them to solve on their own - simply turn their request for help back on them and ask them what they think they should do.

Final Thoughts

If they are used to you jumping in rescuing them or taking over, you may have to stand firm while your child gets used to you stepping back.

The overall key to avoid being a helicopter parent is step back and watch your child grown and learn to handle their own life and problems. This will go a long way to helping your child be successful in life.

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