I guess I must have glossed over the term 'helicopter parent' that's being used quite often recently. I assumed I knew what it meant and dismissed it without looking very much further into it.
And then I was accused of being one, in jest of course, but still...
I delved into finding out what it really meant. The term was first used in 1969 in a parenting book by Dr. Haim Ginott as a term coined by teenagers who felt their parents would hover over them like a helicopter. The more I got into it the more I felt my type of parenting was being maligned in all of the articles I was reading about helicopter parenting. Now it's obvious from anybody that knows me that my type or parenting is not as severe and smothering as what is described in definitions of helicopter parenting. So maybe I'm more of a Goodyear blimp mother....floating well within reaching distance but still floating, not helicoptering.
But I also became cognizant that I have a real problem letting my children face consequences, be it because they forgot their lunch or a school folder with assignments...or like in Olivia's case her coat, which she loses several times each year. I am always there to swoop in and clean up their forgetfulness or laziness or absent mindedness because I don't want them to face the consequences. I'm afraid of them being hurt...of hurting.
I also am right there to pick up spills, clean wounds, help with chores...things that maybe my children should be learning to do on their own. But I fear their tears, fear that they will think I'm a bad mother, fear that they won't trust me anymore.
These are obvious all my problems, my issues...but as a mother of four children how do you separate You from Them?
Very, very carefully.