Monday, August 17, 2015

How to be a No - Rescue Helicopter Mom

Say what?

I know what you're could I possibly be a Helicopter Mom and a No - Rescue Mom? They're polar opposites! But, somehow, I am.

The other day, one of my friends was over our house with her three kids. She was observing how I was allowing my kids to ride bicycles and scooters, as she was helping her daughter ride one of the bikes.

"I wish I could just stand back and watch, I'm afraid one of them is going to get hurt," she said.

"Kids are going to get hurt. More than likely when we're not watching," I told her. "Remember Wesley in the double casts? That was the moment I turned my back.l You just have to make sure when you are around, you teach then to play safe."

Then I admitted, "I'm a Helicopter Mom, too. But, not with the 'little things'. I tend to hover with the more important stuff and let them finagle other things on their own. They won't learn anything if we hover all the time...but, more importantly, they won't experience that oh-so-important sense of accomplishment if we do everything for them."

It's not that I'm a No - Rescue Mom all the time.  On the contrary, sometimes, I feel like I'm all in my kids' biz all the time. I know what every single one of them are involved in on their tablets and computers. I know who they are hanging out with and where they are at all times. I'm nosey - and proud of it.

I don't allow my kids to be more than 2 driveways away when they are outside. I'm definitely a Helicopter Mom. I hover. Over 9 kids. No doubt, I stay busy.

But, at the playground or when they are playing outside, I have learned to take a step back. Of course, when they need or want my help, I'm there, willing and able. However, there's no need to hover over a child ALL.THE.TIME!

They do need to be their own little people and learn and grow and attempt to accomplish things on their own, without Mommy or Daddy standing over them. How else will they be able to feel that incredible feeling of accomplishment, "I did it! All By Myself!"?

You have to find a balance between the two extremes of Helicopter parenting and No - Rescue parenting. In all honesty, Helicopter Moms drive me nuts. You know, the hardcore hoverers who won't let their kids poop without standing next to the potty with the toilet paper ready.

The moms who trail behind their newly crawling cherub, watching their every move or picking them up at the first sign of frustration.

Stand back and let them learn their lessons on their own, but also be right there to "hover" when they want or need your help. Toddlers need a push on the swing, maybe even a little help on the slide, but they don't need us to hover over their every move.

You can also search your teen's Internet history and investigate their friends' parents, if your hovering tendencies lead you to do so, but they don't need you to be right there, holding their hand, when they're playing with their friends outside. Give them some space! They are teenagers!

My 9th child just started crawling. I keep anywhere and anything she can possibly reach clear of potential hazards and let her explore. She loves it! And, while my hovering instinct gets nervous and anxious, the No - Rescue parent part of me can't help but giggle when she gets into predicaments.

Stuck under the table. She got there somehow...

Or when she closes the door, and, in turn, closes herself in the room and starts fussing. Yes, I'm on the other side, giggling. (Only for a moment, though. I'm not mean, I just think it's cute.)

I think I've found a happy medium between the No - Rescue parent and the Helicopter parent. It's not perfect, but it works for me and the kids. They know I care and I'm here when they need me, while they're also allowed to learn for themselves.

It took 9 kids to get to this point, though! ;)

So, you see, it's possible to be both!

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