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Are You A Helicopter Parent?

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Hello everyone,

I hope that you're having a great weekend so far? Today I feel as if I need to start this post by saying that being a parent is the hardest job in the world, there is no rule book, no training and nothing can quite prepare you for such a job. It's a steep learning curve for everyone and who's to say that there is a certain way it should be done and who's to say that someone is doing a better job than the next. It just feels like everyone is constantly being judged when you're a parent, why can't people keep their thoughts to themselves.

I'm sorry to go in so deep into the first paragraph of this post but I came across an article about being a helicopter mum and couldn't help but feel that I needed to give an opinion as a helicopter mum! I have a two year old daughter and I am without any doubt a form of a helicopter parent, so what is a helicopter parent? A  relatively new cultural phenomenon – yes, they use that word to describe it – where the parents ditch all their hobbies and work commitments to focus wholly and solely on their child, constantly shadowing their child in an over-protective way.

In the article, the writer explains that she is more of a “bench-warmer” when it comes to parenting style, particularly at the park where she wants her children to try things out for themselves, to take risks and explore, and to just be kids who play, without a parent intervening all the time. But she gets frustrated when other parents hover around her children, worrying about their safety, helping them while glancing around for their parent. My daughter is two years old and is quite capable of many things but as a parent I naturally intervene when she's exploring, it is something that I cannot help and feel as if the article parent shames me into thinking I shouldn't be.

Last week my daughter and I went to the park with my sister and her two young daughters. I don't want anyone to think that I am judging any parent who chooses to sit on the bench, if I am honest I take my hats off to you, I just wish sometimes that I wouldn't feel so anxious about my daughter and climbing frames. But at the park my sister almost immediately sat her toosh on the park bench ready to watch her girls play, but me? Being a helicopter mum and hovering over my daughter while she climbed up the ladder and  down the slide, holding her hand up the ladder and running around to the other side ready to meet her at the bottom of the slide. Let's just say it was hard work and I had built up a bit of sweat running to and fro after the 10th slide down! Phew! My sister? Happily watching her children from afar ready to pounce whenever they called for her.

If anything you could say that I was a little envious that my sister could sit there and glance at her children every so often. I don't know whether its because I am a first time mum, my daughter is an only child or it's because I am a sufferer of anxiety! Not there has to be a reason, it just baffles me. I just wish I wouldn't feel so anxious. I know that when my daughter wants climb to the top of the climbing frame, it's the best excuse in the world for me to live the life of a toddler and climb with her. Admit it - it's actually the best excuse, do you agree?


Being a helicopter mum got me thinking that perhaps it's more of a case of the ages of our children determines our intervention. My sisters children are four and two and as you can imagine that the two year old just follows and copies the four year old, my sister will always intervene if see she's that they are really going to hurt themselves, and she won't interfere until they ask for help. My daughter is very strong willed, confident and so courageous so it's not a case of her not having the physical competence or confidence to go and do her own thing. It's me. It's the parent in me. I will always want to be the first person to be there for my daughter if she ever falls and if I am honest this will never change.

I like to think of myself as a mixture of a "bench warmer" and a helicopter mum and I don't think it's a case you are either one or the other. I will bring up my daughter the best way that I think and I couldn't really care what people thought. Whether you're a bench warmer or a helicopter mum, we are all doing the best for our children and doing a damn good job in doing so.

 
Are you a "bench warmer", a helicopter parent or a mixture? Let me know your thoughts!
 
26 comments on "Are You A Helicopter Parent?"
  1. This is a great post - I think it's unfortunate society wants to label everyone all the time. Some days I do the helicopter thing (especially with the girls were younger and wanting to climb everything!) but mostly I wander around and listen for them to cry or shout for me. My kids are 5 and 8 so they've got most of the park equipment figured out. Now I'm struggling with them being outside after dinner, and where are they when I need to find them to get ready for bed!

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    1. My lady is two and she always hide before bedtime, the little monkey! I think a mixture between the both is a good balance.

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  2. As you say there is no right way in parenting except the way that feels right for you #MarvMondays

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    1. Yes that's for sure. It's not exactly a walk in the park, but I wouldn't change it for the world.

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  3. Nothing wrong with being a 'helicopter' parent in my view. I'm like that with my 19 month old. She is curious and full of energy but she doesn't know her limits and doesn't spot dangers. I don't want her to full or be pushed. So I do linger near here as she plays. I am trying to learn to step back a bit when the environment is right. She does need to learn. But when she's climbing a 5ft high slide, damn right I'll be stood right behind her... Keep doing what feels right for you I say. You'll be chilling on the bench one day once your LO has safely learnt all she needs to. #MarvMondays

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    1. Sometime I think as a parent of a young toddler it's hard to figure out when to not intervene, especially as my daughter is monkey and loves to scream for attention! Haha.

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  4. I think i'm a mix of the two! When he was younger i'd hover around my eldest, now he's a bit more capable I try to stand back. Also if we're in a park I know well i'll generally leave him be. If we're visiting a new place I tend to follow him around until i'm sure he can handle the equipment xx #bigpinklink

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    1. Yes that sounds like something I will probably do when she's a little older to be honest. I think a mixture of the both types of parenting is a good balance!

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  5. I think you've written this really well. I'm not sure that I can wear either label as I'm somewhere between. I was definitely a lot more "helicopter" with my first and I think there is some truth in what you say about your sister having two and four year old. My two are that same age and I am more relaxed about letting them play together, because I know that they have each other and the little one follows his big sister. I'm still the adult of course and I'm there to keep them out of danger, but knowing that they aren't on their own definitely helps me to take a step back. Great post. #bigpinklink x

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    1. Thank you that's very kind to say. The parents that I have asked say that they are neither one or the other and feel as if they are a mixture of the two, which is a great balance to me.

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  6. Be the parent your child needs. That is what counts.

    Young master Ordinary Hopes relies on me to help him play so I am probably more of a crane parent, making play possible.

    With my first son, I was not standing under him panicking but I was an active and involved parent, because he wanted the interaction. #BigPinkLink

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    1. I honestly couldn't agree more Rachel! I want to be the best parent I can be for my daughter.

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  7. I think it is definitely something to do with how many children you have over anything really. I was very much for m=hands on with my first at playgrounds and with weaning etc but I was far more 'leave them to it ' with my second. Especially as they have each other to play with. Also, I wasn't able to be so present as the other one needed something etc. I think the confidence to leave them to it comes with experience too, the older the children get, the easier it is to know when you really need to step in and when to leave them be so you can have a chat! :D Thanks for joining in with the #bigpinklink

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  8. I'm thinking that perhaps I will be a little more relaxed with baby no2 because I will know what to do!

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  9. I think you know when you're able to back off and when you're not, and it depends so much on the child's personality as well as your own. My daughter's not two yet so can't really get on anything at the park without me, but thinking back to my own childhood I was not a risk taker. My parents could sit on the bench in the knowledge I wouldn't be climbing (and falling) etc, but my brother was the total opposite and one or other of them would have to hover behind him or wait for the crying until he got a bit older... :) #TuesdayTreasures

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    1. Yes I think you're right there. I think it's taken me a while to realise when to step back - all a learning curve this parenting marlarky!

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  10. Fab post and it sounds like you are being the mummy that your little girl needs! I don't really 'labels' as they can always be used in a negative way. I think style of parenting depends on so many different factors and it is never black and white. We are constantly learning and adapting to what our children needs. #tuesdaytreasures

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    1. Thank you Vicky that's very kind of you to say. But I think it's important that I show my daughter that I do trust her but not to an extent where she could get herself in danger. I would be the same if there was a possibility that another child could hurt themselves. Thanks for your comments.

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  11. I definitely think theres a bit of a helicopter mum in most of us these days. To an extent I think its the way that society has evolved that has created an environment where we are much more protective of our children as well as wanting to encourage and motivate them to do and try things. Im not sure what a bench warmer mum is, but im about to go and google it! Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily

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  12. You had me with the title of this post - this is an interesting one. I completely agree with you that it is all about the ages of your kids...my girl is 17 months and I have to be watching her all the time. It only takes a moment for her to make a run for it and be standing directly in line to get hit by the kid on the swings! Or to fall flat on her face off the climbing frame...but I guess as they grow and become more aware of these dangers, we can ease up a bit. I hate these labels and I think we should just do what we need to do as parents without feeling judged that we are doing too much or too little. Sounds like you are doing a fab job xx #bigpinklink

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  13. I hate the term helicopter parent, just let parents be parents! I think age is definitely a factor as you're going to be more cautious of younger ones. As both of my boys are tall people often assume they are a good year older than they are so I've heard people make remarks about me before, but that's because they assume my one year old is a two year old! Thanks for linking up to #SundayBest x

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  14. First time round I was a total helicopter Mum , second time around I am a bit of both... Thanks for join in with #TuesdayTreasures

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  15. Love this post. I would say I'm a little bit of both, though have definitely been more helicopter with the first one. I think most people are to be honest. By the second one I think you are just a bit more relaxed about things. But the thing is there's no right or wrong and no one should feel shamed about their wish to be protective and involved with their children. It's so frustrating that there is still so much pressure on parents to do things a certain way, when there are so many ways to bring up your kids positively.
    I think like you say it also depends on the age and temperament of the child. When my son was a boisterous 2 year old, who would run off without a glance backwards, then I was definitely more 'helicopter'! Now's he's nearly 4 he is more independent and reliable - but I still love to get right in the sand box and play with him! xx

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  16. Oh I'd never heard of this term before but I'm definitely a helicopter parent! But mostly because my daughter demands it of me! I'm her favourite play mate and she can't climb up a slide without me yet or come down without holding my hand. I'm sure as she gets older and more confident I'll be able to step back more, but I'm an anxious first time mum too so I doubt I will want to!!

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  17. I am a reluctant helicopter parent - in fact, I blogged about it recently too!

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  18. We are lucky Mrs OMG is a helicopter. I'm a free range. Happy to leave hem to explore bt keeping an eye in case they go too far or are about to get in danger.

    If Mrs OMG saw some of he things we get up to when she's not around I'm sure I'd never be left alone with the kids ever again lol.

    We each have to do what we think is right. It's a fine balance between helping and doing.

    Great post

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