When the question is whether or not to be a helicopter parent, the answer is always not to be. Helicopter parents aren’t something I remember from my youth. I cannot recall a time where numerous parent volunteers populated the halls and the classroom my elementary school, but it is the case at my children’s school.
While there’s nothing wrong with volunteering in our kids classroom, it isn’t healthy when you’re child goes off to kindergarten and you go too. I remember when Goalielocks was in kindergarten he had a classmate whose mom was literally in class as a volunteer every single day. While it was awesome that she was able to help the teacher every day, it wasn’t healthy for her child to have her in class every day.
While my brothers and I were in middle school and high school, my parents were always there to support us, but they allowed us to make decisions and make mistakes. My parents were never involved in any of our relationships and certainly never orchestrated any of them. Present day, we parents like to meddle in our kids relationships, in our kids’ grades and all aspects of their lives.
The problem is if we handle every issue, every bump in the road our kids face, they will never learn to overcome obstacles on their own. This leaves them ill prepared for the obstacles they’ll face in their adult lives. As hard as it is to watch the stumble, we have to let them stumble and make mistakes. It is through these mistakes that they’ll learn critical thinking skills, that failure is okay and that we all make mistakes. Life lessons they’ll take forward into their adult life that are invaluable. The alternative of course is that we smother them as a helicopter parent and they turnout like Buster from Arrested Development.