Hovering, micromanaging, helicopter parenting, whatever you want to call it over-parenting is definitely a thing. While being a helicopter parent may see harmless, the effects it can have on your children and your relationship with them can be devastating.
In addition to hindering their ability to make good decisions and feel confident in their choices, parenting too hard can also make your child afraid to come to you with their problems, concerns, and fears later in life. Of course, just because you helicopter parent now doesn’t mean you have to forever. Just follow these simple steps to get that micromanaging habit in check.
1. Don’t Shoulder All The Responsibility Of Your Child’s Actions
As parents, we tend to think that every little thing our children does reflects back on us, and while this may be true in some instances, there are many exceptions to the rule. If your child starts slacking on on their school work or displaying other slight but negative tendencies, it is important to do everything you can to rectify the problems without blaming yourself for them.
Allow your children to make their own mistakes and face the consequences for their actions without shouldering all the blame. The less you think of your children as only a reflection of yourself rather than their own people, the easier it will be to calm your micromanaging tendencies.
2. Stop Overanalyzing
A huge part of helicopter parenting stems from fear that our children won’t do as well as we want them to. Whether that means fear of failure in school, failure in personal relationships, or failure in life. Wanting to protect your children is a natural part of being a parent, but you don’t them or yourself any favors by overanalyzing every action they make and only focusing on the bad things that could happen.
Try to adopt a more positive outlook when it comes to your life and the lives of your children. This newfound positivity will seriously help with your need to control everything and rub off on your kids in a big way.
3. Let Your Kids Experience Things on Their Own
No matter how old they are, seeing your children experience failure or upset is absolutely heartbreaking. When they’re young, those things can come from playground mishaps or arguments with siblings but when they are older, those experiences are a bit more major. In many cases, removing yourself from these situations, even physically, can give your child the opportunity to experience and solve their own problems. Don’t run to kiss every non-existent boo-boo and don’t jump into every single argument, let your little ones work things out on their own every once in a while and feel good with the fact that you have given them the tools and the confidence to take care of things themselves.
4. Avoid Labelling Your Kids
You may not notice that you do it, but labeling your kids is a pretty prevalent part of helicopter parenting. These labels may not be mean or purposefully hurtful but they have a huge impact on how you treat your kids. Certain labels like “the artistic one” or “the sporty one” aren’t as harmful as “the one who isn’t so great at science” or “the one who has trouble making friends.” Unknowingly giving your children these labels enables you to needlessly step in when you feel they need extra help in certain areas, even if they don’t really need it at all. Don’t be so determined to fit your child into certain boxes, especially not at such young ages.
5. Don’t Do Everything For Them
If one of your child’s chores is to wash the dishes after dinner, don’t stand over her or take over altogether when you feel she isn’t doing a thorough job. Stop taking over your little ones’ homework when they’re taking a lot of time to finish it. Allow your kids the chance to do things for themselves, if they come to you for help, be an aid rather than a hindrance. Show your children that they have the ability to solve their own problems with you cheering them on instead of hovering over them.