Thursday, May 5, 2016

Helicopter Parenting With Twinsx2

This year I learned a new phrase to describe over protective parenting, “Helicopter Parents.” I guess this is where we hover above our child(ren) and monitor and direct all that they do. I had to sit back and think about whether I was being a helicopter mom. The short answer was yes, I am. I have a habit of running around after my kids, making sure everything they do is safe, trying to prevent every.single.booboo. That’s hard y’all! It was so stressful to take them anywhere because there is only one of me and 4 of them! How could I possibly run behind each child?

I remember reading this quote somewhere on the internet, “We must prepare the child for the obstacles in the path ahead, not remove all the obstacles from the path.” When I thought about the helicopter parenting, I realized that this is exactly what I was doing. I was going before my children and removing all obstacles for them so that they, and theoretically I in turn, would have a smoother path. But this does more harm than good. The end result is children who cannot think for themselves. Who cannot soothe themselves. Children who are afraid of any challenge or difficulty. And a mom who is overrun, overwhelmed, and stressed out.

In the past few months, I have decided to let my children be children and do more things that children do. I was so worried about their safety that they no longer had many outlets for physical activity. They were wound up and cranky. I now try to take a step back and observe the situation from afar; only stepping in when absolutely necessary. Before, I was also a referee; never allowing my 2 sets of twins to work out problems. I would be the solution, whether the problem was theirs alone, such as trying to use a shape sorter or if it was with a sibling. How will children ever learn conflict resolution skills or critical thinking skills if mommy anticipates every need and struggle and swoops in to fix or prevent it? Yes, there was less whining and screaming in the moment, but in the long run it led to more screaming and tantrums because they got to the point where they wouldn’t even try to do things for themselves. They would just cry and scream until I helped. Ugh. I’m the problem!

I really am trying to allow them to be kids. Too often, we as parents either consciously or subconsciously expect our children to behave like little adults, leaving no room for error. I too am guilty of this. Kiddos are going to jump on and off of the furniture, they will make messes, they will chew on and shred brand new books and important papers...they are tornadoes trapped inside a miniscule body. All that energy has got to go somewhere! But where? I really need some indoor energy burning ideas. Please share some with me if you have any! What works for your kids?

Are you a helicopter parent? If not, how did you learn to let go a little? I feel like I am constantly over concerned about my children. By being this way, I am adding undue stress to my life. What are some little things that you have learned to let go of with your kids? What things did you swear you or your kiddos would NEVER do, but now you allow it? I have heard that the more kids you have, the more relaxed you become with your parenting. But what happens when you have 4 kids, but 2 at a time? Its like I never had time to relax my parenting. And they are all so young! And into everything! Sigh. How does a parent who relishes control let go a little? If I figure it out I will let the world know; I promise! 

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