On April 7, MOPS mentor Eileen Catalano spoke about “helicopter parenting,” or the tendency to hover over our kids – both to protect them and to ensure their (and our) success. Here’s an assortment of points from her talk (please feel free to contribute more thoughts by adding a comment!):
– We must debunk the myth of the perfect parent and child – perfectionism sucks the joy out of the parenting experience, and sets us and our kids up to fail.
– Letting go begins in the preschool years; a key to letting go is to distinguishing between helping (giving assistance when a child really needs it) and enabling (micromanaging, and indirectly communicating that “you can’t function without me ” and “I have no confidence in you”).
– Our children should already be practicing making their own decisions – they will learn from their mistakes, and must also deal with the consequences of their own choices.
– It’s hard to see our kids get hurt, but rather than try to prevent pain or disappointment, we should help our little ones identify, understand and express their feelings. It’s not always our job to “make it better.”
– Give grace to your children, and pray that they will learn to be dependent on God (and not on you!). When you pray, you can also submit your fears to God, who IS in control and whose motives are rooted in his great love for all of his children.
Thanks, Eileen, for such an honest, inspired talk filled with illustrations from your own parenting experience!