I read this interesting article that my friend, Ma, shared on facebook.
The Backlash of Overparenting.
As the title states, the article talks about being overprotective and overly involved in the children’s lives. The article goes on to share that being involved in the lives of our children is a good thing but as in all other things in life, balance is the key. The article speaks of letting go and allowing children to make mistakes.
I am aware that a lot of things do not apply for the Philippines because even though the parent is not present in the child’s life, here in the Philippines, the child is often taken care of by hired help who we affectionately call “yayas”. This is a whole new dimension that the article doesn’t touch on. So I realized that when we consider hovering we also have to take into account the hovering we order our yayas to do. In the event that yayas are the ones hovering, then it’s their values or ideals that are being enforced on kids, not our own.
There are also some parts of the article that I don’t agree with because it has neglected to take into consideration that during down time children no longer go out to the park and play. Children no longer need to take apart radios or get bored and allow their imaginations to wander. Instead most children watch TV which, in the advent of cable, is possible to do the WHOLE day without repeating a single show. They can play games on their I-pads or gadgets all day while sitting down on the couch. Worse, they could log onto the internet and watch unrestricted shows that are meant for adults if you’re not there…. hovering.
However, the article comes up with a LOT of interesting points that I agree with. Children do need space to grow and make mistakes. They need to learn on their own and develop their own identity. I need to be able to trust them to make the right decisions. I want my children to be independent and, when they encounter an environment free of my involvement, I want them not only survive but thrive. They need to have a world without me there to catch them all the time.
Reading this article made me realize, I don’t want to be a helicopter parent all of their lives.
I am a working mother but I am aware that I STILL have the tendency to hover and be involved in my children’s lives as much as I possibly can. My children are still 8 and 5 so hovering is still acceptable as foundation forming is still ongoing. I am also aware that I have to let go of my children soon and trust that the foundation hubby S and I helped build for them will be enough to withstand peer pressure. I am aware that at one point, very soon in fact for daughter C, they will be exposed to good or bad influences and just pray they are wise enough to only pick up on the good.
Helicopter parenting… good or bad? Who knows. All I ask for is that I will have the wisdom to recognize what is best for my child, and have the strength to actually do it.