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Welcome To March!!

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by Admin 4th March, 2023

It is a privilege to be alive and well so no matter what is not going right, we will strive on and keep hope alive.

So we are continuing with sharing parenting tips that will help us do better for the next generation so their outcomes can be better.

Have you ever heard of helicopter parenting?

What do you think it is about?

Do you know that there are also dolphin, bulldozer and jellyfish parenting?

I am sure you wonder which one you are?

This month, I will briefly let you in on helicopter parenting.

Some time back, I was catching up with a long time family friend. We happened to have one of our children at the same time. I was so pleased to learn that her daughter was now in university. How time flies! I can still remember when we were exchanging pregnancy cravings gist .

What struck me was when she said that her daughter calls her to report her room mate and will ask her to help her settle disagreements with her roommate. She will even ask her to speak to a lecturer on her behalf. The girl seemed like she was a handicapped young adult and my friend was already feeling overwhelmed with the constant complaints.

My question was , how did she become like that?

I know my friend and I know how she likes to micromanage everything, so the answer to my question wasn't far away.

We are a product of our upbringing therefore like I always say, parents have to be very intentional about how they parent and the outcome they want to see.

Let me define this helicopter parent so you will understand my drift.

A helicopter parent is a well-meaning but over-bearing, over- protective parent who hovers over their child and tirelessly oversee every aspect of their lives and sometimes even act on their behalf.

They are always on hand to save or protect them from any kind of struggle or difficulty. Everything must go well. They never allow them to experience failure so they micromanage everything. They think every choice and decision for the child and do not involve the child in the decision-making process. They solve every problem even before it happens.

This parenting style is also called corseting because although it is coming from a place of good intentions, the parent is actually stifling/suffocating for the child's creativity, initiative, independence, crisis management skills, conflict resolution skills, self-leadership skills, problem-solving skills, coping skills etc. like a corset does. If you are a woman who wears corsets or girdles, you know the feeling I am describing.

It begins with seemingly harmless acts like always deciding what they eat, wear, do without their input etc, doing their homework for them, telling them the answers so they don't have to struggle, always confronting anyone that doesn't let them have their way or pushes them to do more or be more etc.

So, my friend started off with good intentions. She probably wanted to give her daughter an easy life that is better than what she had and guarantee her success but she ended up turning the girl into a highly dependent child who waits around to be told exactly what to do. Who has no confidence in her own abilities , is unable to manage crisis, cannot stand up for herself, is unable to make sound decisions/choices without looking for approval from someone and so is prone to peer pressure.

It is okay to be a doting parent, but your real goal is to slowly work your way out of the picture leaving a self-reliant child who knows what they want. Always ask yourself, have I raised this child to thrive if I am not there?

So, if you have seen any of this 'helicopter parent' trait in you, you can still change.

These are 10 ways to stop helicopter parenting

  1. Don't nag! Remind them of what to do once or twice at most and let them make their choice and face the consequence. 
  2. Leave it! Don't try to fix it even if you can. Let them face the consequence. For example, your child forget their homework or lunchbox, don't go back for it. Facing the consequence will leave a lasting impression and likely help cure the forgetfulness.
  3. Stop taking responsibility for their actions . Quiet that impulse to swoop in and take the bullet for them. 
  4. Let them fail! I learned early to separate myself from my child's performance. If they fail, I feel bad but it doesn't mean that I have failed. Children learn more from failing so don't always run to save them from failure. 
  5. Sometimes, let them learn some life lessons from their own first-hand experiences even if it is uncomfortable for them and for us. Uncomfortable learning experiences are often the most powerful ones. They stick!
  6. Focus on equipping them with the skills they need to thrive with or without you.
  7. Don't do for your kids what they can do for themselves. Like my mother in law will say, 'it is not love to do that.' Remember that they are more capable than you give them credit for.
  8. Count the stakes ! The stakes will be probably small now but it will teach them and not hurt them. However, shielding them from the consequences now will virtually ensure that they pay a higher price in future which might be more dire.
  9. Recognise that lovingly guiding children to make their choices, accept their mistakes and bear the consequences is not bad parenting. It is preparing them for adulthood when you will likely not be there.
  10. Be emotionally intelligent. Identify the true reason why you are always hovering or running to their rescue. Could it be because you are afraid that they will fail or be hurt and their failure or pain will make you look bad? It is not about you and it is not about now. It is about them and their future. This is how you can suppress that uncomfortable feeling.

You are doing great and I give you kudos but you can do better if you know better. 

I understand that these things are easier said than done because of our strong parental instincts but let's resolve to raise a generation of children who will not need to recover from their childhood upbringing.

When a child feels secure in your unconditional love for them, they will be confident to go out, explore and express their uniqueness. Helicopter parenting doesn't give them that kind of confidence.

At Blooms 'n Daisies School Calabar, we are here to partner with you and support you on this journey of raising your child in the direction of purpose.

Call or send a message today to 08184242505.

We will be pleased to hear from you.

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Have a blessed and fulfilled February from all of us at Blooms 'n Daisies School, Calabar.