During one of our stops, I got very exited about a school and I advised my oldest, Daniela: “this is the school you should attend and this is the career for you…”
She looked at me and responded: “you can not choose my school or career for me, I know what I want for me!”
I just realized that I have become one of those parents, one of those parents who stays in a place longer than necessary; a parent that lingers for too long!
These type of parents already have a name, they are called ‘helicopter parents.’ Parents that are always giving critical observations to a child's experiences and problems. Parents that are always getting too involved with their kids education and schools, making sure that they get a certain teacher or the ‘right’ coach; always providing excessive help with assignments and endeavors.
Helicopter parents start off with good intentions. "It is a tricky line to find, to be engaged with our children and their lives, but not so enmeshed that we lose perspective on what they need," Dr. Gilboa says. Engaged parenting has many benefits for a child, such as increasing feelings of love and acceptance, building self-confidence, and providing guidance and opportunities to grow. "The problem is that, once parenting becomes governed by fear and decisions based on what might happen, it is hard to keep in mind all the things kids learn when we are not right next to them or guiding each step,"
Dr. Gilboa explains. "Failure and challenges teach kids new skills, and, most important, teach kids that they can handle failure and challenges."
As parents, we do need to protect our kids from harm, but not from struggle or disappointment.
Excessive protection is the barrier for courageousness. When we over protect our kids we are discouraging them from acting on their instincts despite risk or criticism.
Defeats and failures are usefull for kids. Learning to deal with setbacks teaches them to develop key qualities they will need to succeed, such as endurance, resilience, creative thinking, and the ability to reinvent themselves.
As parents, we should keep in mind:
To risk is to experiment; an experiment that can succeed or fail, allowing kids to feel comfortable with failure.
Our kids need to learn from trial and error; from failure and success!
So, Daniela, my love, good luck with school; we wish you the best! And always remember: We are here to support any decision you make.