Train a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
What is a helicopter parent anyway? A relatively new term in our society, “helicopter parents” hover over their children and do everything in their own powers to prevent their children from struggling or getting hurt in any way. That doesn’t sound too horrible, now does it? Wouldn’t most parents do just about anything to protect their children from harm? However, helicopter parents take this concept to such an extreme that they actually hinder their children’s growth. They intervene to an extent that it inhibits their children from building crucial skills needed to truly survive in our world.
It is understandable that today’s parents feel tremendous pressure to protect their children from harm. Can you blame us when we are constantly bombarded with horrific crimes, like predators seeking out our children online and in our neighborhoods? We have all heard adults reminiscing before about how they used to play in their neighborhoods for hours on end until the street lights came on. Now, when children play outside, there is an urgent need to know their whereabouts at all times. The underlying logic is that if parents can control where their children are and what they do at all times, then they can be sure their children remain safe.
Deep down, though, most know that logic just does not compute, especially as children grow older. Unfortunately, for many different reasons, helicopter parents feel much more comfortable trying to control their children’s circumstances rather than training them to persevere through them.
As a teacher, I will honestly share that my own personal experiences with helicopter parents have influenced my perspective, but my heart wants more than anything to look at helicopter parenting through God’s eyes. I want to seek His guidance to the many unanswered questions.
- What does God mean by “training” our children up in the way they should go?
- What pushes a parent to the extreme of being a helicopter parent?
- Are there more global issues that contribute to helicopter parenting?
- How can educators and parents build a bridge of understanding so the children benefit?
- How does our Lord balance love and discipline with His children and how can we follow His example?
Lord, please let my subsequent articles glorify you by being rooted in prayer and scripture, so that your teachings may help us raise our children to be whom you need them to be. Amen