Thursday, May 13, 2010

Helicopter Parenting

Wow. I just watched a documentary on talking about Hyper Parents - or the infamous "Helicopter Parents".
One quote (among many) struck me as so harsh, but so true!

"Children have become almost like projects. Parenting has become a cross between a competitive sport and product development."

I can see how hyper parenting is born of the natural instinct to protect and provide for your kids - but this is just NUTS. I'm more of the mind to let kids be kids. Education can't make you happy. Being "gifted" doesn't mean you are a kind and compassionate person. Looking out for others and giving to those in need does not come from taking a bazillion extracurricular activities. Some things are not bought and can't be found in a private school.

Now I'm definitely not bashing private school educations or giving your kids opportunities to excel, but there's a point at which you start heaping up expectations for success UPON your child, rather than holding out opportunities for your kids to grab hold of and own for themselves.

I was starting to doubt myself for letting Noah play in our backyard by himself. It's fully fenced and he can't reach the lock on the gate. Yet I was letting myself feel like a neglectful parent after talking to several other parents and feeling their surprise when I told them what I did.
He's 2.5 years old. Is that really too young to play by yourself outside? It's not like I'm letting him run up and down our street unattended. And I am always keeping an ear out for him and looking outside every now and then. It's not like I'm taking a nap inside or anything. It's also not usually longer than 30 minutes or so.
I'm not sure.

This has also caused me to start thinking about my choices in schools for Noah (I know. He's ONLY 2.5 years!). If he goes to J/K (which he likely will) in September 2011 Jamie and I were trying to decide if he'd go to the school in our area which we can walk to in about 15ish minutes or whether I'd drive him about 10-15 minutes to the French Immersion school.
I really liked the idea of going to the school that's within walking distance. I think it's a really good thing to walk to school. I grew up within walking distance of my school and I think it would foster good community for Noah as his friends would live close by as well as for me and the other mothers (plus I just heard from a Mom who sends her kids there that it's a fantastic school although with another school being built it will likely go through some staffing changes).
As for French Immersion, well there's no doubt that learning another language is a good thing and I have heard nothing but rave reviews for this school, the teachers as well as knowing that parents who enroll their kids in French immersion are likely to proactively be concerned about their kids' education.

Am I crazy?

I feel like after that last paragraph I'm bordering on crazy.


Anyway, all that to say is that after watching that documentary I'm leaning considerably to putting my kids in the local school within walking distance.

It definitely requires prayer but also a confidence that whichever school I put Noah and Jude in is the not the be-all end-all to their future happiness and quality of life.

What about you? Are you a hyper parent? PLEASE watch this documentary and seriously think about how you are teaching your child to be an independent, contributing person of society.


  1. Cool post V, I think that's awesome Noah is able to play alone, makes for a very independant child (in a good way). I liked walking to school and seeing my friends out on the street too..oh wait, we grew up together haha

  2. Funny....I thought I had no choice back then!!...or at least I wasn't aware of them and naturally did what I experienced as a child (my school was right around the corner)! I'm glad neither of you objected to walking thru hail, rain, snow, sun...cuz we did it all!

  3. cool video

    I'm posting it on facebook!


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