My husband is a helicopter parent.
Not in the traditional sense of the word, as he is rarely hovering around the kids himself – but more in the “just don’t do anything ever because you might get hurt and then I’ll blame your mom,” sort of way.
Ok, I added the “blame your mom” part, but only because it’s so true.
(And he knows I love him anyway.)
It’s possible that I’ve been pegged as a helicopter parent by those that know us best, but I can assure you that I hover by default; attempting to avoid blame for things that I couldn’t possibly control without bubble-wrap, duct tape, and a really convincing argument for staying put forever.
That kind of talking/thinking clearly has affect on the kids, so lately we’ve been really mindful about what is said/not said in an effort to curb some of that anxiety and timidity that they have, e.g. refusing to ride bikes without training wheels.
I dunno if they’ll ever do the bike thing (sorry not sorry, husband), but my oldest daughter has recently taken to YouTube and fallen down the rabbit hole of “CRAZY/INSANE scooter tricks #2016 YEA!”
So I’m whipping up dinner in the kitchen yesterday, when one of the kids’ friends knocks at the back door, dragging my oldest daughter’s scooter with her. I answer the door and she calmly tells me that my daughter was at the end of the sidewalk bleeding, and hands me the scooter that has blood all over it – soaked into the foamy handlebars, dripping down the rest of the frame, even down to the tires.
I dunno how a person measures progress when it comes to their anxiety, but I can tell that I’m moving forward because I felt a tiny twinge of pride before I felt any sort of panic – wondering what “CRAZY/INSANE” trick she suddenly felt brave enough to try.
Turns out that she just collided with another friend and had a bloody nose and a fat lip. And I dunno how you measure progress when it comes to your kid’s anxiety either, but when I met her on the sidewalk, she wasn’t completely beside herself about a bloody nose like she usually is, she was just laughing and going on about how weird her lip felt, so I think she’s moving forward, too.