While the term “helicopter parenting” has many negative connotations, it’s obvious why you might become one—you’re worried about your child, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It only becomes an issue when you make it your child’s problem as well. So what should you do to avoid it? Check out some tips in this guide on how to avoid becoming a helicopter parent.
The Root of the Problem: Anxiety
Most helicopter parenting stems from deep-seated anxiety. There are plenty of guides online that try to help relieve worry, but it might help to simply take a deep breath and think about a stressful decision before making it. Many parents panic when it comes to important choices for their child, so taking a step back from the situation and looking at it objectively can help you remove yourself from your own stress so that you can make a more informed decision.
Don’t Put All Your Focus on Them
If your son or daughter is your entire world, becoming a helicopter is like second nature. You’ll be so involved in their life that you will have nothing to do but worry about them. Of course, in moderation, this isn’t a bad thing. Your kid should be a big part of your life—but they should be the only part of it. Once they’re old enough to start taking care of themselves from time to time, try to get back into some old hobbies or find some new ones.
Give Them Some Independence
In the same way you need to separate yourself from them, your child will need some separation from you. Unless you want your child to use you as a crutch for the rest of their life, you’ll want to back off and let them make some of their own decisions. You should definitely still be there for them when they need advice or someone to back up something they’ve decided on, but you shouldn’t be making every decision for them. Also, be sure to ask them what they want when you have to make a decision for them.
Avoid Projecting Yourself Through Them
When trying to figure out how to avoid becoming a helicopter parent, some parents tend to run into another problem: trying to live their lives through their children. While this isn’t as common, it can still happen. Even though they’re your own flesh and blood, your kid is not going to grow up to be a mini-you. They will develop their own ideas and feelings, so forcing them to be more like you isn’t going to end well.
Even if you are doing it to protect them, this isn’t a good idea. Your child needs to make their own mistakes, or they’ll never learn and become an independent adult.