There have been many articles recently about “helicopter parents”. Meaning parents that hover a bit too closely to protect their children and in doing so cause them to be fearful and develop into adults that are afraid to take a risk. The world today is so different from when my kids were young, there is more to fear. Things I never dreamed of.
Parents are also criticized for creating too much structured time for their children. Some experts believe this will stifle creativity in children and deny them valuable free-time activities.
I know youngsters today that are instantly “bored” when there is nothing to do. Don’t get me wrong, I can remember saying “I’m bored” to my parents about a week after school was out each summer. Their answer to that age-old dilemma was to assign me chores. There were plenty on the farm and around the house. I can still hear my sweet mother saying, “Well, if you are so bored then you can sweep the kitchen, clean out the refrigerator, take out the trash, clean your room, fold the laundry, do the dishes and if you get that done, you can go outside and help your Dad. Take the wheelbarrow outside and pick up rocks out of the field.” and she said that in her not-so-sweet voice. With her hands on her hips.
When my own children were bored, I used the same technique at times. I also told them “Only boring people are bored.” That usually kept them quiet for awhile.
Most of us have some regrets about parenting and wish we could do certain things over again, but the truth is- most of us do the best we can with what we have. Providing food, shelter, and love is sometimes all you can handle in a day.
If your kids understand that you love them and that you do the things you are doing for their benefit, you have accomplished something. If you can find a balance between structured and unstructured time, being protective but not hovering, you are accomplishing a lot.
What are some parenting skills that you are proud of?