September’s Parenting Tip: Avoiding Helicopter Parenting

Aug 28, 2023

As a parent, do you often find yourself becoming caught up in what your children are doing and how they are doing it?

According to Bev Anderson, Executive Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in downtown Milwaukee, Oak Creek, and West Allis/Wauwatosa, “Parents may often feel the need to interject as their children try to navigate through life and make mistakes. However, in the long run, there is an aspect of this that can cause more harm than good.

“All children must try things on their own, so they can advance mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially. If parents protect their children from opportunities to grow, it will be challenging for them to demonstrate the skills necessary to thrive in these critical areas as they age.”

“It is important for children to know they can depend on their parents, but they also need to realize that they are capable on their own.”

Below are tips to alleviate the burden of hoovering as a helicopter parent and help you become an intentional helper in your child’s journey:

Model Appropriate Skills and Behaviors
Instead of telling your children what they should be doing, model the skills and behaviors they need to learn. You can do this by staging opportunities that focus on a specific area and engaging your children in fun, casual conversations. In doing this, you will see your children’s progression when faced with real challenges and hopefully become more confident in their independence.

Remind Yourself It’s Okay to Fail
Allow your children to learn from mistakes. The thing to remember is, when they are little, they will make smaller mistakes with less severe consequences than when they are teenagers and young adults. The goal is to guide your children into their independence and allow them to make mistakes that are safe in your eyes but may seem a bit risky to them. As they practice, they will develop the skills to succeed, so when they are older, they will clearly know right from wrong without you being there.

Learn When to Intervene
Anderson says it is also important for parents to determine when they should intervene through observation, by setting limits, and protecting their children when necessary.

“Be sure to encourage and empower your children with support and words of affirmation to help them be brave and do things on their own. This builds their confidence as they continue to grow.”

Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.

Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.

The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, Oak Creek, and West Allis/Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1138 S. 108th Street, West Allis. For more information, please call 414.643.5070