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Time to Kiss Helicopter Parenting Goodbye?

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A new trend is taking hold ... but do you agree with it?

dad leaving kid alone

Over the weekend, the NY Times declared an end to "helicoptering, smothering mothering, alpha parenting, child-centered parenting."

Instead, they report that more and more people are embracing "slow parenting," "free-range parenting," and "idle parenting." Basically, Mom and Dad do less and let the kids be.

Do you think that it's time to kiss over-parenting goodbye? Or do you think this new-wave, more hands-off parenting is just downright irresponsible? Comment below.


9 comments so far | Post a comment now
Meemee June 2, 2009, 3:06 PM

There should be a balance between the two styles. Children should learn to make their own decisions and be independent when appropriate, but you should still guide and encourage good habits and keep an eye on what they do.

Jen June 2, 2009, 7:21 PM

I totally agree with Meemee! I don’t think hovering over your child every second of the day is healthy, just as I don’t think “free range parenting” is.

Dr. Gardenwartz June 2, 2009, 8:27 PM

Helicopter parenting is a big problem, as is neglectful parenting. The former used to be as prevalent as it is now.

RachelAZ June 2, 2009, 11:19 PM

Yes, there totally needs to be a middle ground. Neither extreme is good for the child…or the parent for that matter! There needs to be healthy parent involvement and interaction, but there also needs to be time where the kid can just be a kid, by themselves!

Anonymous June 3, 2009, 1:11 AM

Is free range parenting related to free range chickens?

emilyb June 3, 2009, 1:58 PM

I recently learned about “democratic parenting,” defined as “freedom with order,” which I love. It is perhaps that middle ground…where kids are empowered to make their own decisions about their lives within a structure that sets parameters.

Jeffrey Levine June 3, 2009, 4:44 PM

This is a very interesting discussion. I think the real question has to do with the motivation of the parents. Some parents need to have their kids be an extension of them, or want on some level to live through their children. But as long as the motivation is to allow and encourage your children to develop into who THEY are to become (as separate from us parents), then I’m not sure it matters what we call it. Thank you for the provocative topic.
Jeffrey

AM  June 4, 2009, 12:37 AM

Parenting needs to be a balance of both styles. I always say pick your battles wisely because what you think is a big deal today may be small change compared to what you have to deal with tomorrow. So don’t sweat the small stuff and cherish every day with your kids… they grow up faster than you can ever imagine….

Stephanie Spector July 2, 2009, 3:37 PM

Speaking from a teenager’s point of view, I would rather have my parents intervene in my life than let me roam around and do what I want with no supervision. Although this “free-range” parenting sounds nice, I think I would lose a sense of direction if I didn’t have an example to look up to. That’s not to say that I want my mom following me around a hovering over me constantly - there should be a balance between the two extremes - just use your common sense.

I write for a blog, Radical Parenting, where teens write about issues from a kid’s perspective. We have an article on helicopter parenting (or “teacup parenting”) that might give you some more insight on the issue.

http://www.radicalparenting.com/2008/06/19/10-qualities-of-teacup-parenting-is-your-kid-too-fragile/

Check it out, thanks!


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