Monday, 12 November 2012

Helicopter vs Mole Parents

Okay.  I made up the "vs" part.

I was doing some thinking and a metaphor occured to me.  Helicopter parents zoom about trying to build walls to keep their children safe.  The opposite approach would be to build a platform to enable them to launch themselves and explore.  It would be more underground (hence Mole).

Which is better?  Obviously parts of both are good.  Too many walls build a prison and too few walls can result in fatal plummets.

But by nature, I'm more of a Mole parent.  I like watching my children be independent and that was one of my parenting goals I noted down when I was pregnant.  I wanted my children to feel safe and confident in exploring their world and making mistakes. 

However, I've had to become more of a Helicopter parent than I'm comfortable with.  I have to serve as interpreter, protector and intervener and I can't do that from a park bench thirty feet away.  There are benefits.  I see more of what my boys are doing and they can have faith and comfort from my presence.  But my goal is always independence.

Dennis Leary added another parenting type.  The Jet-Pack parent who zooms in and then vanishes back to the adult world.   A little harsh but I do know of people who would qualify.

As much as we'd like it, there's no right or wrong answer in the parenting world.  (Wait, I can hear the well, duh and see your eyes rolling)  I try to do my best to steal the positive bits from various styles and overcome the weaknesses.  Eclectic-style parenting. 

Oooh.  Maybe I can start a new trend.

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