Helicopter parents get a lot of blame and I don’t want to add to it. I want to end it.
For the most part, parents helicopter because society DEMANDS it. There are schools that won’t let kids walk home on their own, and cops who chide parents who let their kids play outside. There are companies peddling devices to GPS our kids, or read their texts, or watch their keystrokes, warning us of the horrible things that will happen if we don’t. Then the media blasts us with horror stories.
So the Free-Range movement is not anti-helicopter parent. It is anti a culture that tells us our kids are in constant danger, forcing us to hover.
That being said, here’s a glimpse of how at least one young man interpreted his parents’ overwhelming fear for his everyday safety:
Free Range Kids: The approach of this site is wonderful, but one view I don’t see to much of is the viewpoint of the children.
I am 22 years old. I grew up with controlling parents. Anxiety was always around when they were raising me and my 6 siblings. If you don’t mind, I would like to express my view of this topic.
One of the innermost desires of a child is to express individuality, to make his or her mark on this world. Children naturally want to make their parents proud, to show them how capable and experienced they are. A warm and healthy parent responds to this crucial need….So let’s approach the topic of the Controlling and Anxiety-Ridden Parent, and the view of a child such as myself enduring such parenting. I will give you a real example of my own life. Crossing the street was a big, fat deal to my parents. What age, which street, and so forth. I grew up in a non-crime ridden suburb in New Jersey. Our particular block had an average of just a hundred cars a day, and a speed limit of 25 MPH.
My parents would not allow for me to cross that street till about the age of 9. Seeing this as adult, maybe someone can explain it. As a kid, it destroyed me..All my friends were running up and down the street, proving how capable they are, and how incapable I was. If my own parents did not trust me with this little thing, how much more so for other things in my life? The pain was very great to say the least..This happened in all other areas of my childhood. It not only proved in my mind I was incapable of facing life, it even made me doubt my sanity.
A lot has changed since then, including my very rebellious teenage years. I have since become someone very aware of the individual needs of all human beings. But kudos to all parents who trust their kids, at least somewhat. — Ben