— Wendy Mogel got the anti-helicopter parenting movement rolling with her book, ‘The Blessings of a Skinned Knee.” Here’s a taste of her fabulous “Overparenting Anonymous” List that I wish I had tattooed (just for the first 20 years or so) on my arm:
A 26-step program for good parents gone bad, by Wendy Mogel
I’ve written these steps to provide encouragement to well-intentioned, devoted, loving, intelligent parents who feel powerless to stop themselves from overindulging, overprotecting, and overscheduling their children. Parents who get jittery if their offspring aren’t close to perfect in every area. And parents who have allowed traits like self-reliance, resilience, and accountability to slip to the bottom of their parenting agenda.
1. Don’t mistake a snapshot taken today with the epic movie of your child’s life. Kids go through phases. Glorious ones and rotten ones.
2. Don’t fret over or try to fix what’s not broken. Accept your child’s nature even if he’s shy, stubborn, moody, or not great at math.
3. Look at anything up close and you’ll see the flaws. Consider it perfectly normal if you like your child’s friends better than you like your child.
4. Work up the courage to say a simple “no.” Don’t try to reach consensus every time.
5. Encourage your child to play or spend time outside using all five senses in the three-dimensional world. How come only troubled rich kids get to go to the wilderness these days?
Lenore here: That is the greatest question EVER! For the rest of Wendy’s list click here! But first, let me just give you this one more:
14. Allow your child to do things that scare you. You have to let her take some steps on her own, without holding your hand, if you want her to grow increasingly independent and self-confident. Let her get her learner’s permit when she comes of age; let her choose her own boyfriend.