Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Helicopter Mom : Clipping my Blades

Every year the kids school holds a fun fest near Halloween.  They charge $10 per kid and the money goes right back to the school.  Classrooms are set up as impromptu fair booths and the kits play limbo, musical chairs, and toss the toilet paper into the toilet seat glued onto a box.  That last one is a favorite.

The kindergarten classrooms had a fun bracelet making station that Troy and I decided to check out.  He made himself a bracelet from an orange pipe cleaner and blue on orange beads.  GO  BRONCOS!  I found myself reaching over to help numerous times.  Or reaching for the color he needed next.  I was totally being THAT helicopter mom.

I hate helicopter parenting.  I am not the mom that follows my toddler around the playground in fear he might step on a rogue pebble or fall off the beam that sits 6 inches above ground.  I feel it is important for kids to discover the world in their own way and for them to test their physical limits.  Granted, I am not going to let my small child climb an 8 foot chain link fence or jump off a platform 10 feet in the air.  I do  believe in safety.  My child going down a slide while I watch from the sidewalk and cheer him on is safe.  If he lands on his butt at the bottom, I am there if he needs me.  More than likely, he will get a confused look on his face, process what happened, and then get up to it again.  In that rare (and awful) chance he gets hurt, I am right there to get him the help  he needs.  KIDS GET HURT.

So why I am reaching for my son's hands to help him put beads on a pipe cleaner?  Why am I handing him the beads when he has full motor functionality to grab them himself?  I wasn't in any hurry.  He wasn't asking for help.  What was I doing?

It is hard for me to see my little boy grow up I guess.  But my helicopter blades needed some clipping.

So I busied myself making my own bracelet.  If he needed help, he knew I was right next to him.  I encouraged him when he showed my his progress and I showed him the pink and white bracelet I was making.  He really seemed to enjoy me doing the project with him and seemed more relaxed when I eased off his project.

It really reminded me that I need to pay attention sometimes.  I don't want to be a helicopter and it doesn't benefit my kids.  So I am clipping my blades.

I even let both the kids carve their own pumpkins...with kid safe knives...while I looked on and encouraged them.  And I helped them when they asked for it.

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