“Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy’”-Robert A. Heinlein
We always believe raising a child may be the most natural thing in the world, but that doesn’t mean it always comes easy! Well, we all know parenting is the biggest challenge in the life cycle of human beings. When we were kids, we sometimes hated that we didn’t have enough playtime or time with friends was limited, but now we’re parents. As we sit on the other side of the fence, we would like to have maximum control on our kids right from playtime, study time, social gathering and even during social distancing, we want to monitor all, sounds familiar?
We go to those great lengths when it comes to protecting our children from harm are only natural and show our deep love and concern. To make it easier, broadly, there are two styles of parenting-Helicopter parenting and Lawnmower parenting.
‘HELICOPTER’ parents hover on their kids and extend help when they need, you are generally not out of their sight, or perhaps a better way to put it would be that the kids are not out of your sight! This type of parents ends up paying a lot of attention to their kids’ lives and problems. They are like a ninja and are always there to jump in even before kids ask for help! When parents indulge in helicopter parenting, they go to the extent of doing their child’s homework and projects. One can always justify this parenting style as a way to prepare their child for the ‘real world’.
On the other hand, ‘LAWN MOW’ parents are those who pave the way for their kids proactively and tend to ‘mow over’ any problem the children face. They cut down all obstacles that stand in their child’s way! Notably, this is a parent who may no longer have the ability or access to remove their child from a problematic situation; therefore, they do their ‘mowing’ from a distance. They mow down before even they are faced by the problems. These parents are extremely protective about their children and always are proactive in offering a carpet full of solutions!
The more balanced approach is generally followed by ‘LIGHTHOUSE’ parents. They have the towering strength of the Lighthouse and are there to help their children waiting on the shoreline. This type of parent would generally prepare the children to ride the waves and become the role model for others.
In my opinion, the alternative to overindulgence is to teach children that they don’t get what they want all the time. Engage them in their day-to-day work, It just opens up new channels and encourages the child to solve the problem and also, strengthens the bond between the child and parents. Not to forget, it helps in building the problem-solving skills of the child in the long run. And helps them to become more secure before they step out of their parents’ shadow!