Desi Momz Club Rocks! It is amazing to see so many articles and so this many moms participating. Way To Go! Thanks Sandeepa, it was indeed a brilliant idea.
I am writing about this topic because it interests me greatly and from time to time guilty(?!) of the same. Here is my understanding on the topic. It will be very interesting to hear all of your opinions.
Helicopter Parenting is a term I have not heard until recently but which I have come to recogonize and understand! Should this be viewed with alarm?(not exactly) but it is getting to be a popular word in the media. As Parents at one time or the other we are guilty (atleast I am) of helicopter parenting. This term is generally used to describe late baby boomer parents but it might as well aptly describe Gen X and Gen Y parents too.
Who exactly is a helicopter parent?
Parents who hover over their children at all times and are afraid of letting them fail. The lessons that we learn for life are the ones we learn from our mistakes. If we protect kids to such an extent and make them afraid of failures there will be no futute Einsteins.(that reminds me,Sorry to say but I am not a big fan of Baby Einstein videos which in itself is a genius marketing ploy!) If they cannot experiment and learn for themselves where will they get the spark that will prod them to achieve? Remember the pleasure we gained by playing for hours together in sand, mixing it with water and building castles? There are things we learned by osmosis, which is impossible with videos, computer games and other electronic toys. They are useful toys but they can never substitute the real deal. Kids learn a lot when they experiment, learn from looking at creatures (there are plenty in our own backyards) and from unstructured play. We over schedule our kids to such an extent that they cannot find things to do for themselves leading them to whine "I am bored!" at the merest hint of lack of stimulation. Over stimulation is common. In my opinion it is ok to be bored. Life is not going to be full of excitement all the time so learning to deal with boredom will be a well learnt life skill. ADHD which was uncommon couple of decades ago is common in kids today. Watching too much TV is one reason. There is a lot of research on this subject and everybody uniformly agrees that too much is not good. For ages 1-5 1 hour of TV is optimum is what I read.
Teacher and Educators confess it is harder than ever before to teach kids because at the slightest hint of lack of stellar performance parents are there arguing with the teachers to set it right. Stand in the teacher's shoe and think for a moment how frustrating this must be for her. What works for one child will not work for the other, how is there going to be balance. So teachers spend a lot of time putting out fires and see how frustrated they might be. We also jump up and do their homework all in an effort to make your child get the best grade. But we are kidding ourselves right? what did the child learn?
Parents especially mothers are more educated than ever before. We sometimes end up making child rearing a competitive sport. We define our efforts as parents depending on the number of extra curricular activities the child participates in and the extras we do for them.
So how do we strike a balance? It is only for a short time that they will be kids so how about letting them be kids. It is ok for them not be the very best at whatever they do. Let them enjoy the simple pleasures of being kids and let everything they see amaze them. Too much structure bothers me. As a kid I pretty much was allowed to do what I wanted. I scheduled my study and play and what a relief I did not have one scheduled extra curricular activity to deal with.
I have too many questions and not many answers. Dear fellow moms what do you all think? How have you solved this conundrum?