One of today’s prominent issues has something to do with families – particularly parenting. In fact, a description “helicopter parents” has taken so much attention of the public. Such description, according to many critics and researchers, refers to those who monitor most of their children’s activities, behaviors, etc. in a form of strictness. Nevertheless, since this issue on parenting is not a simple thing, it requires deep examination and this should be discussed with clarity. This paper serves to discuss the various points included in this issue.
As many psychologists say, parenting today seem to have crossed the line from being involved to being overzealous, “often leaving the child without an independent outlet” (Jackson, 1). This can be clearly seen when it comes to the education of the children. It is said the one of the cause of becoming a “helicopter parent” is the educational attainment of the parents. Indeed, they have the desire of seeing their children grow intellectually in life. The parenting style of such educated parents is considered appropriate for preparing productive workers (Lindsey, 5). However, such parenting more likely tends to lead into a somehow negative result. When parents excessively desire to develop their children, they could deprive their children of their own desires and choices. One common example of this is pushing one’s child to take the same career of the parent. They do so thinking that it would let the child gain success in life. Being obsessed with the future of their children, they turned parenting into a means of product development (Gibbs, 1). The career of the parent may have indeed gained them success. But what if the child has different special gift, talents, and skills that would still allow him/her to find success in life? Parents should realize that they should allow their children to do what great things they can do. All parents have to do is simply complement their children’s own development, by training them to be the best of who they naturally are, rather than of what the parents want them to be.
Another issue in “over-parenting” is when it comes to the children’s security, comfort, and decision-making situations. It is natural for parents to think of the safety of the children. Thus, parents call them during the school hours and even after their classes in order to keep watch of them. Now this should be understood upon the context of the child/children. If the child is not yet capable of being responsible for and taking care of him or herself outside the home, parents should indeed keenly watch over them. It will just be considered an over-parenting when parents keenly watch over their children even if they are already responsible. Another issue here is about the comfort of the children. It is already common today that no child routinely and deliberately perform household chores (Kolbert, 2). Parents believed that keeping their children from working inside the home is a form of caring for them. But this will lead to an adverse effect upon the children. Those who are not trained to do even the simple tasks at home will not be prepared to face the future years of their life, which is certainly full of hardships and challenges. If children are trained to just let Mom and Dad do the work, how will they be able to survive when Mom and Dad has gone? Moreover, another issue here is about the decision-making part of children. Parents should always strive to train their children to make wise decisions. They should train them to think. Again, this should be understood upon the context of the child. If the child has not yet matured enough maturity, the parents should definitely always get in into the child’s decisions. On the contrary, when the child has grown enough to make wise decisions, parents should just encourage the child to be strong with his/her decisions and/or just add something that will make the results of such decision better. To train them to be responsible even at the young age is real love. It is because as a parent you make them prepared for the future.
Furthermore, another aspect/point in the issue on over-parenting is the influence of the parents upon their children. Today, schools and public agencies arrogantly claim that they can do better parenting than parents do (Lindsay and Kolb, 2). Government also made certain movements that deprived parents of their control on their children. One example of this is the prohibition of spanking a child. But this is wrong. Parents are the ones who have the right on their children. It is not the government officials of the school representatives that live with these children. The parents do. It is the parents that truly know their children since birth. Education is in reality at home. Schools only serve for formal education and it should only make complement to the values or to whatever taught at home. Nevertheless, the main factor in this issue is the parent. Parents should realize that they ought to influence their children even from birth. Failure to make adequate time for their children will certainly make other people and institutions to make “inadequate” [and sometimes mistaken] parenting. If children will be faithfully taught at home of whatever is right, true, proper, pleasing, honorable, and so on, they will surely not be driven away by any wrong form of parenting outside the home.
Intense training of and watching over their children is part of faithful parenting. However, it should upon the context of the child as aforementioned above, and it should not be at the expense of the children’s desires and choices – as long as they are right. Parenting should be balanced; watching over their children so that they do not get into the wrong things, while simply complementing their children’s self-development – not solely for the parent’s own benefits.
Gibbs, Nancy. “The Growing Backlash against Overparenting.” Time. Time, 30 Nov. 2009. Web. 7 Dec. 2012.
Jackson, N.J. “Smothering Mothering.” ABA Journal Nov. 2010: 18-19. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Dec. 2012.
Kolbert, Elizabeth. “Spoiled Rotten: Why Do Kids Rule the Roost?” New Yorker. Condé Nast, 2 July 2012. Web. 7 Dec. 2012.
Lindsay, Drew, and Kathryn Kolb. “Whose Kids Are They, Anyway?” Teacher Magazine Apr. 1996: 30-34. Academic Search Complete. Web. 12 Oct. 2012.
Lindsey, Brink. “The Real Problem with Helicopter Parents: There Aren’t Enough of Them.” Atlantic. Atlantic Monthly Group, 11 Oct. 2012. Web. 12 Oct. 2012.