Kids need roots and wings

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Before reading this and forming your own opinion of my opinion please note that I have never claimed to be the authority on parenting.

There is a style of parenting that has become popular in the last couple of decades that I find very amusing.

Some refer to this behavior as “Helicopter Parenting” in that the mother, father or sometimes both find it necessary to “hover” over their child to aid in any (and all) activities the child chooses (or is forced) to participate in.

Those of us who raised children in the 80s were on the fringe of this kind of parenting. Soon after us, the “wearing” of children became popular.

Now, I don’t mean an infant in a sling. I mean kids who are big enough to share mama’s shoes being carried, swaddled and smothered all for the development of attachment.

When these children are old enough to crawl, every move is carefully documented on video, categorized in neat little boxes under the obsolete television (because television is now evil and not allowed for more than 20 minutes a day and then limited to something deemed educational and free of color or imagination).

Little precious eats only homemade baby food, sleeps in her parents’ bed, wears clothing that is 100 percent natural fiber.

She is more a beloved science project than a kid.

Hover parents are confident that they will have a brilliant, talented, well adjusted child who will grow up and never leave them.

Problem is, these children have to gain some independence at some point because the dorms at college don’t allow moms and dads to be their roommates.

I am from a different mindset. My older children were never worn, ate chicken nuggets and whatever granddaddy grew in the garden, watched Barney and Power Rangers, played outside in the dirt, had Barbie and GI Joe, used their imaginations all the time and never slept in my bed.

I guess you could say I was the counter hoverer. I have only gotten worse with the additions.

I don’t let them run wild, but I am a seasoned parent and I’ve learned that no matter what you do they are going to grow up, leave the nest and do what they want to anyway.

My oldest lives 10 hours away. She is an excellent mother and wife. She doesn’t need me telling her what to do.

My second lives next door, she doesn’t need my input much either. She is equally excellent at being herself and has an adorable two-year-old son who declares her a “fun mom.” My two sons are presently exploring the world, no hovering would have been acceptable to them.

I suppose what I’m saying is, we do what we can with the tools we have.

I believe children need roots and wings.

Encouraging independence gives them both.

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