Helicopter Parenting is Overrated

I am a former helicopter parent.

It is true. If you know me this might surprise you. One, because I am a generally laid back person but mostly because I am really super lazy.

The thing was this: I had all of my babies at the same time. I had twins and never (knock on wood) had any other babies after that. All of my kids were first children. I never got the chance to relax that people get with their second or third kid. I never knew what was going to happen when we fed them solid food for the first time or when they started walking or how a kid would react to a vaccine. I would spaz out when they tried to jump off of the swings. I would let them go walk in the woods, but not alone. Same with swimming in the ocean.

That makes me sound more reasonable than I really was. Until they were five I didn’t even really let them play in the back yard unless an adult was out there.

I am trying to be better. For them and for me. I know they need their freedom and I also recognize that at eight and a half my kids can do things that they couldn’t handle when they were four–like walking to their friend’s house around the corner.

Halloween was a real test for us. Some good friends of ours have twins that are nine. These boys have been trick-or treating on their own with other neighborhood kids for a few years now. This put us in a weird position. We weren’t planning on sending our kids off alone, but at the same time we didn’t want them to look bad in front of their friends. Plus, it is a very safe neighborhood and our kids are pretty responsible.

But it was dark, and these are my babies.

In the end, we let them go and by the time they got back they were with a handful of kids and a dad that we knew from scouts. I trust him to make good decisions even though he was dressed as an asparagus. Good non-costume related decisions.

The thing is–it was glorious. The kids got to trick-or-treat and I got to stand around a fire pit with my grown up friends, drinking beer and saying bad words. I even got to hang out with my husband ON HALLOWEEN. Plus, we got to see all of the cute neighbor kids when they came trick or treating at our friends’ house and I didn’t even have to buy one bag of candy.

My kids came home safe and sound and all sugared up and it was probably our best Halloween so far.

Helicoptering is overrated.

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About Goon Squad Sarah

Goon Squad Sarah rocks the mic like a vandal.

Sarah can also be found at Sarah and the Goon Squad, Draft Day Suit, That's Right. You Heard Me.,on twitter @goonsquadsarah or yelling at her TV.

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  1. [...] like to think I’m a hands-on parent. Somewhere between absent and hovering. In an attempt to “participate” in my children’s “upbringing,” I [...]

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