I didn’t set out to be a helicopter parent but suddenly I am one…?

I am not generally a helicopter parent. I am the mum at the park that doesn’t follow her kids round, fussing over them, I let my tweenager stay home for short periods of time, unsupervised, and I don’t feel like I need to be on top of my kids 24/7. I myself grew up with a fairly different childhood, with boarding school (where yes, they had rules and we were supervised but we were also allowed a lot of freedom kids today don’t have) and also my parents used to send me flying alone (well, not alone, but the “unaccompanied minor” system they had when I was child flying was MUCH more relaxed than it is today) and also we did play out, and my own parents did not hover or fuss over us, or monitor our every move, and I am pretty sure were more relaxed.

I was determined to not be a helicopter parent, and so far, I think it’s been ok. We are stricter about some things, and more relaxed about others things, as works for our family and our children’s personalities, as well as for my own        sanity and parenting capabilities. 

But I am struggling, and I feel like I am turning into a helicopter parent, and I don’t know why or what to do.

You see, my tweenager is starting to want to broaden her horizons and I don’t feel ready and I am not sure why I feel this way. She wants to play out with her friends, to walk up to the park, and to the shops on her own, or with friends, and she wants that bit more freedom that of course she is right to want and should have. 

I think social media and being exposed to the world, has fed my anxiety about the world that has access to my child, when i am not there with her or for her. In my head, I know, common sense tells me, that really, there are no more weirdos and child kidnappers out there than there were when I was child, we are just simply more aware of them because of social media and the internet and the media in general, of the awful things that happen in the world and it makes us feel that are kids are less safe?

So I need to take a big breath and start to let go, don’t I? She’s growing up and she needs to go out in the world a bit and learn how to face it on her own and spread her wings.  It’s hard though, and I don’t know, why I feel so freaked out about letting her go. Why can’t she still be the toddler who needs me, and who’s most important decision to make of the day is what to watch on CBeebies and that Mummy won’t let her wear her swimming costume to nursery. Next year she goes to secondary school, she will be getting herself there and back and be out there on her own. Why does this feel like such a big wrench for her mother, who swore she would never feel this way…? I want to keep her in my sight and under my wing for a lot longer than she is going to want to let me, and I know that’s unreasonable of me. The world seems like a big scary place and I don’t feel ready to let her out in it. 

Anyone else feel the same as me?  

Posted in Family Life and Parenting, Parenting into tweenagehood and beyond...
4 comments on “I didn’t set out to be a helicopter parent but suddenly I am one…?
  1. Kim Carberry says:

    Yes! I feel exactly the same….
    My girl is nearly 10 and is going into YR6 at school where they can walk to and from school without their parents. She wants to. I am not so keen. She does the walk home after choir practice after school one night a week but she’s with her friend and the roads have quietened down a bit…Eek!
    I don’t even want to think about her starting secondary school x
    Kim Carberry recently posted…Our Summer Bucket List…

  2. Tubbs says:

    Yes. It’s hard because part of you wants to keep them close whilst you know it’s time to loosen your grip and let them go. It’s so hard being a parent / carer. Sending hugs

  3. Oh I know exactly what you mean. I have been there twice now but I found it harder with my daughter because girls just seem more vulnerable somehow. She would hate me for saying that and of course she isnt’ but that is how I feel. Over the last year she has pushed to do more and is now walking to the park and meeting her friends, catching a bus to go shopping on her own and it has done wonders for her independence. My rules are simple. Stay local. Keep in touch. Phone on at all times and obviously be careful. Good luck and remember to breathe. #TweensTeensBeyond
    Jo – Mother of Teenagers recently posted…Tweens, Teens & Beyond #16

  4. Sharon Parry says:

    Yes I felt exactly the same and still do about my 15 and 12 year old. Strangely, as soon as my 19 year old left home i felt differently. She was no longer my roof and i felt somehow less responsible!? Perhaps it is nature’s way of helping me avoid a nervous breakdown? Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond
    Sharon Parry recently posted…Tweens, Teens and Beyond Linky #16

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