Apparently, My Helicopter Blades Are Still Attached

I like to think of myself as a pretty laid back parent. Not in an “I don’t care what my kids do” kind of way, but I’m definitely willing to let them explore the world and learn on their own.

I have to admit, I’ve even chuckled to myself at times while watching parents’ who follow their kids around the playground, petrified at every turn! That was until this weekend, when a neighbour mentioned something that shook me to my core!

Our kids were playing on a backyard seesaw, while I inconspicuously watched from the street…At one point, I noticed my son wandering dangerously close to the “see” portion of the seesaw and couldn’t help but yell out, “Hey, stay away from the ends while people are on that thing!” I didn’t even notice I had said it. I also didn’t notice that I had now crept across the lawn and found myself standing a foot away from the backyard gate.

After a few more nervous sighs, my neighbour exclaimed, “Don’t worry, he’ll be fine”, and I stopped dead in my tracks! It was official, in that moment; I had become the very thing I was laughing at in the playground! I laughed it off with her but in my head I had a totally different reaction.

“Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!”

You see, it was easy to keep an eye on them at the park. A lot of times I would even join them on the structures, not to hold their hands, but because I really like playing at the park and it makes me feel young. My son is now at an age where he is going over to other kids’ houses to play, without me, and that has started to conjure up some of the old anxieties that I thought I had rid myself of.

As it turns out, I am no different than any other parent out there. As I watched my son’s butt go flying a foot off the seesaw’s metal seat, I had a feeling of unease in knowing that the only thing I could do to save him from imminent disaster, was to tell him to get off of that deathtrap! I didn’t do that but it was definitely a struggle I had within the confines of my gigantic brain.

In the end, it was absolutely an eye opening and humbling experience and one that I won’t soon forget. In my battle for fatherly world dominance, I was knocked down a few pegs this day and have succumbed to the realization that while I want my kids to pave their own way in this world, it doesn’t mean I’m going to turn a blind eye to the path they choose.

Chopper on, folks! Chopper on!

Cheers!

28 replies
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      He’s fully versed in the jungle gym. I guess the next step would be finding ways to circumvent the actual uses of the jungle gym contraptions!

      Reply
  1. Grimm560
    Grimm560 says:

    Great story. I used to feel this way with my son years back, but after awhile you just learn to accept growth. However, it’s great that we can still have fun together like kids here and there.

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      I wish I could say that my fun is only a matter of “here and there”…As it turns out, I get into full on kid mode and can’t help but join in the fun a lot of the time!

      Reply
  2. Georgia Read
    Georgia Read says:

    Kristine you sound like me..lol When both the boys were small (Helicopter Man and Ron) Gil would take them up to the camp as they were building it.
    I remember saying you take two up healthy you better bring two back in the same condition.

    He would reign me in and say boys will be boys…but I know he worried about them. I can’t tell you how many times I sat on my hands and bit my tongue..lol but still was there to control stuff. They did okay..look at them now..lol Your Dad did a good job..

    Love Mom

    Reply
  3. Wendy [mapsgirl]
    Wendy [mapsgirl] says:

    I’m not sure teaching your kids how to be safe is how I see a helicopter parent. Nothing wrong in teaching them how different things work. “See the part that goes up…well it will come down and if you’re in the way, it will come down on you.”

    I see a helicopter parent as one who can’t let the kid out of their site; watches every move; over schedules them; and generally doesn’t let them do anything without them by their side.

    What you did is completely normal…not helicopter-ish at all.

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Apparently, it does not. I think that’s something for us to worry about later though. Let’s just enjoy the seesaw for now ;D

      Reply
  4. Insane Mamacita
    Insane Mamacita says:

    I agree with Wendy. Doesn’t sound like you are much of a helicopter parent, just a concerned one.

    I try to let my kids learn and explore on their own as well but step in if one of them may get hurt.

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      The worst is when he came home from school with a cut on his face and had no explanation for it. Talk about a helpless feeling!

      Reply
  5. Brandi
    Brandi says:

    I agree, what you did is normal and definitely not like some overbearing “helicopter” parents. It’s exactly how my husband or I would have reacted. Nothing wrong with looking out for them and teaching them what to watch for in various situations and scenarios!

    I think the seesaw will be the least of your worries in the years to come though 😉 hehehe

    Reply
  6. pam
    pam says:

    I think I am a helicopter parent. I need to know exactly what my children are doing with whom. And, I seem to be getting worse as the kids age. I think I am driving my gr.9 daughter crazy…but I remember what gr. 9 was like.

    Reply
  7. JB
    JB says:

    I am a helicopter dad at home, but that is so I don’t have to act like I am one outside of the home. I like my interactions with my kids to be short and sweet so they can spend more time playing and socializing. If your kids understand what they are supposed to do without too much talk, then they can correct their behavior and keep playing.

    I try not to, but I am a helicopter dad… at least at home.

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      The sooner we admit it, the better off we all are ;D It’s funny, I was fine until my son started playing at other kids’ houses without me. One more layer to th parenting sphere!

      Reply

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  1. […] written previously about how I have to work extra hard to bury my inner helicopter parent and as my kids are getting older I am finding that fight gets harder every single day. One of my […]

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