“Helicopter parenting” has gotten a bad name, but usually it’s just well-meaning parents who want the best for their kids and become a little too vigilant. If you find yourself continually “rescuing” your child, consider these situations.

You check their grades online every day. Over-attentiveness to your children’s academic life may make them feel you don’t believe they can handle it themselves. This sense of inadequacy combined with high parental expectations can lead to increased stress (and potentially decreased performance) for your children.

You intervene in social settings. You want the best, but your presence may be pushing others away from your child. Unless your child’s safety is an issue, follow your child’s lead when it comes to his social life. Encourage your child to invite other children over. Model proper social behavior, then let go.

You regularly “rescue” your child. Taking forgotten lunches or homework time and again circumvents your child’s learning process. When you allow your child to experience a natural consequence like being hungry for an afternoon or taking a late grade, it acts as a deterrent in the future. If your child comes to expect you will be there to “fix it” for them, they will not learn responsibility.

We can’t protect our kids from everything. But we can offer to be available should our kids need us, and we can let them decide when they want us to step in – a more effective model for helping those we love succeed.

 – Lara Krupicka

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