A great take on Helicopter Parenting

As a parent, I found this quite fascinating and resonating.


She makes several interesting points, but there’s one in particular than I don’t see people talking about when they talk about the spectrum from so-called helicopter parenting to free range kids. The argument that children need to experience adversarial experiences to grow seems more obvious than the equally important experience of adversarial (negative?) thoughts and emotions.

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I remember an episode in the playground when my kid was 2 and she was playing with this little boy about the same age. I was sitting on the bench with the kids mom only half paying attention to the kids. They alternated between running, rough housing and arguying. It came and went in waves but finally, after a couple of hours culminated in an epic tearfull shouting match a few feet from us. The mom wanted to interveen but I asked her to let it go. It escalated to the point that the two used up their entire quiver of insults and then of words so they moved on to projectile face spitting until they both looked like Xenomorph victims. At this point we interjected and wipped our respective prize fighters down and they, as we wiped foreign bodily fluids off them, where obviously looking to us to resolve or arbitrate the argument. When finished I told my daughter, “no spitting, now keep playing.” They both looked at us a bit weird but ran off and kept having fun. After that day, my daughter, who use to get very hurt by things kids at school did or say, hardly ever got affected very much by such things. I feel that massive scrum that was put aside to move on with the task of playing was a seminal lesson I’m glad I did not deprive her of.


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