Helicopter Parents-Please Give Your Kids Some Room

I know this may be an unpopular statement to make, but parents you must give your children room to breathe!

Every Saturday at my gym there is a karate class right next to where I work out. Weekly, I watch all these adorable children (probably between the ages of 5-9) go to class. I watch parents file their children in and hand them over to one of the instructors and then leave. However, time and time again, I watch this one mother go ahead into the classroom with her child, sit herself down, and stay for the entire karate lesson.  I’m not quite sure why she thinks this would benefit the child because it’s clear to me and probably anybody else watching that this is not the best idea.  The child does not spend his time watching the instructors, but rather his mother. He really  isn’t paying attention to the movements/forms or connecting with the other children.  The child looks over to his mother constantly for approval and his skills are not where they should be in relation to the rest of the children in the class. Why? Because he’s torn between instructor and mother and at this young age, mother will always win. He’s afraid to disappoint mom and therefore doesn’t take any age appropriate risks. Risks which are critical for healthy growth. We are talking about the fourth stage of  psychological development called “Industry vs Inferiority.”  Erikson coined this period as a time when the child must deal with demands to learn new skills or risk a sense of incompetence.  I’m sure this is not with the mother intends; however, I don’t know how she cannot see the distress on her child’s face as he keeps looking to her with every move he makes.

Parents, let your children develop a sense of independence.  There is nothing wrong with sitting on the sideline watching, but please no hovering. Remember, you are already larger than life to your child so please give them room to breathe if you want them to grow into independent, autonomous teens with healthy self-esteem.

What is Self-Concept?

Mom and Dad,

This view differs from self-esteem, and relates to how your child sees herself in the context

of the world. When referring to self-concept, the question “Who am I?” is important.

The foundation of self-concept occurs in infancy with the strong relationship of mother and

child. The formation of age appropriate self-concept is necessary in planting the seeds

for self-esteem development.  Therefore, positive self-esteem is built upon accurate

and age appropriate self-concept.  So everyone once in a while encourage your child to ask herself,

“Who am I?”  It may be interesting to see what she says.

What is Self-Esteem?

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is how much you like who you are and how much you accept and respect yourself. Healthy self-esteem can serve much like a shield of armor against the challenges of the world.  Self-esteem will change throughout your life, so the key to positive self-esteem is to stay confident in who you are and to surround yourself with good people.

What are some keys to positive self-esteem?

There is no magic formula, but a few surefire ways to feel good about yourself to start you in the right direction

1) Healthy diet- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables; they give you lots of vitamins and energy to keep you moving. So the next time you reach for those chips, grab the apple instead. Drink lots of water- really, it helps. Or… eat a tomato. They can improve your mood!

2) Exercise- If you keep moving, you keep the heart pumping and naturally produced brain chemicals called endorphins run through your body that make you feel good.

3) Positive friends- Hanging around with happy, positive people can make you positive and happy.  Laughing out loud is the easiest way to change your mood and has long lasting effects.  Good friends with positive self-esteem can always rub off on you.