I have, one more than one occasion, been accused of being “that parent”. Depending on the person the meaning behind that phrase changes but in this case it’s helicopter parents, hovering and over protective. I have never once took offense to this because honestly, it’s true and I’m proud of it. As my oldest would say sorry not sorry. When it comes to who my kids talk to, hang out with, where they go, what they do on their electronics, etc. I’m a helicopter parent all day! I’m definitely not as bad at it as some but I’m worse than others and I’ll never let outside input on the topic effect how I parent.
We don’t shelter the kids from the outside world or try to create a false reality. We tell them there’s good in the world and home is always a safe place but one day they are going to be out there on their own and unfortunately there are bad things and people in the world and we are trying to cover everything. I know some parents try to avoid such things, to each their own no judgement, but we want them fully prepared which for us means addressing the good and the bad. Age appropriately of course.
The thing that is most deemed unnecessary or “crazy” is covering all cameras when changing or using the restroom to avoid issues on the off chance they get hacked. I know the risk is minimal but it’s still there. I myself was hacked a while back and It had a really bad effect on me. After going through that I could care less what anyone’s opinions are on the subject. I’d rather be overly cautious about it than have any of my children feel the violation I had. Everyone is “crazy” until it happens to you and then you start to see what that “crazy” person was so scared of. The experience also changed the way I stress the importance of not sharing to much information in person or online. I think people have gotten so comfortable and used to devices around that we sometimes forget the things we use to make life easier and entertain us can also be used to invade or at times attack.
The most recent thing I received comments on is “stalking” my children. That statement is insane to me. They’re my kids, watching them constantly and being as involved as possible is literally my only job in life and I do so by any means necessary, I do not take it lightly. All of their electronics have apps installed that let me control the device and see what they are doing in real time as well as what they are sharing and what apps are being used and for how long. I can also shut down the devices and/or block anything installed on them either permanently or by time of day and/or timer. It never occurred to me that doing this was in anyway negative or could be perceived as such. I just see it as one of the few perks of them having electronics. I’m not invading their privacy (as I have been told a few times) I am watching my kids to keep them safe. It’s not strictly a safety concern, I also like being able to see if my kids are doing something to other kids they shouldn’t be. I have some pretty great kids, but every parent thinks that. We can’t all be right, some of us are parents to the bullies sadly. I couldn’t imagine one of my children ever being a bully or cruel in anyway to other children but I would never forgive myself if one day I found out they were and I could have spotted and possibly prevented it. They are all kind and loving people to be sure, but them knowing the apps are there letting me see everything gives them a little more initiative to continue on that path as they grow.
The kids aren’t always happy with me about the rules or device apps and I know they have thought to themselves several times “mom is nut’s” but I’m not here to please them and be their friend, I’m the parent. Raising children is the most important job one can have in life. I fully believe the rules we set and apps we use help me do this job well. I will always protect my children at all costs regardless of the naysayers or how much the kids hate it.
I’m frequently told that if I’m to protective they won’t talk to me or open up, or monitoring them is useless they’ll find other ways to hide things. I’m not delusional, I know they don’t tell me every little thing, no kid ever tells their parents everything, thinking they do is delusional. but going by the things they do tell me without me having to find out on my own I feel safe in saying they are making good choices and not hiding anything major. For the most part I’m confident they tell us most everything, definitely the big important things. Since we was honest with them about putting the apps on rather than behind their backs and even allowing them to have a bit of input on rules we haven’t had any issues in that area. They are more comfortable talking about certain things with me rather than their father and vice versa, which is absolutely fine with us as long as they are talking. Between the 2 of us we know what’s going on with them and that’s all we want. We don’t betray their trust if they tell us something and ask we not tell the other parent unless it’s a serious matter. We show them the same respect we show one another which has allowed them to feel they can trust us fully and encouraged them to give us the same respect and be open. We have always treated them like young adults. We never lie when asked questions about our past or anything else, we may say that’s a thing to discuss when they are older but we do our best to give them direct, honest, informative answers. Our goal has always been to create a child parent relationship built on openness and honesty allowing trust to come easily for all involved. I fully believe that if you are honest with your children they will be honest in return. Show them what respect looks and feels like so they can show you as well, lead by example. They aren’t always going to be happy with you, in fact if they aren’t it’s probably a sign you’re doing your job right, but I promise you that in the long run they will thank you.
I speak from experience when I say having a helicopter parent is preferable to having one that doesn’t care and/or just wants to be liked. My parents were never involved in my life. I had no rules because that meant they would have to enforce them which would take time away from what they wanted to do and that’s what mattered most. By the time I went to live with my grandparents I was so far behind in school that I could barely get by. It is only because of my grandmother being a helicopter parent that I was able to graduate and have any kind of life. Even though she was always hovering she still never lied to me and treated me with respect rather than an annoyance. My childhood and my grandmother are a big part of why I parent the way I do. I am so thankful for her parenting method’s and follow her lead in my parenting as best as I can.
Before judging someone for their methods stop and think. Ask yourself if you’d like the judgment on your parenting, and keep in mind they probably have a reason for doing things their way. You never know what events took place that led to the choices being made. Regardless of whether or not you think it’s a good enough reason it’s their children and they have as much right to raise them they way they choose as you do.
So yeah I’m a helicopter parent, because I have seen what it’s like from the other side and I don’t want that for my kids. And yeah, maybe I am over protective in some areas, but I know where they are. I know they are safe and healthy, and I know who they associate with. And you know what, they are still happy, well adjusted, kind, intelligent, children on their way to becoming amazing adults.
Remember, whatever parenting and educational choices you make, there’s at least one person out there that will never judge for it! Do what you think is best for your children. As long as your children are learning, safe, and loved, you will always have support and absolute acceptance from me! Don’t let others alter your ways. I don’t intend on changing my parenting any time soon, and I sure as hell won’t let the negativity get to me, I hope y’all don’t either. Be happy, keep learning, and enjoy!
Check below for our preferred apps and details on why we choose them.