The tribe checking out a worm or centipede in a puddle/ getting muddy / riding scooters…

 Helicopter parenting, the modern scourge of playground everywhere reared its overzealous head today in my world.

Turns out maybe I may be giving the tribe a little too much leeway and freedom on a couple of things. A bit too much free range on our little farm. Perhaps I need to consider adopting a little more of the ‘helicopter’ approach and a little less on the free range.

Here’s how it played out.  Dropping the tribe off this morning at holiday camp, a helpful parent noted Captain Jack and Flashdance were not wearing jackets. ‘Yes, they decided they weren’t cold’ I explained.  ‘They’ll get cold’, the other parent countered. ‘Well, maybe they will, but they made the decision’ I offered.  The woman looked AGHAST. I was completely stumped.  Was it really a big deal?  For context/ in my defence (jeez, now I sound like I am on trial), I live in Perth and it’s about 20 degrees today. The boys have just spent two years living in France where it SNOWS and where I did pull the Mum card and they had to wear jackets.

 You should probably know I have committed some other crimes

The tribe can splash in puddles (yes even in the RAIN), get muddy at parks, and collect bugs/snails/other beasties, and generally get mucky and germy.

The tribe are allowed to climb trees (even the littlest one, though she doesn’t get too far off the ground given her tiny legs), play with sticks and throw rocks, just not all at once and not at each other or any animals.

Wrestling is also allowed, but only outside, and if someone gets hurts or says stop, then it stops.

I confess to buying timber swords on holiday (with the support of the lovely Big A), and letting them have sword fights. With each other.

If Flashdance wants to wear pink sequins or Little L wants to wear fairy wings to Kindy, it is cool with me. 

What do you think? Should I jump on board the helicopter trend?  Do I need to reign in the free range? Is 20 degrees really cold?

Enjoy xx

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2 Responses to Helicopter parenting: are you guilty or not guilty?

  1. Great post! I get cold at 20 degrees sometimes, but then I grew up here in Perth. Also, my husband tells me my inner temperature control must be broken, because I can get cold in hot weather and overheat in cold weather, so I may not be a reliable source!
    Although I’m not a parent, I think your parenting style is great. The way a close friend of mine (who takes a similar approach) put it, is that she wants her daughter to learn her own limits and to trust her own body. I was semi-helicoptered growing up and was always overly cautious as a result.
    Better for kids to get some minor injuries through taking calculated risks but grow up with confidence in their own bodies and their own abilities in my opinion!

    • Kirsty says:

      Thank you, that’s very sweet. I love your comment about inner temperature control, mine is also a little wonky! Case in point I am wearing a jacket today. In Perth. And it is not really jacket weather I suspect!
      Your friends parenting style sounds bang-on to me! Like you say, how else can you learn about your own abilities and limits.
      K xx

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