Navigating the waters of parenthood can be daunting. More so if you are a new parent. Learning the best way to deal with your little one can take all of your patience, understanding, and lots of deep breaths. Especially if you have a very strong-willed child. The question becomes, in the world that we live in, should one be a helicopter parent or engage in lenient parenting? Loosely defined, helicopter parenting refers to a hovering, overprotective parent. One who watches their child’s every move. Whereas, lenient parenting is more of a go with the flow, not many rules, etc.
Now one might say in the world we live in today, you have to watch your child’s every move. More so because you don’t want them to get mixed up in some unwanted situation and I agree. However, we must remember that hovering does not give children the chance to grow and develop. In fact, it may send the message that “you are not trusted” or “you’re not able to handle that on your own”. It may hinder their own self-confidence to power through difficult tasks or make good decisions.
On the flip side, lenient parenting may send the message “I don’t care what you do”. Here I’m referring to extreme leniency. Giving little or no guidance at all. Basically letting children run the household; doing whatever they want. This too may send the wrong message to children. Children need structure and boundaries and expectations. There will be times when you negotiate with them or allow them to make a decision but ultimately you are a parent for a reason. That is to guide them through the waters of life as well as provide them with the tools they need to accomplish lifetime goals.
So which of the two is the better parenting style? Neither. The essential things to remember in parenting is consistency, boundaries, and balance. More so balance. Knowing when to be firm and when to be gentle. Knowing how to take the tantrums in stride so they don’t stress you out. It’s all about balance. Also, remembering that parenting is a rewarding, satisfying job.
Think you may be a helicopter parent? Check out the signs in this article.