Hi Rock Star Parents! Happy Tuesday. I found this fantastic video online by the Holderness Family. They are a family that creates funny videos that spoof the realities of raising kids. Their videos always put a smile on my face and you can see more at www.TheHoldernessFamily.com.
This video is so incredibly funny and sad at the same time. It really struck a chord with me as I watched it this morning. The parody speaks such a glaring truth. Maybe because I see myself in this, along with so many other parents. The raw truth is that this video is meant to be an exaggeration, but sadly it’s not. When we hover as parents, we are essentially paralyzing our children. We are communicating to them that we do not trust them and that we do not believe in them. When parents constantly hover and do for their children, it prevents them from developing essential coping skills that will carry them through adulthood.
But why do we hover? Hovering is a demonstration of parental anxiety…and worry…and fear. As hovering parents, we communicate and transfer a tremendous amount of anxiety onto our children. They absorb this and take it on as their own. We hover because we are afraid of witnessing our children’s failures. If our children fail, they will experience pain and discomfort, which we absolutely cannot allow. Why not? What has become so wrong with children experiencing the pain and discomfort that comes with living? The pain and discomfort that comes with working hard, trying hard, and often falling down anyway. We are also hover because we want our children to succeed…desperately. For many parents, their children’s successes are their own. That is the same for their failures. Why do we feel that we have failed as parents if our child fails? If your child is always successful, then surely you are a great parent, right? Wrong.
Our job as parents is to help our children to become capable, independent, non-perfect people. People who try, stumble, fall, and then are able to get back up and try again. The more we “bubble wrap” our kids, the less able they are to figure things out on their own, to problem solve, to think as individuals, and most importantly – to learn about who they are and how they work as a person. I’m 43 and I’m still working on that! I can’t imagine how far behind I’d be if I’d been “bubble wrapped” as a kid.
We are creating a generation of helpless, anxiety ridden kids whose only option is to succeed at all costs. That makes me feel so incredibly sad. Where do you fall on the spectrum of hovering as a parent? What can you let go of or step back from in your parenting? What can you teach your children to do on their own? We can make this better and we can change – it just takes recognition and awareness. That’s all for now, but there’s much more to come:)