I'm not sure anyone really considers herself a helicopter parent. Even those of us whose hovering could best a Black Hawk probably don't really think our efforts to keep our kids safe are that extreme. Others, however, love to put any mom with a bottle of hand sanitizer and a bike helmet in hand into this much-maligned category. But make fun if they will because all of that hovering seems to be helping.
According to a recent report from the CDC highlighted in The New York Times, the number of children dying from accidents has dropped 30 percent in the last 10 years. That's a big drop! Who wants to make fun of helicopter moms now?
Of course, it all comes down to perspective, and I only support hovering when it comes to physical safety (parents who fight their kids' battles and go to college with their kids are a whole other matter). But when it comes to taking a few extra steps (things like car seats, helmets, and safety gates) to keep them from dying, what's so wrong with that old adage, "It's better to be safe than sorry"?
I was shocked when I wrote this recent post about the danger of parents holding children on their laps when they go down slides.
I never knew there was a risk, and the solution for preventing it is
pretty simple -- don't do it, or at least use extreme caution when doing
so. I thought it was a nice little safety reminder or head's up, but
plenty of commenters thought it was ridiculous and overprotective to
even mention it.
Why are we so quick to criticize moms just for wanting to keep our kids safe? No one wants to suck the joy out of their kids' childhood, and yes our kids need to explore the world without a leash. But if a little hovering can prevent that many deaths, then I say rock on, helicopter parents. As long as we keep them alive, we can pay for any necessary therapy later.
Do you think parents get a bad rap for trying to keep their kids safe?