This is a very long article to read and digest (including comments). However, i find it something worthy to read when you have time to read up on parenting tips (and not having to bury yourself in a thick book).
Are we becoming Helicopter parents?
I remembered telling my little brother tips before he left for Bangkok this morning.
“Guard your belongings – passport, money, phone”
“Send me a text when you touch down.”
“Stay vigilant. Keep your eyes and ears open.”
“Come home safe.”
I even sent him the address for the Singaporean embassy in Bangkok. He did everything i told him to – snapped pictures of his boarding passes, gave me his room number and address for his hotel. Sent me a message when he touched down.
I reflected and asked myself if i was over-protective. I mean he’s 30. I am a little guilty of baby-ing him but i want to explain myself. I want to at least know the last place and time he ‘checked in’ with us. He’s very free to explore.
I am a bit of a street rat myself but that is HERE. I have advised myself to be vigilant at all times and at any place. The simple reason being – I believe that safety should never be taken for granted. My eyes and ears have seen and heard. Economic times, societal problems and unwarranted accidents continue to plague us. And hence the vigilance. Alertness ranks very low in a safe country like mine and personally i do not understand why. That instinct seems absent in a lot of us. I know, at this point, i am contradicting myself. They have not experienced or seen or heard or reflected and hence, that instinct don’t kick in. Alright, that part, i have to agree. Very reasonable.
However, I have observed in my experience with kids that they are not at the kind of maturity level we believe they possess to clearly evaluate risk and danger. We adults should never hand down this responsibility thinking they should know. Clearly they don’t at times and that is why they need to guided and supervised. We don’t want accidents, loss or damage done to them before we learn that do we?
I agree with letting them learn independence and responsibility but i also believe that maintaining their safety is crucial. Taking care of children’s safety is a parental role. Never take too light of the situation. Independence can also be taught in other fun, meaningful responsible, safe and effective ways.
Have a good read and chew on some ideas you have for your children’s safety and independence issues.
1:10 a.m.: My phone tinkles.
The message from my little brother: “It’s late. Will call tomorrow.” Point taken. I am heading off to bed. He’ll be fine, that big boy.