Stepping back so that our kids can move forward

Honesty time: I’m a helicopter mom. I hover – a lot. There could be a gazillion reasons for it, but that’s not the point. The point is I can be overprotective and well, hovering.

However, this summer, I’ve been stepping back. It’s been tough. But the results are so worth it.

I’ve seen my little girl blossom, bloom, and become so much more confident than she ever was.

Here are the two simple things I did to consciously step back and still stay involved.

1. Let her lead

Whether it was a board game, art class, or walks together, I let her lead and I went along. She enjoyed making the decisions and choices for the activities and things she liked.

From the books she wants to read to choosing dishes at a restaurant to the games she wants to play on the iPad, I let her lead.

Yes, we still have the final say, especially if something isn’t in sync with our values or appropriate for her age.

But letting her know that I trust her choices has probably been the simplest and yet most powerful thing to do. And when I disagree, I tell her respectfully and gently why something isn’t appropriate for her, instead of hovering and making the decision for her.

2. Don’t interfere unless she’s in danger

The second thing I did, which was really way more difficult, was to let her be and not interfere, unless of course she was in danger.

Honestly, in the last few months, there haven’t been any dangerous situations that she’s been in. And now that I think of it, other than a freak accident with a coloring pencil when she was two, she hasn’t been in any dangerous situation.

So, I let her be.

Yes, even writing the words still seems tough for this helicopter parent to do.

But stepping back and letting her explore, create, try, experiment, I’ve seen her grow so much – it just amazes me.

Even though we do have our children’s best interests at heart, even though we want to protect them and keep them safe, sometimes stepping back is the only way they can move forward and into their own.

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