Are you an overprotective parent? Maybe you are or maybe your not.
What about names like a helicopter mom, helicopter parent, or even better a mom called a Smother?
When you hear those words what images or thoughts come to your mind?
You may think it’s a parent that is so involved with every aspect of their children’s lives.
Making all their choices, solving all their problems, poking your nose around where you might not think a parent needs to be involved.
Fighting all their battles, literally making your child defenseless and ill-equipped. Unable to think or do anything for themselves without getting you involved.
Well as a parent I think we are too quick to judge others parenting styles when you don’t know the whole situation.
We have 2 typical children and 2 special needs children. As a parent with special needs kids my parenting style has to shift a whole lot.
When our older 2 were growing up I never considered myself an overprotective parent. I honestly didn’t compare my parenting skills to other parents.
I didn’t read any books, I just did what comes naturally when you have children. You nurture them and try to protect them the best you know-how.
We also homeschool, not because I wanted to be around my kids 24/7, but because we wanted to be in charge of what our kids learned.
And because we chose to homeschool it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
When our 3rd child was born she had special medical needs. She needed a lot of intervention and hospital stays.
Caring for her and our 2 other girls consumed most of our time. But since we homeschooled our schedule could move around easily.
If our older 2 were in traditional school it would have made it much more difficult.
My parenting style did change at this point but honestly, I didn’t see anything wrong with it.
Why I Don’t Mind Being Called A Helicopter Mom
I honestly never heard those words before until I had watched a talk show a few years ago.
Being an overprotective parent just comes naturally to me and I don’t apologize for that.
I’m sure there are plenty of phycologists out there that would say it’s because I have some underlying issues or some issues that go back to my childhood.
Maybe I do maybe I don’t. I honestly don’t care. I am who I am and my parenting style won’t change.
As parents, we need to look at our children and access their needs differently. We can’t raise our kids to be individuals by using the same parenting methods on all our children.
Our children are all unique and require certain needs at different times. This is how I raise our kids. What works for one doesn’t work for the others.
I protect my children from certain life situations because I want to. Maybe I think they are not ready to be able to deal with the disappointments that it might bring.
This doesn’t make me a bad parent or an overprotective parent.
I don’t feel the need to be pressured by society or pay any attention to anybody that says I’m sheltering my kids from reality.
These are my kids and I know what is best for them!
Which brings me to our 2 special needs children and how I parent them.
I will make this statement very loudly and be very clear about what I say, “Yes, I’m a SMOTHER, an overprotective parent, a helicopter mom!”
I make no excuses for it and am proud to be one!
This is how I raise our youngest 2 and will continue to until I see there needs to adjustments made.
Special Needs Children And Overprotective Parents
As I said before we have 2 special needs children. They both were born with Dandy-Walker Malformation.
Our son’s brain malformation isn’t as severe as our youngest daughters because she also has Hydrocephalus.
They are delayed both physically and academically. Our daughter is definitely immature for her age.
They both have required a lot of therapy and surgeries so far in this short time of their lives. They are 12 and 14.
I will do everything in my power to make life go as smooth as I can for them.
Don’t get me wrong I do believe you teach them between right and wrong, have respect for yourself and have respect for others.
Just because you have special needs and life can be hard doesn’t mean in demonstrating bad behavior. I don’t raise BRATS!
I remember when our youngest daughter was barely 2 and she was biting our speech therapist, throwing fits and was totally out of control.
We discipline her as we disciplined her older sisters. We didn’t let her get away with it just because she had special needs.
I know I’m getting off subject here but I feel it’s worth saying.
I see defiant kids almost every time we are at therapy.
I always wonder if they would have tried to correct and address those problems when they were younger. the child may act differently now that they are older.
Just a thought!
Ok, back to raising our youngest 2 that have special needs. I would consider them mid to high functioning depending on what the set skill would be.
I do homeschool both of them and I wouldn’t consider letting them go to a traditional school setting.
I’m not going to get into telling you my reasons but you can read the post here:
I do overprotect them and guard them against unnecessary disappointments and setbacks.
You may be asking yourself why do I do this?
Life, in general, is hard. There can be times of unnecessary pain and I want to ease that from them.
They already have so many challenges and have to work 10 times harder than their peers. They know this and I do have to remind them sometimes.
Unfortunately, we have been in the presence of some kids and even adults that have been cruel and hurtful with their words and actions.
If you were to look at my 2 special needs kids you probably wouldn’t know that they have a disability.
Until you get to know them or ask for them to do something physically. They are a little slower and do things differently.
Their muscles don’t cooperate sometimes. They know they are different than others.
It breaks my heart that they know this and that it makes them sad sometimes.
So before you judge a parent for their parenting style you need to consider, Do I know the whole situation and this family’s life.”
Why My Overprotective Parenting Style May Never Change
I really can’t answer that because I’m not finished raising these 2 amazing kids. But I do know that I have made some adjustments.
I don’t make those adjustments lightly. I do consider them when I feel necessary and if they come to me asking to do something more independently.
For example, my son came to me and talked to me about giving him more independence. We do talk a lot about being open with our feelings.
He wanted me to give him a list of things he needs to be doing and trust him that he would get it done.
I usually just tell them one thing at a time and see it through first before giving them something else.
But you know I made that adjustment because both of them need to learn a higher level of Executive Functioning skills.
Another example is that we are in the process of teaching our youngest daughter to seek some independence. I still on a daily basis tell her to do everything.
She is almost 15 and needs to at least to be able to know when to get ready for the day on to do it in a timely manner without me telling her what to do with every step.
I honestly have to say it’s been hard and a hard habit for me to break form reminding her. But her speech therapist advised me I needed to help and assist her with this.
I agree and after a couple of months, it is going pretty good.
I know that little by little as they get older my parental guard over them will change.
But as far as being an overprotective parent that will never change, unless they express they need more independence.
And for all those people that say I’m at risk for raising entitled kids, well guess what, none of my kids feel entitled or are disrespectful humans.
They are all kind and have big hearts!!!
Thank you for reading this and I hope you can see my perspective on this subject.
Domestic Engineer Mom