Ten years ago my first son was heading out to kindergarten and I was filled with many emotions. I was excited for him and all the new experiences he would have. I was delighted for me to have a little more time to devote to my other two young children. I quickly learned that I was also supposed to be worried!
As I ushered our 5-year-old out the door and watched him head off purposefully to the bus stop down the street, I smiled and enjoyed this “first” in a long line of firsts! I soon learned that NO ONE sends his or her child to the bus stop alone in the morning! Never mind that we all walked a mile to school in a snowstorm and in torrential down pours with all the other neighborhood kids! I quickly learned about hovering “helicopter parents” and realized that if I didn’t hover a little more, I was going to look like a neglectful parent not a happily at peace one!
But after 10 years of struggling with this, I now understand that when we parents do hover and get over anxious about our children, we aren’t any happier or satisfied for it. In fact, hovering usually just brings new concerns to our attention and heightens our anxiety over our children and their day away from us. It doesn’t seem to bring any peace to hover and it certainly doesn’t change the outcome. I am also beginning to believe; it doesn’t help our kids become more self sufficient and confident either!
A friend once pointed out to me “fretting is like forgetting that God, good is here." As a woman that starts each day by praying for my family, this really resonated with me. For many years I have prayed each day to be more aware of the goodness in my life. It isn’t that nothing bad ever happens to my family, or me but the point is, there is so much good is going on as well! Good surrounds us all every moment. And while we may be tempted to look at the bad and the ugly that pops up, by focusing on the good instead, we become more aware of the things that are going well in our day than of the things that aren’t.
Rather than outlining a day filled with potential pitfalls and problems, let’s know that each day is filled with new opportunities to learn and grow and that our children are receptive and capable. Perhaps you know this, but in your heart you worry that they will fail! Work to reverse this temptation to be worry and know that, like every child, they are resilient, and capable of much more than we know and expect of them.
Instead of expecting a difficult year or a trying week, try expecting only good. We are much more secure and so is our family when our helicopter is grounded in this much more peaceful, positive outlook.