By Jodie Turner
Recently, I’ve witnessed a lot of people being on the receiving end of comments that have left them feeling deflated, upset or even like they are failing. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what you should and shouldn’t be doing when parenting a child, even one with a disability and they’re often not afraid to tell you!
I had an insensitive comment thrown at me recently and here’s how I dealt with it…
I was in a play area with my son, who has cerebral palsy. I was explaining his therapy to a healthcare professional; they looked at me, sniffed and said, “I can see you are a helicopter mum”
According to that font of all knowledge, Google, helicopter parenting is: ‘a style of child rearing in which an overprotective mother or father discourages a child’s independence by being too involved in the child’s life: In typical helicopter parenting , a mother or father swoops in at any sign of challenge or discomfort.’
Initially the comment left me feeling like I was failing, that I had done everything wrong and that my son, Jay, was suffering because of me.
But then I considered this further…
Jay’s balance is not good, so when I’m in a play area setting, in order to prevent injury or harm to him, yes, I’m happy to be a helicopter mum.
Jay’s confidence in that moment was not so great and it’s my job to help his confidence grow. So, yes, I’m happy to be a helicopter mum.
Jay needed guidance with planning and movement in order to do the activities he wanted in the play area. You guessed it, yes, I’m happy to be a helicopter mum.
If I hadn’t been a helicopter mum….keeping him safe, helping his confidence and teaching him to plan movement then he wouldn’t be where he is today; a happy little man who knows his limits and who is able to enjoy the park.
If Jay ever wants to push himself to try something new….this helicopter mum will be straight there by his side, hovering around to give him the support and guidance he needs until he is confident to do it on his own.
If you get any comments that make you feel like you are failing or wrong…..go away and have a think about why your child is so amazing. You’ve got it mama, they are amazing because of YOU!