Sad but True, Christian Parents can be Helicopter Parents Too
Ephesians 6:4 says “Fathers, do not exasperate your children but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
One way Christian parents can often exasperate their children is by being overprotective and hovering, trying to control and orchestrate every aspect of their lives. It can happen with kids of every age, from 5 to 35. It isn’t just parents of preschoolers that can be overprotective, parents of college age young adults also exhibit these tendencies.
Oftentimes our own idols and insecurities get in the way of clear thinking when it comes to parenting. Even Bible-believing, Jesus-loving Christians can easily slip into not applying the Gospel to our family life.
It manifests itself in what is commonly known today as helicopter parenting. Where the parent hovers and swoops in to rescue too often. Often coddling unhealthy behaviors and fostering selfishness and self-centeredness in a child who ought to be learning to walk with Jesus and fellow believers and grow in responsibility and independence and healthy interdependence.
By definition, a Helicopter Parent is one “who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children.” For example, “some college officials see all this as the behavior of an overindulged generation, raised by helicopter parents and lacking in resilience".
For Christians, you want kids to love Jesus and other people and not think of their own needs all the time. Philippians chapter 2 kind of stuff. Not looking out for their own personal interests but for the interests of others. Have the attitude of Christ. But what happens when a parent feels like they have to work everything out for their kids and make sure their environment is just right (as they see it) and advocate on their behalf even into their teens and early 20 something years? You get entitled kids who aren’t able to handle issues with people and they don’t embrace living with a Biblical worldview. Instead there is latent distrust and even an undercurrent of me-first mentality laced with a dose of spirituality.
Yes, it’s sad but true, but Christians can be Helicopter Parents too. All it takes is for you to ignore the clear teaching of Scripture (especially what Proverbs says about parenting) and overindulge and overprotect and over coddle your kids. When they complain, rush to their defense and tell everyone else they are wrong. Your insecurities and lack of dependence on Christ is going to show through in those times. The good thing is there is mercy and grace in Christ and the body of Christ. Confess and repent and change your ways and you will have healthier kids and a happier life as you walk this path on the way to heaven.
Up next, the other side of the coin, “Submarine Parenting Isn’t Helpful Either”