Monday, September 6, 2010

Helicopter Mom?

I have been struggling with some parenting decisions this last week.  Just over a week ago, our 2 boys were walking home from school with a friend.  Since we live in the same town as the high school, there are frequent occasions that the high school drivers are driving faster than they should or too crazy.  That was the case when our son had to jump into the ditch to miss one of these high school drivers who sped out around the corner and swerved his car right at the kids.  The boys did the right thing by running home and telling us right away.  Fortunately, the incident was witnessed by the football coaches across the street and identified the driver.  He got a lecture from them, the principal and the sheriff after I made my report.  Unfortunately, nothing was done beyond that.  He is also the kind of kid who tends to not learn from his mistakes. (I know this is a judgmental statement, but he is someone who frequently makes poor choices.).  Anyway, now that I have started a 6 week substitute teaching job, I was extremely worried about the boys, along with their 5 year old sister, walking home after school.  Some of the struggles I have been having are...

How do I balance trusting that God will protect them, along with me being a "helicopter mom"? 
How do I protect them from potential dangers yet let them learn from situations? 
How do I protect my kids but not the several other kids who also have to walk home?
Is it my job to protect them or should I just leave it up to God?

Then, this weekend I had a great conversation with another mom friend.  She gave me another way of looking at things.  She talked about how she was praying for God to protect her kids every day, but then after talking with her pastor, she realized, God is naturally going to protect our kids, because they are His kids first!  He is guarding and protecting them every day, so asking Him to protect them, is like asking me if I will love my kids.  It is obvious.  Pray to Him for other things, like growing their faith, their future spouses, their decisions, etc.

So, one question answered, but what about the rest?  I still don't know yet.  As for now, I am intervening and having the kids walk through the school yard to the high school and straight to my classroom.  There are no streets to cross, no traffic to worry about, and they aren't going home to an empty house.  I don't know if it is the right decision or not.  Some may call me a "helicpoter mom", but it is the decision I can live with.  I don't have to worry and maybe that is how God is protecting them, by Him giving me that idea to have the kids walk to me. 

I know this is one of many, many decisions I will have to make as the kids get older.  Soon they will be driving, going out with friends, being exposed to poor choices, etc.  But, I will handle each one of those knowing that God is protecting them and giving me the ability to make the best choices I can as a parent. 


Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!

eof777 said...

You are doing the right thing for your children... God always protects our family but we must continue to pray without ceasing; there is no cutoff time.
As per your helicopter mom actions,I will say that it is a mom's instinct to find practical solutions to a matter of concern. You love your kids and you are rightfully concerned. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. We all parent differently.
I was never comfortable with the idea of my kids coming home alone, so we pick them up and there is always an adult at home. This is my choice and I live happily with it. You are entitled to do same.