Parents… we’re driving ourselves crazy Posted by: Dr. Matt

Our parenting today is making us nuts!

As parents we’re trying to do more than ever with and for our kids.  We are busy shuttling kids to activities, preparing healthy meals, pouring Helicopter Momover homework, entertaining kids with events, supervising play dates, and we’re working outside of the home more than ever.

We’re driving ourselves crazy trying to parent perfectly while providing our kids with the perfect childhood.  We’ve turned into Drone Dads and Helicopter Moms – always hovering around, ensuring our kids are safe, entertained, and protected.

It’s not them… It’s us.

Today, mom’s are actually spending more time with their kids than in 1965, when most mom’s were not in the workforce.  Parenting has become a full-time job, in addition to our other full-time job.  We kind’ve collectively believe, “Our parenting isn’t good enough. We should be doing more.” And, we’re all working more OUTSIDE of the home. Something’s got to give.

I recently interviewed my dad about his childhood in the 1950’s.  I found something surprising for modern parents.

Me: Hey dad, did your mom ever play with you?
Dad: Gosh no.  Neither of my parents played with us.
Me: Who did you play with?
Dad: Me and my brothers played outside, in our rooms, and with our toys.
Me: Were you happy?
Dad: Gosh yes! (no joke… he actually talks this way).

Drone DadThat’s right, parents today feel compelled to play much more with their children than in previous generations.  According to some experts, it’s possible that we’re overdoing it.  Yes, kids need time with their parents, but they also need time away from their parents – to figure things out on their own.  And parents need time away from their children to complete other parenting tasks, decompress and relax, pursue adult interests, and invest in their relationships.  Our kids need to see us living out our adult lives and enjoying our adult relationships.

Here’s some good advice to help you stay balanced as a parent:Helicopter Parents

  • Don’t take responsibility for their entertainment, happiness, or work.
  • Trust yourself
  • Know your kid
  • Give yourself a break
  • Relax and embrace the improvisation of just being together
  • Be responsible for their safety and moral and educational development

Be calm, and carry on!