Have you heard of these terms?
Helicoptering is when you hover over your child, making sure they are safe in all instances. There are extra pads on their elbows or knees when they ride their bike. Their food is cut up on little tiny pieces so they won't choke. When they go outside, you are right there beside them. One parent I heard on a talk show recently referred to this as teacup parenting - treating your child as if they are as fragile as a teacup. She referred to a teen she heard on the phone talking to her mom, asking her which salad dressing she liked. She actually didn't know her own tastes!
And then there's free-range parenting. This is probably very close to how we were raised when we were young, but to a different degree. These are the kids that stay outside until it's dark, and their parents have no clue where they are until they come home. They are riding the city bus on their own from a very young age. They are walking downtown without adult supervision. I read recently about Lenore Skenazy, a mom who let her 9 year old daughter ride the subway all by herself. Because of the flack she received, she wrote her own book called "Free Range Kids - giving our children the freedom we had without going nuts with worry".
There are definite drawbacks to both of these parenting styles. And in retrospect to the other, there are benefits to each. What's your take on Helicopter Parenting and Free-Range Parenting? Do you see yourself closer to one than the other?