Helicopter parenting, that crazy overbearing brand of paranoia, gets a really bad rap. We make fun of mothers who obsess over their child’s every move, positive that any experience has the possibility of ruining their kid’s lives.
You know the mom I’m talking about. She always has hand sanitizer. Her child doesn’t just have on a helmet, they have elbow and knee pads on to take a walk around the block. She knows the safety ratings on the various types of socket covers. We’ve rolled our eyes at this mom before, even when we didn’t mean to.
Well it looks like we owe helicopter moms a little bit of an apology.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention just released information showing that the death rate for children from accidents has dropped 30% in the last decade. The New York Times specifies:
“In the wake of those better car seats and new laws slowing the rate at which teenage drivers take the wheel unsupervised, there has been a 41 percent drop in traffic fatalities. Deaths from drowning, falls and fires are down as well, while suffocation rates, especially for infants, are up, suggesting a need to return to the basics of infant sleep: on their backs, on firm surfaces, away from soft bedding.”
I think that there’s a really good point to make here. People weren’t overparenting because they enjoyed hovering on their children’s every move. Most adults don’t enjoy thinking about the worst possible scenario and living in fear that their child will be hurt – or worse. Helicopter parenting gained prevalence because moms and dads wanted to keep their children safe.
And it looks like they’ve succeeded. All that fighting for better consumer safety information, for increased awareness and for stricter product regulation has made life safer for our children. That’s something that every helicopter parent should be proud of.
I think this information can just go to prove that all parenting philosophies have merit when they’re approached with logic and moderation. Helicopter parents aren’t trying to destroy fun and sow fear, they’re trying to make the world a safer place. And guess what? They did just that.
(Photo: Hiawatha Project)