Confessions of a helicopter parent

Marisca wonders if she is merely keeping her children safe or making them too dependent

A video of a young boy cooking popped up on my Facebook newsfeed this week and it got me thinking.

This little boy looked around five years old, same age as my daughter.

He was making a stir fry in a wok over an open fire outdoors while his younger sibling sat next to him and watched.

He first poured the oil and swished it around the pan and added vegetables, cracked a couple of eggs and dumped some rice in before sprinkling some spices on it.

He was also shirtless with hot oil spraying up.

I was so nervous the entire time I watched the video. But nothing bad happened. He made a delicious looking meal for his family.

At first I felt sad for him.

Here was this little boy cooking food instead of playing while one of his parents made dinner.

But then maybe I thought that he loved cooking. Maybe playing soccer isn’t his passion, but he is interested in crafting his culinary skills.

And he had some skills. I was impressed.

I know my daughter couldn’t cook a meal like that.

But maybe that is my fault.

I’m such a nervous mom, always trying to protect my children.

I make them leave the kitchen when I have to open the hot oven because I’m so worried about them somehow falling inside? I don’t know.

I would never let my daughters be by a fire unattended, let alone cook hot food over one.

But am I too cautious?

Am I raising children to be too dependent on me?

While I do try to have my daughters help me in the kitchen every once in a while, I wouldn’t feel safe leaving them alone to do any sort of cooking by themselves.

We like to bake together, but when it comes to the stove or the oven, I keep them as far away as possible.

I know I should be teaching them that the stove is hot when it is on but I’d rather keep them in a bubble far away from anything that could possibly be a da nger to them.

READ MORE:

Feeling anxious about the new school year and so is my daughter

Before you think I’m crazy, hear me out. The World Health Organization did a report in 2008 on child injury prevention and found that almost a million children under the age of 17 were killed by an injury in 2004 and 87 per cent of those were due to unintentional and potentially preventable causes.

I’ve been called a helicopter parent before — the parenting style, characterized by a helicopter-like tendency to hover over children and swoop in to rescue them at the first sign of trouble.

I’m not offended.

I feel it is my job to protect my children and if it means that I have to make my own stir fry for a couple more years, then that’s fine.


@MariscaDekkema
marisca.bakker@interior-news.com

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