Are you one of those moms that can’t let your children out of your sight and tend to overprotect them?
As Christian mothers, we are to trust Christ in protecting our children. Letting go, and placing your trust in Him to provide protection and guidance is easily professed, but is it easily done?
An “Experienced Copter-Mom”
I am a mother of a 36-year old daughter who is a mother of three rambunctious boys. I fondly look back at her childhood and think about her little hand holding mine and how I wanted to protect her from the world.
However, there was one thing I failed miserably at protecting her from, and that was my “copter’ing” motherhood.
As she grew from a baby into a toddler, I kept her in my sight constantly and felt an overwhelming desire to be the one that took care of her and protected her.
However, this came to a crashing halt on her first day of school!
As she boarded the school bus, I was right behind her in tow boarding right along with her.
Parents were allowed to ride the school bus with their children because we were stationed overseas in a foreign country.
She wanted to be a big girl and sit alone on the bus, so I granted her space and sat way up front.
Pulling up in front of her new school, the children got off the bus full of anticipation and excitement.
I was the last off the bus and followed my baby’s little footsteps in through the doorway, down the hall and saw her disappear into a classroom.
My heart sank, and tears began to flow uncontrollably.
Finding a chair down the hall, I placed it just outside her classroom where I sat most of the morning.
Perhaps if I sat there, she would be ok and I would ok.
My notion of playing “secret service” for my daughter while in class was no more when the teacher exited the classroom and saw me there.
She explained that parents were not allowed to sit in the hallways during school and that I was more than welcome to return at the end of the school day to collect her.
I left with my bottom lip dragging, and as I left the school, I went across the street where I sat to wait until school was out.
Was this normal, I asked myself?
As she started to grow older, I found myself trying to maintain some kind of control over her school environment, her social environment, and her environment at home.
I was constantly anxious about her getting hurt, both physically and emotionally and by grade 6, she was adamant about me leaving her alone.
Backing off, I knew she needed her space to grow and explore and be her own person without mom buzzing overhead.
I came to realize that I wasn’t going to be the sole protector over my child, and that Christ was.
I had to let go of the control.
It took a lot of work for me to correct my actions, my thoughts, and try to be a better mother.
What causes “Copter’ing” in Mothers?
Professing with my mouth that “I trust you Jesus” was one thing, but actually living it and placing my daughter in His hands was another.
Why are “Copter” parents so protective and controlling?
1. Fear of being thought of by others as a bad parent.
Our culture is so fixated on caring about what others think of us to the point that we try to go beyond the normal act of parenting.
We become excessive in parenting and controlling to keep our children within the boundaries of what we see as acceptable by others.
Our personal parenting standards and values are affected by doing this.
Most importantly, we are placing the opinion of others above Christ and seeking to please man instead of Him.
2. Feeling anxious that the world will harm our children.
We as Christians know the world is an evil place and it’s normal to want to protect our children from being harmed.
However, we take it too far by overly anticipating things that could happen to our children.
This anxiety goes against trusting the Father to watch over and protect your children.
3. Feeling a need to overcompensate in parenting because our own parents failed us.
Each of us has a mindset of what the ideal parent should be and sadly, a lot of adults feel that their own parents failed in giving them adequate love and nurturing.
We want to give our own children the things that we craved for as children but never received.
This could be praise, hugs, involvement with school activities and so on.
However, a “Copter” parent goes too far, and instead of one hug, they give two or instead of merely attending a school event, they get involved to the point it embarrasses their children.
4. Feeling the need to outdo other parents who are just as involved in their children’s lives.
There’s nothing more annoying to have another mom outdo you in their parenting skills, involvement in school events, being liked by their children, or constantly praised by others by what a wonderful job they are doing as a mom.
This bitterness that dwells up inside your heart goes against Christ’s teachings and causes a lack of genuineness in parenting your own child just for the sake of out-performing another parent.
Let’s Land That “Copter”
If you are a “Copter” mom and you desire to change and place your child’s protection and upbringing in the hands of your Father, all you need to do is simply pray and let go.
As you seek this change, you are not only honoring Christ with your actions, but your child will begin to see a difference in you, a positive difference!
Trust in the Father and He will enable you to do this!