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There are a lot of different parenting styles out there — from attachment parenting to free-range — but one particular style seems to consistently be under fire: helicopter parenting. There's a fine line between being helpful and guiding your child through life and doing way too much for your kids. However, every parent is entitled to their own unique way of parenting — and for some of us, we can sleep every night knowing we did everything we could to protect our kiddos.
If you're a proud, hovering helicopter parent (I was a helicopter nanny, so I got you), these are the 11 things you probably (read: definitely) do.
- Endlessly fuss over your child's outerwear. "Make sure you zip up! Yup, all the way to the neck. And gloves, hat, and scarf please — it's going to be, like, 13 degrees."
- Conversely, you cover your child in head-to-toe sunscreen at the sun's first little peek through the clouds. And if you can see any of their skin beneath the thick, white paste, it's time to reapply — there's no such thing as being too prepared.
- Encourage your child to eat in between literally every bite of food. Gotta get them thinking about that next bite as soon as the fork comes out of their mouth or they might never figure it out on their own.
- Put your kid on a leash in the supermarket, on holiday, or in any situation where the crowd is more than a few people. But it's one of those cute monkey backpacks, so it's OK.
- Take over as teacher at classes and sports games. You've never done ballet a day in your life but you'd best believe you know more about what's good for your child in terms of their dancing career than their ballet teacher does.
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- Shout for your child's attention if they wander more than two meters away from you. "Hey kid, where do you think you're going?!"
- Follow your kid around on the playground like it's a game. You offer them a hand as they cross the bridges, and run around like a crazy person so as not to miss the sight of them in a blind spot.
- Continuously yell out directives no matter where you are. "Watch out!" "Be careful!" "Don't do that!" "Get off of that!"
- Trail your kid at all times with an endless stream of hand sanitizer. "I don't care if you only touched your hair, everything has germs."
- Call your child's teacher every day, you know, just to check in. You've become "that parent," but hey, at least you know what's going on with your child's education, right? Maybe just lay off doing their homework for them . . .
- Run to your child the second they get hurt to see if they're OK. You want your child to feel super protected and make sure you're there to kiss every boo-boo, no matter how old they are.
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