Helicoptering Parents in the Outdoors

If you’re a parent then you have probably heard the term “Helicoptering Parent” or “Hovering Parent” before.  For the ones that haven’t heard of that before, it basically describes parents that are extremely over protective of their children.  It could be that they don’t let their kids ride their bike around the block or as far as not letting their child use a butter knife because it’s dangerous.  There are so many levels to this and all parents do it at one level or another.  But what about our kids that enjoy the outdoors lifestyle that we as outdoorsmen are trying to teach them?  How far is too far?

I am getting to that age where I am telling my kids about the days when we didn’t have cell phones, we didn’t use seat belts or we slept on the back dash of the Ford LTD during long road trips.  Times have changed for sure and I don’t know what I appreciate more.  I think its great parents are more involved in their kids lives and they seem to care more about their safety.  But like I said before, how far is too far?  I grew up in the outdoors from sunrise to sunset.  My friends and I would leave our homes during the weekends or all summer and hit the woods only to return when the sun goes down or when we were hungry.  We usually returned bruised and bloody and had the times of our lives.  We tried many different things and usually failed at every one of them.  I loved every minute of it.

Failure is the best teacher in life.  Many times the Helicoptering Parent doesn’t let their child fail, so they will never learn as quick in my opinion.  I am an absolute firm believer in sitting back and watching my child fail.  But yes, I am still watching and will NEVER let them be in a dangerous position.  If they are down playing around the water’s edge and they are at that point where they might just slip and fall in, yeah, I will let it happen.  If they are wondering what will happen if they can pick up that little garter snake, then I will let them try it.  Or when they want to field dress a deer for the first time and need to learn not to cut the stomach. Anything that they think they need to try that isn’t dangerous, then I will promote them trying it.  If we don’t let our children fail at life, then they will never become independent.  We all as parents want to raise children our own way and I salute you for that.  But don’t hover too much and let them fail once in a while.

So go ahead and let your child shoot that 10 gauge once that they have been begging to try.  Just let them fail and let them learn.  

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