Originally posted at Christian Post May 13, 2016.
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I’ve been reading about helicopter parenting, where parents hover over their children trying to control almost every aspect of their children’s lives to get “the right” outcome compared to so-called “Free Range” parents who are hands off, and then of course we’ve all seen stories of parental neglect, where parents don’t care much at all. How does someone find the happy medium? As my kids are getting older and preparing for college, I worry in particular that they are not ready to handle money, which can be very complicated, and I’d like to be involved in their financial decisions. How do I parent my kids about handling money without getting in the way of important life lessons?
Let me commend you right up front for understanding an important truth – sometimes children need to learn from failure, and sometimes they need to experience unpleasant consequences to instill in them hard but important truths. The current controversies surrounding Helicopter parenting, to my mind, involve a misunderstanding over the need to adjust as children grow older. To paraphrase Ecclesiastes, for everything there is a season … a time to be very closely supervising, standing ready to rescue your children (Helicopter parenting) and a time to fly away to let kids figure out a few things on their own.
Young children need an appropriate amount of hovering, for their safety and to learn the basics of life. According to the Bible, the best way to teach your children the truth about the world we live in is to share God’s word with them as you spend time together. In Deuteronomy 6, Moses tells the young nation of Israel that parents are responsible for passing on the most important lessons: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”