Studies keep showing that helicopter parenting is bad for kids. Back off, don’t run their lives, let them fail and learn, etc. But other recommendations, like those in this article, remind readers that “…a little hovering is just right.” I sympathize with those well-intentioned parents who want to do the right thing by their kids but may struggle to find the right balance between hovering constantly and heaving them out of the nest entirely.
I can’t imagine a formula that would effectively dictate to any parent the precise measurements of exactly how engaged they should be with the high school and college lives of each of their kids. Parents, kids, and circumstances are different. And each deserves their own appropriate consideration.
But here’s a suggested guideline: Are you and your kids making progress?
Not compared to other parents and kids. Not compared to what an article or a speaker or a blogger like me tells you. But compared to where you were a month, six months, or a year ago.
Are you doing less for your kids than you were?
Are they able to do more for themselves than they were?
Are you stepping in, taking over, managing, and directing less than you were?
Are they needing less direction, less intervention, and less delegation than they were?
Are you seeing a more capable, mature, independent young adult than you were before?
Bottom line: Are they making more of their own decisions, handling more of their own problems, finding more of their own solutions, and learning more from both failure and success than they were before?
Progress is the key to a work in progress. Just (let them) make it.