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Are You a Helicopter Parent?

An article published on the website “Kidspot” describes a parent as a “helicopter parent” if you respond “yes” to any three of the below statements:

  • You insist on school drop-off and pick-up – in year 12;
  • You have a better friendship with your kids’ friends than they do;
  • You give your child a phone to text you when they arrive at school – and you live less than a block from the gate;
  • Your child has just started high school – and still doesn’t know how to get home;
  • You finally feel ready to send them to camp – when they’re at university;
  • You won’t let them play in the backyard for fear of them being kidnapped;
  • Your favourite tv show is watching them move around using your ‘find my iphone’ app;
  • You insist on knee pads – for the slippery dip;
  • You sprint around and around the roundabout so you’re there to catch them should they go flying off; and
  • You write a 10-page booklet of instructions for the babysitter – and still call to check every half hour.

Whilst some of the statements above seem to be an exaggerated example of an overprotective parent, and perhaps made up for the purpose of being humorous and entertaining, at times I have come across clients who do request orders setting out what a child can and cannot do whilst in the care of the other parent.

As a mother of a young child, I understand it can be very difficult leaving your precious loved one in the care of another person. You feel like you are forfeiting control over what they are exposed to. You are their parent – it is your role to protect them from the world, right? Correct. However, when negotiating parenting orders, it is important to remember that the orders are made with your children’s best interests as the paramount consideration. The orders are also made with the view that they will remain in force until they are an adult, reduce potential litigation in the future and settle any disagreement as to the parenting arrangements only. Parenting orders are not designed to “teach” a parent how to be a “good” parent. There are programs out there that parents can participate in to improve their skills, to assist their capacity to care for their children. Even so, unless there is a real risk to the safety or wellbeing of a child, the court is not likely to include any injunctions that impact on what each parent may do with a child whilst in their respective care.

Image Credit – Ioulia Bolchakova ©

Written by Kate Marr on November 20, 2016

She has a passion for helping people with their family law problems. She has special expertise in complex financial matters where her commerce background provides her with an an advantage in dealing with cases involving hidden assets, non-disclosure, overseas assets and family businesses. View Kate's profile

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