Why Is Helicopter Parenting Bad?

I’ve written a few posts now on helicopter parenting and how I have been trying to avoid being one. You can read them here:

Helicopter Mom Part 1

Helicopter Mom Part 2

But maybe we need to clarify the why behind these helicopter mom posts. Why is this a parenting style I am avoiding and trying to lean more toward independent kids? 

A helicopter parent is someone who stands over their children making every decision for them and directing their lives. A lot of the motive behind a helicopter parent is to prevent their children from experiencing failure or getting hurt. However, doing so can actually do the opposite. 

The side effects of being parented by a helicopter parent are depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, high stress, fear of failure, low self-confidence, and more. By never letting your child fail, you are sending the message that failure is not okay, therefore, bringing on all of the depression, stress, and anxiety that comes with the inevitable failure in life. This only grows more and more into adulthood. 

To see more about the side effects of a helicopter parent, check out this video. 

What does a helicopter parent look like in each stage of life? 

As a toddler, it’s a parent standing right behind your child as they climb a ladder, even putting their hands and feet in the exact places they need to go to find success. 

As a child, it looks like a parent changing their child’s teacher because they don’t seem to learn well with their current teacher. 

As a teenager, it’s a parent that chooses which friends their children can spend time with. 

As an adult, it looks like a parent that pushes certain colleges to attend (typically based on the closest location to home) and tells the child what the best area of study for them will be. 

How can you change your parenting style to be less helicopter parent? 

Step back and watch your child climb the ladder. Observe their method of movement and don’t step in unless absolutely necessary. Remember that a short tumble may be exactly what they need to learn the correct method for using the rungs. 

Let your child stay in the classroom of this teacher, and give them ways to learn with the style the teacher is using. Teach them how to work with different personality types, then pull them out of the classroom if matters seem to be worsening and you have tried multiple approaches. 

Have conversations with your child about the value of good friendships and what a lasting effect they can have in life. Teach them to identify good vs. bad friends and let them decipher their friend choices on their own. 

Ask your child what their goals for their adult life look like, see what their ambitions and dreams are. Have conversations about what college looks like and means to them, and help guide them to whichever school seems to be the best fit for them. 

By changing the way we interact and teach our children, it will lead to more independent and efficient leaders of tomorrow. 

Featured Photo: Kayla Wright

Hanukkah Picture Books

This is part of a series on writing booklists about holidays beyond Christmas. To read more about it, you can see it here.

Happy Hanukkah! Hanukkah started yesterday, December 10th, so let’s celebrate with a list of picture books to read during this festive time! 

Hanukkah Bear- A book about Hanukkah, delicious food, and a fun bear! Such a cute read. 

Latke, The Lucky Dog– A mischievous dog that goes through the day of Hanukkah with his new family. 

The Story of Hanukkah- This one gives a good background on where Hanukkah came from and why we celebrate it. A fun history book with beautiful illustrations! 

How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?- A fun, familiar series of books with a Hanukkah version. This book gives the non-examples of how to act on Hanukkah for kids but then finishes by showing a great example of what to do, by taking turns and being respectful. 

Meet the Latkes- I love that this book starts with some history behind the holiday before it begins. Such a fun book! This read aloud was one of my favorites I’ve watched so far, so check out this video by Mrs. Lemansky. 

What are some of your favorite Hanukkah read alouds? 

A Picture Book List For Diwali

This is part of a series on writing booklists about holidays beyond Christmas. To read more about it, you can see it here.

Welcome to our list of favorite Diwali books! This holiday was a favorite of mine to research because of the colors involved with Diwali, making the illustrations in every book so fun! Here are my top four:

Festival of Colors by Kabir and Surishtha Sehgal

I love how this book is simple and on a child’s level, while still incorporating the Diwali jargon and vocabulary. It is also very inclusive of multiple races, showing that Diwali can be enjoyed by many! 

Lots of LIghts: A Story About Diwali by Kavita Sahai

This one is fun because elephants are the main characters that walk kids through what Diwali is, again, on their level. 

Rani Saves Diwali by Anita Badhwar

A princess saving Diwali! Such a fun book with cute illustrations. 

Binny’s Diwali by Thrity Umrigar

Binny is trying to tell her class about her favorite holiday, Diwali. And her peers love it!


What other Diwali books do you love reading to your class? How do you observe Diwali in your classroom or school?

Merry Christmas! But What About Other Holidays? We Need More Picture Book Representation

Friends, I’ve written a lot of posts about Christmas picture books, but there are many, many people who don’t celebrate Christmas and have a different holiday they observe. And while finding book lists for Christmas is easy, it’s a little more difficult to find picture books for other holiday celebrations such as Hannauka or Diwali. So over the next few weeks, I’ll be blasting you with book list after book list for these other holidays. 

I’ll be covering
Diwali
Hanukkah
Las Posadas
Chinese New Year
Winter Solstice
Kwanzaa
Three Kings Day

Typically, I don’t like to recommend books unless I’ve held them in the flesh or even on an eReader and read every page to know if it’s something I really want to share with friends. However, our little, local library has limited access to some of these holiday books. I made a friendly suggestion to our children’s librarian that we should add some of these new titles and she agreed and promised to do what she could! 

Because of this, I have had to get creative and watch read alouds on YouTube or do research on Goodreads on some of these picture books to make sure it is something I truly want to recommend to you. 

Another great resource I have found is this free printable of different holidays with QR codes to scan that you can share with your students to learn more about each holiday. 

So happy holidays and stay tuned for lots and lots of books that will help you teach your students about multiple holidays, not just Christmas! 

Historical Teaching

When I was in school, my absolute least favorite subject was history. Ugh. Every year I received my school schedule (back when it was mailed to you, not just found online), and would roll my eyes when I saw my history class. It didn’t matter what type of history! U.S. history, World History, Ancient history. Nope. I just couldn’t stand any of them! 

Until one day… 

I walked into my American History class in 10th grade to a teacher that was new to the school. She sat at the front of the classroom like she meant business, and I respected that but also went in with the knowledge that I already hated her class and everything she taught. The first few weeks were just getting to know the classroom and procedures, but eventually, we got into the thick of American History. 

This time the history I was learning was different… I actually cared and enjoyed it. 

No, this couldn’t be right! I hated learning about history! But this time when we got into each different unit, I cared about the people and their background and what they had done for our country. What changed? Had I suddenly become a history guru?? 

Here’s what I noticed. I was caring about the Wild West and the California Gold Rush because my teacher cared about it. She had a light in her eyes when she taught that she genuinely loved what she was teaching, and passed that passion along to us. 

She cared about her students. 

She cared about the content she was teaching. 

She didn’t just recite historical facts to us, she told us stories about history. 

She made me realize that learning and teaching about history and social studies can be exciting and more than facts. It can be full of story telling and looking up to idols, not just memorizing dates and people. 

She also taught me a new way of teaching, that we aren’t there solely to cram information into student’s brains, but to build relationships and have them learn to love the material as much as we do. All because she cared. 

Check out this TedTalk about teaching history in the 21st century.

The Christmas Book List Of 2020

Christmas books! I’m giddy about putting together this post! The Christmas season is my favorite time of the year, and books are one of my favorite subjects. Let’s put the two together! 

Pick A Pine Tree: We don’t own this one yet, but I’m looking forward to the day we do! 

Dasher: Doesn’t the moody cover of the book just invite you in while you sit under a cozy blanket with a cup of hot cocoa?

Red & Lulu: The same author as Dasher. The magic of New York during the Christmas season is captured in this holiday book. 

The Crayons’ Christmas: A holiday twist on The Day The Crayons Quit

What books would you add to this list? Need some good book ideas for the holiday season that aren’t Christmas themed? Stay tuned for next week! 

Featured photo: pexels.com

Swim Lessons Taught My Kids More Than Swimming

In the spirit of writing blog posts about independent children like I have been recently (you can read more of the posts here), I wanted to talk about one more way I’ve worked hard to give my kids independence and let them explore the world freely. 

This time, it was with swim lessons. I placed my children in ISR (infant swim rescue) lessons at the ages of 10 months for my son and 2.5 years old for my daughter. They were both able to self-rescue and swim by themselves in the water after a few weeks of lessons. Here are some of the educational benefits I’ve found from placing them in these lessons, beyond just swimming and floating.

They learned they can do hard things. It’s hard to learn something so scary and different, especially in an environment like a swimming pool where you can feel so vulnerable. But once they mastered it and felt more confident in the water, they both realized that they worked hard to accomplish something really hard, and that’s absolutely worth noting. I saw them be less fearful and more willing to try hard things later.

They gained confidence in themselves. Because they learned something hard, they grew in confidence. Not only in the pool, but in other activities and learning environments. 

They learned to problem solve. By practicing problem-solving in the water, I watched them apply it at the park on ladders and slides, at home in their play, and everywhere else they needed problem-solving skills. 

They gained respect for water. They didn’t just learn how to swim and go run into any body of water they saw. They learned that water can be dangerous and fun, all at the same time. They learned to respect the nature of water and the consequences that can come with playing in it. 

Giving my children the tools to be independent in the water without floaties or other swimming devices gave them more than just the ability to float on their back, it gave them multiple life lessons they will carry with them. It gave them another tool to grow into independent human beings, who are free to explore the world around them.