Any self-proclaimed helicopter mamas out there? (slow awkward hand raise from this side of the computer)
Helicopter mom: defined by Wikipedia as “a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child’s or children’s experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions.”
Not sure if you’re a helicopter mom? You can take a quiz here!
While I don’t think some hovering is bad, continued hovering is detrimental.
What we need to be, mamas, is eagles.
I read a very interesting story in one of my mommy devotionals that rocked my hovering world!
It described how the Golden Eagle family prepare and raise their little ones. The father eagle builds the nest as high as ten thousand feet in the air on the cleft of a rock with large limbs and branches.
The mother eagle’s job is to cushion the inside of the nest. She uses leaves, grass, and even plucks her own down feathers to make a soft home for her new babies. But as time passes, and the eaglets get older she begins grabbing up hunks of the soft cushion, exposing the sticks and branches.
You see, she doesn’t want the kiddos to get too comfortable.
Strange things begin to happen with mama eagle and her eaglets. She starts spreading her wings out further and further until the kids are forced against the edge of the nest. And then it happens.
The eaglets drop over the edge of the nest. Free falling. Flailing their wings.
But hovering near by…
Huge, strong wings come streaking down and scoop them up just in the nick of time. See, adult Golden Eagles can fly vertically over two hundred miles per hour and can see from miles away.
And this happens over and over. Until, one day, mama stays in her nest. Babies free fall and notice mama is not moving. Nature kicks in and tiny wings begin to flap. They are flying on their own.
I mean, how neat is that?! Don’t you want to be a Golden Eagle now? Not just the pushing them out of the nest part, but the whole process.
And then we compare that to being a helicopter mom. Always coming to the rescue. Never letting them do anything on their own. Never letting them be scared or hurt.I don’t know about you but the most memorable times of my childhood were when I did something stupid and survived.
For goodness sakes, we didn’t have pegs to stand on when we rode on our friends’ bikes. We had handlebars. And we hoped our friends could see around us. And if we were lucky, they would slow down to stop instead of slamming on their brakes and throwing us into the neighbor’s front yard.
My point is we got hurt. We had bruises. We got “C”s. We built projects out of shoe boxes, coat hangers, and Popsicle sticks that were still sticky. And we survived.
So as much as I want to hover and shelter my kiddos, I have to remember that Golden Eagle mama. She loves her kiddos, but she lets them live. (I hope you’re hearing “Free Falling” by Tom Petty)
“He guarded them like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.”-Deuteronomy 32:11