Is God a Helicopter Parent?

There’s lots to read about parenting today. In the news media we hear about “helicopter” parents. The metaphor is perfect. These parents hover over their children, sometimes nearly suffocating them with kindness, help, and protection. Up until two weeks ago, I too judged today’s “helicopter parents.” I was  never that kind of parent when I raised my children,, I thought. I gave them lots of room to try things, to live and figure life out without me hovering over them.

In less than one second, Saturday morning, May 11, my smugness evaporated. My strong, healthy daughter slammed onto the ground in a fall from a horse. Our lives changed. Her fall was no one’s fault. The accident happened. One of her vertebrae exploded as it crushed from the impact, and now protrudes into her spinal canal. The good news, the blessed news, is she has no paralysis. For that we are grateful. The orthopedic spinal trauma specialist said if the damaged vertebra remains stable she won’t need an operation. In twelve to eighteen months, she will recover.

Since the accident, I have been a total “helicopter” parent. With no thought of shame, I hovered at the hospital. I fretted as they fitted the brace on her body. I stood close when she stood for the first time, nurses right beside her to help.

It’s been nearly three weeks now. She’s walking with a walker. The brace supports her in the same way as a full body cast. Both she and I look ahead to the months of pain she will endure as her body inches toward recover. I realize I cannot remain the helicopter parent. I must give her room to heal both in body and soul. I have to trust that as a mature woman she can make wise decisions about the amount of activity she can do.

Once again, I am learning to trust in God’s goodness and love. As both my daughter and I face the journey ahead, one thing I know, “God’s goodness enfolds us regardless what happens. God’s strength and wisdom empower us. God’s love can bring joy even in the midst of our struggles.

Today, I consciously choose to trust in God, to give thanks that we are not alone. God is with us. Today, I cry out with the biblical father seeking healing for his child in Mark 9:24 “I do believe, Lord. Help me with my doubts and fears.”  (Mark 9:24)

10 thoughts on “Is God a Helicopter Parent?”

  1. Prayers for your daughter, you, and family in this time for healing and recovery. Not an easy time, and completely understandable what you might be going through! Thank you for reminding me, in spite of your struggle, that God’s goodness enfolds us all, for always, no matter what we are going through!

    1. Thank you for your prayers, Marissa. Prayers bring strength. They are a blessing. It’s always helpful and encouraging when my readers take the time to comment. Thank you. Janet

  2. this rang so true Jan with me as well – hoping Connie’s recovery sails smoothly and there will be times when the helicopter has to land! Thank you for this message.

    1. Hi Mary-Margaret, Thank you for your comment. Connie continues to make tiny steps towards recovery. The helicopter is landing for a whole week. I’m going to Niagara Falls for a sister’s week that has been planned for a year. Blessings Jan

  3. Parenting is our hardest job. I thank God for hovering, to give me comfort, strength and hope whenever I call on Him with my all my worries about my children. Blessings to you and your daughter, Jan.

    1. Thank you for your comment. We definitely need God with us on our parenting journey. It’s fun, it’s a challenge, and sometimes overwhelming. Thank you for your blessings. Jan

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