The controversy which exists between the ‘helicopter’ and ‘free-range’ parenting labels doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon. The fact is, both sides have valid points but often times, neither side can see eye-to-eye.
In Toronto, a group of children have formed a group which is intended to send a message to their parents citing overprotection as a cause for slowed development. They’ve even gone so far as to make a video over the matter.
As part of a project called Child Health 2.0 at Queen’s University, the children have also created a compelling 7-minute video with the same intention: To change parents minds when it comes to overprotection. The children believe that they aren’t being allowed to fail or to take risks, inherently contributing to a naive, sheltered being which is stunting overall development. A page on Child Care 2.0’s website explains their perspective.
Back in December of 2014, the Youth Advisory Group met for the second time and began talking about the issue of overprotection and safe risk. Many of the youth had stories to tell about the issue and they were eager to learn more. They explored the issue through a variety of means including reading and reflecting on recent news articles, interviewing experts, commenting on current research, and experimenting with how to take safe risks through the use of a high ropes course.
From the beginning of this process the youth felt it was important to share what they had learned with their peers, parents, teachers, and all the way up to government officials. This documentary captures the learning experience of the youth and shares the take home messages that they feel are important to pass along. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it!
So then what gives here? When is parenting, well, too much parenting? Do the kids have a point or do we live in a more dangerous world than the one we grew up in?
From my perspective, the real threat comes online. I believe in allowing children a bit more freedom than I see many other parents allowing for. I don’t like the labels of free-range or helicopter and I certainly don’t judge those who might be a bit overprotective. We all have different parenting styles but in the same regard, we can all benefit from reading other perspectives on these matters. I do enjoy seeing kids taking action and having a little moxie. These kids are learning the value of “making their own change” at a young age.