Doug Wolter at Gospel-Centered Discipleship explains the vital difference.
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m an overprotective parent. I have a tendency to overdo it and obsess over the little things that don’t really matter. I guess that’s why I was intrigued by TIME magazine’s cover story a couple of years ago, “The Case Against Over-Parenting: Why Mom and Dad Need to Cut the Strings.”
Nancy Gibbs begins her article with these provocative words: “The insanity crept up on us slowly: we just wanted the best for our kids.”
Ironically, a good desire has led many parents to become obsessed with their kids’ safety and success. Gibbs calls them “helicopter parents” as they hover over their children’s lives from the classroom to the ball field protecting them and pushing them to succeed.
The result? By worrying about the wrong things, Gibbs says, “we do actual damage to our children, raising them to be anxious and unadventurous.” (Pediatricians have also found that this hurried lifestyle of constant pressure and stress can contribute to health problems like childhood obesity and depression).
So what’s the solution? Well, if the problem was simply hovering over our children’s lives, the solution would be to simply back off and lighten up. And there’s some truth to that! But the problem goes much deeper.
You can read the whole article here.