Helicopter Parenting – How Low Should You Go?

My daughter’s right leg is currently in plaster.  Before the age of two she has suffered a fractured metatarsal, damage to a bone in her foot.  It is a common injury in professional footballers and dancers.

She incurred her damage jumping off the bed.

“Mummy called the doctor and the doctor and the doctor said, ‘No more monkeys jumping on the bed.'” I know, I know.  But she wasn’t even bouncing up and down on the mattress.  She was simply sitting on the edge of the bed, making faces at herself in the mirror, with her legs dangling down, and I was right beside her.

Then she decided to slide down the six inches to the floor and she simply landed badly.  She was obviously in a lot of pain and once the tears subsided she tried to stand and they started again.  A dose of painkillers and an hour later she still refused to put weight on her right foot. So off we were to Accident and Emergency, not for the first time in her short life.  And three hours later she left covered in bandages and stickers, with a big grin on her face.

Childs leg in plaster with stickers on
She could be in plaster for up to eight weeks (Nursery Whines)

From a parenting perspective I did everything I could… after impact.

But could I have prevented this ‘accident’?

Just like her clumsy mother, she is always tripping and bumping.  Grazed knees, a chipped front tooth, fat lips, eggs on the head – she’s had them all.  And now this.

What more could I (should I?) be doing?

I have joked about covering her in bubble wrap. Or making her wear one of those inflatable Sumo suits. Encasing her in a Zorb like The Boy In The Bubble.  But there was a moral to that tale.

Must I hover ever closer to my child as she explores the world and try to hold her back in case of unforeseen dangers?

Stop her trying to climb the steps to the big slide? Keep her from running off ahead in the park?  Rein in her inquisitive nature and tame her adventurous spirit?

Child playing in a sandpit
When it comes to a broken foot – you can bury your leg in the sand, but not your head (Nursery Whines)

She long ago found her independence and she relishes every chance to exercise it – taking great pleasure in ordering, “Mummy, away!”, when she wants to do things herself.

As for being an invalid, she is certainly taking it in her stride.  She is not in any pain while she is not putting weight on her foot and has quickly adapted to life in plaster – crawling or knee-walking about as determinedly and as intrepidly as ever.

I don’t think I need to be circling any closer than I already am.

There are plenty of things I do tell her not to do because they are dangerous. I’d describe myself as a moderately relaxed parent, but it’s not like I hand her a pair of scissors and shout, “Ready, steady, go!”

My daughter is finding her own way in the world and I have decided to keep observing from a distance.

Child with a bandaged leg wearing sunglasses and smiling while sitting in a swing
Getting into the swing of things (Nursery Whines)

I can’t always be there to catch her. But I can be there to kiss it better.

And for the record – for this little monkey – there will be more jumping on the bed.

One Messy Mama
Pink Pear Bear
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6 thoughts on “Helicopter Parenting – How Low Should You Go?

  1. Oh no, poor thing. I have two very accident prone children and I always feel like I’m on a knife edge but I try not to let it show and let them explore and be daring and adventurous as I think it’s important for them. Hope she heals quickly x
    #Bigpinklink

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  2. Oh hun! 8 weeks in a leg cast 😭🙈 I feel your and her pain. I hope you’re all coping ok.
    My middle one broke his arm at school the day before we were due to go on holiday at lunchtime 3 hours before school finished for easter holidays 🙄 It was an innocuous tackle playing football and it couldn’t have been prevented but it didn’t stop me from feeling awful about it happening. This parent guilt eh?! I’m glad your little monkey will be able to carry on jumping on the bed – you’re a fab mummy and you’re right, we can’t stop things from happening all the time but cuddles and love after are what we do best. Good luck for the remaining weeks and thanks for joining #bigpinklink x

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  3. This is such a hard topic for me, With regards to adventures and physical activities, yes, absolutely observe from a distance. However, we live in such a scary world, so with some things, I will hover like a Mama Dragonfly 🙂 Your little Poppet is such a trooper…. How cute is that cast? #globalblogging

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  4. Accidental Hipster Mum

    Oh bless her! I doubt you even could have prevented it! It’s not like she was doing anything insanely dangerous. My little by is always landing funny and balancing precariously while he pushes me away. You can’t stop them from exploring.

    I hope she heals quickly!

    Thank you for liking up with #StayClassyMama, I hope you can join again next time!

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  5. One of the twins broke her wrist at age two. She loved her cast so much she sobbed when they took it off. Very similiar – fell strange and crack.

    Thanks for linking up to #globalblogging

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