Counselor's corner: Areas of concern when monitoring
by Nancy Blanchard - posted Thursday, January 17th, 2013 @ 12:00 pm
The older our children get, the more confused some of us become about how much privacy and freedom to allow them. We all know parents on both extremes — one extreme is not aware of his child's actions and will be shocked to find that his child is drinking and using drugs.
At the other extreme is what is called a "helicopter" parent, constantly hovering and allowing his child no privacy or independence whatsoever. It is easy to see why neither extreme is good for the child, but still hard to find a happy medium.
Most children who behave well and do their homework and other responsibilities without a parent having to nag should be allowed more freedom and less hovering. But if a child's grades are bad, he yells at parents about having to do homework, lies about where he has been or who he has been with, or becomes verbally abusive when given consequences, he will need to have more limits and be checked on more often. There are times when a parent needs to jump in and make changes. Some common signals are a sudden change in behavior, drop in grades, lack of interest in things he used to enjoy, or hanging out with new or less desirable friends.
Nancy Blanchard, Ed.S, NCC/NCSC, LPC is a counselor at Highland and Lenwil Elementary Schools in West Monroe.