How not to be a helicopter parent

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Thousands of students will soon start their freshman year at the University of Louisville and with those students come a lot of emotions.

Some can even be described as the dreaded "helicopter parent," a term often used to describe overly involved parents who over-steer and overprotect. Hovering over their kids who can't make decisions on their own.

While Glenn Gittings isn't a fan of the label "helicopter parent" as head of the Parents Association at U of L he sees first hand how hard it can be for mom and dad to walk away.

"Our goal is to get the parent family member to switch from always being the one that took the student to practice and scheduled all their things to being more of a coach or a mentor and a guide," said Gittings.

Rachel Mattaline teaches parenting classes through Norton Children's Medical Associates. The behavioral health therapist says it's never too early to start giving your kids space and stop hovering.

She offers these tips for allowing your child to thrive.

Give kids the tools to make decisions on their own and equip them with the skills they need.

"Talking to them openly, having open conversations with your children about what's right what's wrong, what's good what's bad, said Mattaline."

Let kids make mistakes and let them fail.

"Kids learn is by making a mistake and correcting it later, added Mattaline." "self confidence goes down if mom and dad are always there making decisions for them."

Always let kids know you're there if they need you.

"It's important to know for kids as the parent that you're always going to be there to pick up the pieces if need be, but that you will also allow for children to make decisions on their own, said Mattaline."

By starting early it will make the transition just a little easier once kids are ready to leave the nest.

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