The other day, I ran into a youth ministry graduate who's now coaching summer sports. His job brings him into lots of contact not just with his students (who range in age from 5 – 15), but their parents. As we talked, he began reflecting on his interaction with parents. According to him, there are three types of parents:
- Helicopter parents are those who hover over their child, dangerously close, never letting them gain any age-appropriate independence.
- Airplane parents are those who circle their child at a respectable distance. These parents give their child an appropriate amount of autonomy. They remain close enough to protect and support their child but they balance this with a fair amount of freedom that enables their child to thrive and make new discoveries on their own.