Monday, April 30, 2012


I'm guessing that most of you have heard the term "helicopter parent." This phrase is employed to describe the kind of parents who hover over their child in an effort to be sure that everything goes perfectly well, and that no adversity or failure has opportunity to enter the child's life. Helicopter parenting describes a parent who over-functions, producing children who under-function. It's a term with a decidedly negative connotation, and up until last week I did not want to be one! But I've changed my mind, because Ive seen a new kind of helicopter parent-- a next gen kind of hovering that appeals to me. 
Let me explain-- if I do a good job of this, you may also decide to become a helicopter parent as well! I'm going to take you back to Genesis for a minute. Genesis 1:2 says this:

The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters.

I am intrigued by this picture of God, of His Spirit hovering over the chaos, disorder, darkness, matter without form. And you know the story-- that as God hovered what was in disorder became ordered, where there was darkness light came forth, chaos gave way to harmonic arrangement, emptiness yielded to fruitfulness. It's interesting that the word used for hovering or brooding actually is the word used to describe the activity of a mother bird brooding over her young to keep them warm, attending to her eggs in order that life may come forth. It's the same word used in Deuteronomy 32:11 describing the eagle at her nest:

As an eagle that stirs up her nest, that flutters over her young, He spread abroad His wings and He took them, He bore them on His pinions.

As well as the word used in Matthew 23:37 for the hen gathering her young:

 how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

And just one more from Isaiah 31:5:

Like birds hovering, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; He will protect and deliver it, He will pass over and spare and preserve it.

I hope that wasn't over-kill, but I just love these images and had the realization that I do want to be a hovering parent after all. Not the kind of parent that does everything for their child, hindering growth and life, but rather the kind that hovers in prayer, proclaiming order where there is chaos in emotions and thoughts, calling forth light into those dark places of fear and rejection and pain from the past. I see the great need for hovering over those empty areas of my child's life, areas that would have borne the healthy fruit that is the normal product of a child being safe and loved-- the fruit of attachment, security, self-confidence, peace of mind and spirit. Because I know, I am absolutely confident, that God's plan for each of my children is that they be fruitful, not empty.

And so I hover. 

I hover to gather up in the spirit that which is without form in my child, but that I know in my spirit should be there-- courage where there is fear, integrity where there is deception, attachment where there is rejection-- and watch as my child finds his God-given shape, as he finds meaning to what had been senseless, as he discovers life and light where there was a void. 

I hover in believing prayer. 
I hover in embracing prayer.
I hover to bring forth new life in my child. 
I am a helicopter parent

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  1. Love this!! That was great to read on a Monday morning :)

    1. Thank you Amber. Let's hover today! Bless you and your family.

  2. What a great post - I JUST heard the term yesterday as I was flipping through the TV and landed on the show about obsessed moms. LOL. The 15 y/o DD described her mom in that way, although unfortunately it did seem it was a bad situation. I love your re-definition of it!

    1. That's so funny that you just heard the term yesterday! It is very descriptive, don't you think? I really loved what the Lord showed me about it too. Thanks for the comment!

  3. I was actually called a helicopter mom by Lisa's Dr. But your definition is so much better! And the kind of hovering is what I'm all about! This is really helpful. I already printed it and shared it with a neighbor. Thank you!

    1. Jenni, you figured out how to leave a response! I'm so proud of you!! I do like my definition better too. It is something the Lord showed me and I got so excited about it and found that writing about it was very easy. I hope it is a blessing to your neighbor. love you!