Ask Dr. Doug: Are You a Heli-Parent?

08/12/2020
NEWS BRIEFS
Southwest Colorado confirmed COVID-19 cases by county: La Plata (269 resident, 33 non-resident), Archuleta (55 resident, 48 non-resident), Montezuma (132), Dolores (3), San Juan (6). Deaths due to Covid: Montezuma (3), Deaths among cases: LaPlata (2), Montezuma (1), sjbpublichealth.org, montezumacounty.org
Colorado COVID-19 totals: 67, 217 cases, 7, 454 hospitalized, 2,033 deaths among cases, 1,935 deaths due to COVID-19, 858, 108 tested, 681 outbreaks, colorado.gov
The Colorado COVID-19 Modeling Group reports that through late August, infection increased while hospitalizations plateaued. If physical distancing remains at 65%, we will see gradual growth in cases and/or hospital demand. covid19.colorado.gov
Governor Polis extended the face-covering order through October 12th. The next phase of re-opening is Protect Our Neighbors.

Are you a helicopter parent, always trying to protect your child from making mistakes or from the consequences of mistakes? Learn how to hold your child accountable with kindness.

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HI PARENTS. I'M DR. DOUG. I'M AFATHER OF FOUR AND A LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST IN DURANGO, COLORADO,HELPING PARENTS TO BE A BETTER LEADERS FOR THEIR KIDS. I HAD ACONVERSATION WITH A PARENT RECENTLY WHO SUFFERS FROM HELICOPTERPARENT SYNDROME. THAT'S A PROBLEM. MANY PARENTS HAVE, AND IT LOOKSLIKE A PARENT THAT HOVERS OVER THEIR KID AND SWOOPS IN WHENEVER THEYSEE THEIR KID FACE ANY CHALLENGE OR DISCOMFORT. DOES THAT SOUND LIKEYOU? YOU KNOW, NONE OF US LIKE TO SEE OUR KIDS STRUGGLE OR, OR MAKEMISTAKES, BUT YOU SEE KIDS ARE MOST LIKELY TO LEARN RESPONSIBILITYWHEN THEY ARE ALLOWED TO MAKE SMALL MISTAKES, WHEN THE PRICE TAG OFSMALL KIDS WHO ARE ALLOWED TO LEARN FROM SMALL MISTAKES EARLY IN LIFEARE FAR LESS LIKELY TO MAKE TRAGIC MISTAKES. LATER ON YOU SEE THEROAD TO WISDOM FOR OUR KIDS IS REALLY PAVED WITH MISTAKES, NATURALCONSEQUENCES FOR THOSE MISTAKES AND OUR EMPATHY, OR THERE ARE TWOTYPES OF MISTAKES.

OUR KIDS CAN MAKE AFFORDABLE MISTAKES ANDUNAFFORDABLE MISTAKES. IF YOUR KID MAKES A MISTAKE OR POOR DECISIONTHAT IS LIFE THREATENING OR TOO BIG FOR THEM TO HANDLE, THAT'S ANUNAFFORDABLE MISTAKE AND A PARENT SHOULD GET INVOLVED, BUT MANYMISTAKES ARE AFFORDABLE MISTAKES. AND IF OUR KIDS ARE ALLOWED TOLEARN FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF THOSE MISTAKES, THEY WILL BE FAR LESSLIKELY TO REPEAT THEM. PARENTS WHO RESPOND TO THEIR KIDS' MISTAKESWITH, WITH EMPATHY AND SADNESS ARE ALSO MORE LIKELY TO END UP HAVINGMORE RESPECTFUL AND RESPONSIBLE KIDS THAN PARENTS WHO RESPOND TOTHEIR KIDS' MISTAKES WITH ANGER AND FRUSTRATION AND SARCASM. YOU SEEWHEN WE LOSE OUR COOL, WHEN KIDS MAKE A MISTAKE, WE END UP BEING THEBAD GUY, ALLOWING THEM TO BLAME US FOR THE CONSEQUENCES AND ROBBINGOUR KIDS, TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN SOMETHING FROM THEIRMISTAKE. BUT WHEN WE RESPOND WITH EMPATHY AND SADNESS, WE CAN REMAINA GOOD GUY WHILE ALLOWING OUR KIDS' POOR DECISION TO BE THE BAD GUY.

WHAT DOES THAT SOUND LIKE? WELL, IT SOUNDS SOMETHING LIKETHIS. THIS IS SO SAD. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. AND YOU LEFT YOUR BIKE OUTALL NIGHT AND IT GOT STOLEN. HOW ARE YOU PLANNING TO PAY FOR ANOTHERONE OR, OH MAN, THIS IS A BUMMER. I TALKED TO YOUR TEACHER TODAY. ANDTHE SAD THING IS THAT THE TIME I SPENT TALKING TO HER ABOUT YOURBEHAVIOR WAS THE TIME I HAD SET ASIDE TO CLEAN UP THE DOG POOP IN THEBACKYARD. WHEN DO YOU EXPECT TO HAVE THAT DONE FOR ME? OR THIS ONE:I, I AM SO THANKFUL THAT YOU'RE OKAY. IT MUST'VE BEEN REALLY SCARYWHEN YOU RAN INTO THAT OTHER CAR. I LOVE YOU. AND I WANT YOU TO BEABLE TO DRIVE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. SO JUST AS SOON AS YOU HAVE THEDAMAGE PAID FOR, YOU'LL BE BACK ON THE ROAD.

YOU SEESUCCESSFUL PARENTS HAVE SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT STYLES TO USING EMPATHYAND SADNESS, BUT ALL OF THEM MANAGED TO CONVEY A, A QUICK DOSE OFEMPATHY BEFORE THEY DELIVER THE CONSEQUENCE. IN ESSENCE, SUCCESSFULPARENTS HAVE A SIMPLE, EMPATHETIC STATEMENT OR SOUND ON THE TIP OFTHEIR TONGUE TO IMMEDIATELY USE WHEN THEIR KID MAKES A POOR DECISIONOR MISTAKE. NOW, SOME COMMON EMPATHETIC STATEMENTS INCLUDE THINGSLIKE, OH, THIS IS SO SAD. OR A PARENT TOLD ME THEY USE ONE JUSTSAYING, OH MAN, ANOTHER PARENT SAID, THEY OFTEN JUST SAY, DANG.ANOTHER PARENT TOLD ME THEY LIKE TO USE THIS THINGS. ANOTHER PARENTTOLD ME, THEY JUST KIND OF SAY, OH, THAT'S NEVER GOOD. AND ONE PARENTSUCCESSFULLY USES JUST A SIMPLE SOUND OF AWE. AND THEN MY FAVORITE,MY KIDS OFTEN HEAR ME SAY, BUMMER, DUDE. NOW EMPATHY MAY JUST BE THEMOST POWERFUL PARENTING SKILL KNOWN TO HUMANKIND.

REMEMBERTHIS EMPATHY ALLOWS YOUR KID'S POOR DECISION TO REMAIN THE BAD GUYWHILE ALLOWING YOU THE PARENT TO REMAIN THE GOOD GUY. WHILE IT'S NOTALWAYS EASY TO REMAIN CALM AND EMPATHETIC WHEN THINGS GO WRONG, FEWERTHINGS SEEM TO GO WRONG. WHEN WE REMAIN CALM AND EMPATHETIC PARENTS,WE CAN ALL BE BETTER LEADERS IN OUR HOMES AND BY DOING SO, WE HAVEMORE FUN, REALLY MORE FUN, RAISING RESPECTFUL, RESPONSIBLE, ANDRESILIENT KIDS IN THIS CHALLENGING WORLD. I INVITE YOU TO SEND MEYOUR PARENTING QUESTIONS TO MY EMAIL. IT ASKS DR. DOUG@DURANGOTV.COMAND I'LL BE HAPPY TO ADDRESS THEM IN FUTURE EPISODES. I'M DR. DOUGPARENTS BE YOUR CHILD'S HERO.

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