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Teaching loved ones to carry their umbrellas

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

“I have to enter the kitchen to do something and my wife rushes in asking what I want, what she can do etc. Can’t I do something for myself in the kitchen? In spite of telling her so many times, she hovers around. What can go wrong? If I spill something, I will clean it up. If I don’t find something I need, I will ask. Why can’t I have that freedom in my kitchen?”

“My brother is like, don’t buy anything online without me being there. Don’t operate your bank account without my help. I feel like when will I learn about it. Yes sometimes I may make a mistake but how will I learn without making that mistake. Why does he have to act like I am some imbecile child who needs support all the time? I do find it stifling at times”

We have heard of the term “Helicopter Parenting”. They are parents who hover over their children all the time, 24x7 wanting to ensure that their child does no wrong, does not get hurt (physically, emotionally, intellectually) in any way by anyone, does not make wrong relationships and so on. They don’t want to leave their children unescorted, unsupervised for even a short period of time. They wrongly think this is care, concern and love. They don’t think of this as a control issue which it is.

Is it their need to be protected or your need to control?

In the same way, we can have helicopter spouses and helicopter siblings. People who take it on themselves to protect and safeguard their loved ones from all kinds of hurt, injury, loss etc. This is an issue of boundaries and ‘over-responsibility’. People taking over other people’s lives completely. When we love someone it does not mean that we have to protect them from all kinds of harm and injury. We can teach them, educate them about risks and then leave it to them to experience life. By making our loved ones over-dependent on us we hamper their growth and build resentment in them towards us. Life loves freedom - whether that life is in a child or an adult. Learning to let go of control and teaching others responsibility to enhance harmony in relationships. Teach loved ones to carry their umbrellas in the rain instead of carrying it for them all the time.

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