Ask any person who grew up during the 1970s and 1980s how they spent their free time, chances are that they went out in the morning and roamed the neighbourhood with fellow children until dinner time or when the street lights came on. Now ask that question to someone who grew up after 2000, chances are that their answer is completely different, they didn’t go out and venture for hours on end. In 2014, a mother was arrested after leaving her 9-year-old to play at the park while she went to work.

Two types of parenting styles have emerged over the years, the helicopter and the lawnmower parent.

Helicopter parents, the more well-known of the two, spend a lot of time hovering over their child. They’ll always be around their child and often before it’s needed they will fly to direct, help or protect them. Meanwhile, a lawnmower parent is always one step ahead of their child making sure nothing gets in their path.

The level of parent involvement today has risen above and beyond of what was put forth back in the 70s and 80s, but at what cost to the child?

Giving a child chances and support helps them to gain experiences, confidence and networks that they wouldn’t have the chance to do in another setting, but there’s a difference between helping your child succeed and feeding them with the silver spoon.

Giving your child the freedom to take risks while they play outdoors can benefit their development. Let them be a child. Climbing, jumping from heights and hanging upside down on the monkey bars are prime examples of letting a child take risks outdoors. This will allow them to solve dilemmas, test their limits and even learn what happens when they fall.

Many parents become a helicopter or lawnmower parent due to their fear of their child being abducted while playing outside unsupervised. Fear not parents, it’s highly unlikely! Kids are far more likely to be kidnapped by someone they know – even a parent – than a stranger.

Keeping your kid busy all the time can also hinder their development. It’s totally normal for a child to become bored, and with that comes creativity and problem-solving.

Always hovering over a child or doing things for them can backfire on a parent. Kids that have been raised by a parent that intervenes more than needed are more than likely to experience anxiety. Constantly being rescued can also hamper someone’s confidence. Meanwhile, kids who were left to play alone without their parents they meet challenges and learn to solve them, while raising their creativity skills.