The Ministry of Education (MOE) appears to be making a similar push to weed out such excessive parenting practices.
Earlier this month, it put up a Facebook post highlighting examples of helicopter parenting, such as debating with a teacher to get one more mark, or taking homework to school for a child when he forgets to take it along with him.
“You want to help,” wrote MOE in the post that has since amassed more than 2,000 shares. “But do you know that (helicopter parenting) may hinder your child from being independent, savvy and street-smart?”
There is no specific MOE directive on the issue of delivering items to children, but an MOE spokesman said schools are free to decide how to work with parents to support students’ holistic development.
An example of what the MOE has done to encourage independence in students is the move to make daily cleaning compulsory in all schools here since the end of last year.
In most cases, schools which have imposed guidelines against delivery of forgotten items make exceptions for necessities. Coral and Radin Mas Primary, for instance, said they allow the delivery of essential items like medicine or spectacles.
Schools may also provide resources for pupils who need them.
Bukit Timah Primary, for example, said the school can lend pupils money for recess or lunch, while Rosyth School’s general office has school uniforms for borrowing.
Psychologist and parenting coach Anita Shankar said the move by schools to discourage helicopter parenting was a “timely and important” change.
As for Mr Lim, he accepts the guidelines, saying he does not think that they are excessive. “I may be guilty of being a helicopter parent at times, but it has dawned on me that it’s important to teach my son that he has to bear the consequences if he forgets to take an item to school.”
A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.
(Photo and graphics: The Straits Times)