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'Hands-Off Parenting' Approach Lets Kids Learn On Their Own

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A different way of bringing up children is also raising eyebrows.

Some call it "lazy parenting," but others say it's really "hands-off parenting."

Kristina Choe is a self-proclaimed "helicopter mom." The Jackson Heights mother said she constantly trails behind her two kids, whether at the park or at home.

"I definitely make sure he brushes his teeth, and make sure both shoes are on correctly, both socks match," she said.

But she may find her tactic is fading. Other parents are embracing a hands-off technique, when the best support is less support.

"I am not a helicopter mom. I am not a crazy, crazy parent like that," said Lucille Morales.

"I think it makes sense to let them explore on their own and just see what interests them," Erika Leyva said.

The idea is to let your kids grow on their own and learn lessons for themselves, while you step back a bit.

Experts say parents should allow children to watch educational TV shows and refuse to buy them toys in order to stimulate imagination in other ways.

"That's something that is fundamental to childhood – this separation," said Lenore Skenazy, parenting expert and president of the nonprofit Let Grow, which aims to reduce overprotecting of children. "If you want to be the wind beneath your kids' wings, you have to say, 'I believe in you, go.'"

Skenazy said there is a huge difference between this approach and neglect. You should always make sure your child is safe, but it's OK if they get minor scrapes sometimes.

"Most of us have something in our past when something went wrong and we had to rise to the occasion," she said. "And we're are grateful for it, because it showed us our mettle."

Experts say this also helps parents, since it gives them more time to themselves.

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