I didn’t realize it, but my column on the pitfalls of Helicopter Parenting ran last week at Pajamas Media.
Monday, November 10th, 2008, 7:21 pm | Blog bites | RSS feed
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Aah how I chucked when I read this. Interestingly I did an interview about this just last week which I posted on my blog. This really struck a chord:
Even after Johnny or Janie goes off to college — which the helicopter parent repeatedly called to plead for admission — they’re still not willing to give up their role.
Who the hell did this when we were kids? I sent my son, an only child, hundreds of miles away to school at 12. It was terribly difficult and lots of my friends rolled their eyes and let their criticisms fly. But I wanted him to learn early that there will be times when he’ll have to stand alone in life and be strong. He has no siblings and neither do I.
It turns out he’s getting a great education, having a healthy social life and he loves it. He is not looking forward to leaving high school next year but will be able to adjust away at college a lot better than the friends he left at home. I have to admit though my phone bill is steep.
I left a comment at Pajamas Media, but I’ll say more here. I spent a lot of time taking my youngest daughter to activities. She wanted to be in everything because she was interested in everything.
I finally told her that she had to make some choices. She chose ballet and violin lessons over 4-H and Girl Scouts. I think I qualify as a non-helicopter parent because I left the choice up to her.
However, I became very involved in the ballet company and chaperoned and catered orchestra events. As a result, I found I very much loved creating costumes. Oh what a joy it is to see something you’ve designed and created on stage. Especially if your daughter is one of the those wearing it 🙂
As we live 800 miles apart now, she didn’t do more than ask me for advice on the costume she is wearing to a Tudor Ball later this month. That she wished I was close enough to make it for her and that she asked for my opinion on patterns and fabrics was a great compliment.
That she was able to choose a seamstress, pattern, and fabric on her own is an even greater compliment.
I enjoyed my children a great deal and terribly miss the excitement they created while they were home. But I am so proud of the accomplishments they have made as adults that I’m glad I was able to turn their bedrooms into offices and guest rooms 🙂
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Like your son, I went to a boarding school when I was a teen. (Okay, mine was for trouble-making teens, but my parents didn’t *have* to send me there… they simply thought it might do me some good.) The independence I learned there proved invaluable when, at 16 1/2 years old, I found myself with a high school diploma in one hand and just barely enough money to rent an apartment in the other.
I’ve never once felt like my mom wouldn’t be there for me if I needed her, but I *have* always felt like it was my responsibility to first try solving my own problems before asking for her help.
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