Helicopter Parenting

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Helicopter Parenting
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Sat, 02-23-2013 - 6:56am

In an effort to move on from the other thread, Lol......  What is helicopter parenting IYO?  Do you see it only at school or in other settings as well?  What does it look like?  Provide examples if you can, Thank you. 

 


 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 8:28am

In my limited experience I think this word has replaced what we used to call (and some still do call) overprotective parents, My parents were strict, there were rules and boundaries you didn't cross.  I am incredibly proud of that upbringing and my sister and I often reminsce about that when our dad is brought up in conversation.  Where I am puzzled is what it is about parents today that helicopter comes from, I sometimes go, I'm having a a helicopter moment b/c I need to know where DD is, I am still pretty involved in their schools and school work but if it is true that helicopter parents are afraid to let their children fail then that is not me.  My kids are pretty grounded and I smile when I hear my older DD encourage her younger sister who struggles very much in school.  The only example of helicopter that comes to mind is this:  DS has a school friend, They've been buddies for about three years and this friend's mother and I are friends too, DS has come to me and sai dthis boy tells him that he can only be HIS friend not anybody elses, The boys are 10 now and I don't like that kind of possessiveness, I'm also glad they're not in the same class anymore but they've remained friends.  My feelings are that this comes from his mom b/c she has shared with me worries for him b/c she had no friends as a kid, Helicopter?  Making sure your kid doesn't get hurt or fail b/c of your own experiences?  Maybe, But I'd rather my kid learn to make friends, perhaps feel some rejection along the way than to burden him.  Those are my rambling thoughts about "Helicopter" if there is such a thing. 

 


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2013
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 8:57am

My biggest complaint now are the parents whose kids can do no wrong. The ones that are constantly complaining over not having enough "family time". While it is a different world now and many households need two incomes, priorities need to be looked at with many families who find themselves working too much and trying to find that family time. If you are working so you can have the biggest house on the block or the nicest pool or for your kids to have the latest xbox, then you are not valuing family time. 

You also don't need to snuggle with your kids 24/7 to have family time. I have heard that because parents were out shoveling snow they didn't have family time. I don't really get that as my dh and child were outside together in the snow. One shoveling and one playing in it but my dh took breaks and played with the child. I think anything you are doing together is family time. You are spending that time with your family and communicating and doing things together. Sometimes we can all be on some type of electronic but sitting in the same room and still communicating and talking about things and showing things we find. Still family time. 

I always think that maybe I am the bad mother because I want my kids to go to school and get an education and want my kids to go out and do things with friends. I don't want them attached to my hip 24/7 and for them to think they can do no wrong. I have friends who are teachers and it is the hardest job now most of the time because of the parents. Sad as they love their jobs and can't do much to educate a child whose parent thinks they are perfect. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 9:06am
I see it here at the university when patents insist on access to their kids' course syllabi and even if they live hundreds of miles away they are calling/texting to remind kids about upcoming tests and due dates of papers. They are insisting that their kids send electronic drafts of their work so the parents can edit the paper. They are calling professors and wanting to know how their children are doing in college courses. They are expecting daily phone calls from their kids away at college. Twice in the last three years I even had a parent accompany a student to her interview for graduate admissions.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2013
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 9:23am
Wow. I feel bad for these kids as it will never end and they will never learn how to live on their own. I know I try and find a balance between all the hats I wear and it is hard. I want to be the mother who the child can dependent on and know they will help them BUT I also want to be the mother, foremost who teaches them how to go out and live on their own. I have one child who can get themselves up in the morning and do what they have to (from an early age too) and one that still needs "help". It just seems when it comes to push and shove and you talk to other parents, I look like the bad one because I am ready for my kids to go back to school on Monday, I admit they drive me nuts. lol. I also love them and love what they have done to my life. I have a richer, fuller life. I learn so much from them, good and bad. lol.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2009
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 9:23am

bordwithyou wrote:
I see it here at the university when patents insist on access to their kids' course syllabi and even if they live hundreds of miles away they are calling/texting to remind kids about upcoming tests and due dates of papers. They are insisting that their kids send electronic drafts of their work so the parents can edit the paper. They are calling professors and wanting to know how their children are doing in college courses. They are expecting daily phone calls from their kids away at college. Twice in the last three years I even had a parent accompany a student to her interview for graduate admissions.

I think the best example was when I was still a secretary and working in the company's recruiting office and after our company had sent out a job offer to a newly-graduated college student, that graduate's Mommy called us with a counter offer to our job offer.  Heh.  I thought my boss would have a heart attack.  She withdrew the offer and we went with another candidate.

It ended up in a flurry of outraged calls by said Mommy, but not one single peep from the actual job candidate. 

Mind blowing :)

And just in case the PSA actually needs saying, if you can't negotiate your own job offer without Mommy's direct intervention, you aren't old enough to have a job as a professional.  Now, if you wanna run the offer past Mom and Dad and take their advice on how to counter?  Hey, that's between you and your parents.  But when doing the actual negotiations, you need to be doing ALL the legwork yourself.  And frankly, I believe that even for part time jobs while still a minor.

************

Kitty

"If you can't annoy somebody with what you write, I think there's little point in writing."-- Kingsley Amis, British novelist, 1971 t .

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2013
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 9:27am
Wow is all I can say to that but you know what, I don't know if this surprises me with the things I have heard from my teacher friends. Oh and a very longtime friend is a police officer and was telling me (he is the same age as me) that he pulled over a kid (probably 18, 19 years old) one time. The kid called his father to tell him what happened and the father came down and had the NERVE to scream at my friend and tell him how dare he pull over his son and give him a ticket (for speeding) and to rip it up and not get him in trouble. My friend was just dumbfounded. He told him I'm sorry your son was speeding and the ticket has gone through already. THIS is what we are dealing with now.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 9:32am
Another one: About the beginning of January every year I start to get e-mail and phone queries from kids and parents who are working on National History Day competition. I will talk to any kid who calls or e-mails. I will NOT talk to parents. Some parents protest this. I will get a parent who starts a phone call with, "My child is working on a project about the Magna Carta and needs to do an expert interview. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions." I will counter with, "I will be happy to speak with your child. Here is my cell number. She can call anytime until 9 pm." I often get a, "Oh, would you mind talking to me? I am afraid Johnny wilm not know the right questions to ask." Well, if Johnny doesn't know the right questions to ask, Johnny needs to do some legwork. End of story.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2013
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 9:43am
When do these parents think these kids will be able to do anything on their own then? It is really scary. I don't get what happened to these 40 something year olds as they got older and had kids that they are like this either. Our parents made us do everything when it came to things like that. While my mom was a SAHM, she had a life outside of us and was never upset when we went to school like I hear these mothers now. They can't wait until they come home. They need to get a life then. Your children should not be the only thing in your life. Where are the husbands too? Do they just cast them aside also?
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 9:52am

  In my mind there are two kinds of helicopter parenting.

  One takes place for the most part in the house,  doing things for a child that is age appriate for them to be doing.  A 2 year old needs their clothing picked out for them every day, a 10 year old should not.

  The other (which others have mentioned) is being too involved with the child's life outside of the home, school etc.

  I kind of go by the theory of do not do for a child something they can do for themselves.  But then I have been acused on this forum at times of being a neglectful parent. 

Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 9:53am

Helicoptering to me is when the parent protects and helps the child to such an extent that it ends up being detrimental to the child's ability to function in the world.

My kid is studying abroad, and I have been asked countless times how she eats, living all by herself in a foreign country. My answer is always, "she, you know, cooks." When she told her friends about her college plans, most of them told her thy could never do that, because they would feel too lonely and afraid away from their parents, and would be afraid there might not be any food they liked in a foreign country. Many Greek parents who have kids studying away from home go to see the kids frequently for extended stays, during which the mother or grandmother cooks a bunch of food and fills up the kid's freezer. They also fedex home-cooked food from Greece. Yes, they really do that.

Then there are the parents who do the kids' homework, even when the kids are at college. It is not unusual to run into a freind who is strung out over having to write some research paper for a kid doing a master's in the UK or US.

My lawyer, who is in his 40s and divorced, does not own a washing machine. He drops his laundry at his mom's house, and then his dad brings the clean laundry for him. His parents are close to 80.

Then they are surprised when said kids have trouble finding and/or keeping a job, trouble building families of their own etc.

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