Let me begin this tirade by saying that I am
FULLY AWARE that I am not a perfect parent.
I am far, far from a perfect parent.
Now that we've got that covered,
I'm on my soapbox today about HELICOPTER PARENTS.
Oh. My. God.
I can hardly wait for the pendulum to swing
back to somewhere near normal.
I'm not even talking about parents freaking out
about germs and safety issues,
although I could write several posts about that alone.
No, I am talking about parents getting so enmeshed in their kids' lives
that these kids are missing chances to learn valuable skills.
In one instance, a local mom recently called me.
Apparently her son and my son had had a mild disagreement
and he was upset about it.
I had heard nothing about it so I told her I would check with my son
about the situation and thanked her for calling.
Speaking to my child,
there was some confusion on his part about what the issue even WAS.
We ferreted out where there might have been a misunderstanding
and I asked him to apologize the next day at school and then move on.
Moving on is proving to be far more difficult than I had thought.
For two days now, this mom and I have had further discussions
about the incident, except that there was not even an incident worth speaking of.
I don't see why we can't just let it go.
If the boys choose to be standoffish with each other for a while,
They will work things through in their own time
and our getting involved and making a big thing out of it
isn't going to help one bit.
In another case,
my son and his friends have a very difficult Social Studies teacher.
This situation has led to my son having his first C ever
on a report card.
He was crushed.
However, we discussed what he can do to work with this teacher:
clarify assignments, read from the textbook each night and take notes
since she tests things she doesn't cover in class etc.
While this teacher should do a better job, I also know
that middle school is a great time to learn how to deal with poor teachers
and to learn how to step up your own efforts and make up for their flaws.
A C in middle school won't end the world.
This other parent is taking this much harder
and has called me several times to discuss it
and what she should do etc.
Should she pull her daughter from the class?
I don't know..
I don't think I am an uninvolved or uncaring parent.
It's not that I don't CARE that these things are happening.
But I also don't want to go making everything right for my child all the time,
easing every struggle he might have to face by taking his problems
and making them my own,
and solving them instead of gently guiding him into finding the solutions on his own.
In the long run,
our overeagerness to help our kids
will handicap them later in life.
I worry about this upcoming generation of kids
but maybe I should be worrying more about their parents.