Tag Archives: “helicopter”

When Helicopter Parenting Crashes and Burns

In the wake of the recent college admissions scandal, my concern is with the students who are waking up to a whole new vision of themselves. Many of them from fifty known families—so far—apparently knew none of what their parents were up to—until now.

Some received a sports scholarship in a sport never played using photoshopped headshots; some had their SAT and ACT tests corrected by paid off proctors; some even had their tests taken for them. Coaches at the elites took huge amounts of money from an agent of a falsified non-profit who took even more from parents desperate to give their children a prestigious resume and a bumper sticker for their cars. The illegal non-profit allowed the parents to deduct their payments as donations.

Imagine what it must feel like to be that college student oblivious to what got you accepted? What happens to any trust you have in your parents—or any trust you thought they had in you? And then to find out your parents are under arrest for their illegal conduct. How could you not feel inadequate in your parents’ eyes knowing what they did to get you in? How must it feel to assume you deserved admittance only to learn oodles of money was your ticket?

read more
10 Ways to Stop Helicopter Parenting
Helicopter mom
Helicopter parents not only take too much responsibility for their children and fix their problems to protect them from upset or disappointment, they also tend to be overly punitive by not taking responsibility for themselves and blaming their children for their own problems.

When boundaries are poor, a parent tends to bleed the line between her problems and her children’s, unable to tell the difference. If she has a problem—exhaustion, impatience, upset—she may make it her child’s problem by reacting punitively and lashing out with blame or criticism for her child’s annoying behavior. If it’s her child’s problem—anger over being told what to do, forgetting homework, getting a bad grade—she may make it her problem by taking responsibility for it, fixing it or trying to making it go away.

When boundaries are not strong and a parent hovers to closely, the child learns to depend on the parent to step in, even in ways he doesn’t like, and so can relinquish responsibility. As he grows, he may lash out hostilely at his parent for creating the dependency he has grown accustomed to.

The most important counter action to helicopter parenting is consciousness-raising on the part of the parent to see the patterns that get established. Becoming aware of tendencies from her own background that prompt her to hover, protect, and control can release the ties and initiate the letting go process.

read more
Is Your Graduate Ready for Graduation?

If your child is graduating from kindergarten, elementary school or middle school, the next step is obvious. Worse-case scenario is repeating a grade. Many high school graduates will go on to college. But for those at the end of their academic journey, there is the world at large waiting for them. Most parents are left with the big question at the end of their active parenting years: Will they be embraced or will that world knock them down? For most graduates, anxiety may grow to major proportion: Can I make it? Will I be able to earn a living? Can I afford a place to live? Am I ready for this? Will I fail?

Whether a job is waiting or not, more and more adult children are moving back home for both financial and emotional support. Many situations are positive with another wage earner helping make ends meet. But the growing population of adult children unable to find jobs and continuing to live off mom and dad does not bode well for our economy and the future of our youth.

Graduation means commencement, start, launch—into what? Are your children truly prepared? Is the world prepared for our children? Much of the situation we can do nothing about. But we can do our best at preparing our children for this day with a slow, gradual launching process over many years.

read more