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Hard Lesson Learned from a Broken Hearted Helicopter Parent

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Replies to: Hard Lesson Learned from a Broken Hearted Helicopter Parent

  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1534 replies30 threads Senior Member
    Maybe I missed it but what was the hard lesson learned from being a helicopter parent? Would you have done anything different?
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  • porcupine98porcupine98 1593 replies27 threads Senior Member
    Don't beat yourself up. You can't predict this stuff. My parents didn't helicopter. I did the heavy lifting to get myself into college. And I still crashed and burned for a while. It's a tough age. He'll dust himself off when he needs to.
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  • LittleStitiousLittleStitious 34 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I appreciate you posting this. I have had to do the same thing with my lazy and immature son to get him through high school, but I think it was the right thing to do. I honestly think if I had let go he would have failed or dropped out and that is a really terrible thing that research has shown practically guarantees a life of poverty, So I am sending him off to college and I fully expect he will have a similar experience to your son’s. Luckily we have the money for his first year in a 529 so I am at peace with the expense. My big worry is that he is honestly a very difficult person to live with who does not obey our house rules. So, we are not going to allow him to live here if he fails out of college. Expecting a very ugly scene next spring if he doesn’t have a miraculous growth in maturity.
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  • PublisherPublisher 8532 replies91 threads Senior Member
    Delighted to read of your son's rapid maturation !

    As an aside, my son attended boarding school & two brothers from a very wealthy family had a personal secretary assigned to them & had one of the family owned helicopters at their disposal. They both excelled. So not all helicoptering is bad. :)
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  • sbgal2011sbgal2011 274 replies21 threads Junior Member
    It's good to know I'm not the only in this boat. I will continue to post periodically on how he is doing. @Dustyfeathers , thanks for sharing your story. The Life Coach perspective is something I had not considered, but it rings true. I'm going to keep that in mind as I continue to guide my adult children.
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  • shoot4moonshoot4moon 1102 replies178 threads Senior Member
    I think that you should print out and reread bjkmom's post daily. I totally empathize. D1 was/is super smart, but also had "application" issues. I knew that she had and was being medicated for ADHD. At the time, I saw some of these issues as lack of motivation, and they made me out of my tree crazy. Like you, I helicoptered (is that a verb?) like crazy throughout K12. It's a tough choice - do we helicopter to allow their brains to catch up with their peers, or do we let them fail and reduce their options when they do mature. Forgive yourself. I am sure that you made the very best decision that you could at the time, and (if you are like me) obsessed over it while making those decisions. We were accidentally fortunate in that she overheard me venting to my husband one day in sophomore year about how mad it made me, and she looked so crushed that I verbally committed to stopping, as I realized that I was losing the relationship in pursuit of "a good college." It is SO EASY to have your eye on that "prize" and lose the big picture! Simultaneously, she visited some colleges, and a fire was lit. SHE asked "what can I do to get in" and we elected to hire an outsider to "coach" her on the steps to get "there." It was tough - the coach was chosen without personal recommendations, and turned out to be weak. As an educator specializing in special needs, I could have done a much better job. IF it wasn't my child. My tongue was so sore from biting it. That said, our relationship improved dramatically. She was successful in college, and is working in her field now, but it could have just as easily gone your son's way. At this point, in my opinion, I think you should consider (1) apologizing for pressuring and pushing him toward your dream (he needs to hear this) (2) Reiterate to him that you think he is smart and capable and able to forge his own path (3) Focus on building a warm and supportive relationship with him regardless of what relatively menial(being honest) job he chooses first and (4) let his brain mature. He is clearly not a straight path kid, and that's just fine!!! You have learned your lesson - he is one that needs to be in control of his own destiny, even though he has not proved his good sense to date. If he does decide to go to a community college, I would encourage him using the community college counselling services early on. You did the best you could with the information you had. Hindsight is always 20/20. Hang in there!!!
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  • websensationwebsensation 2119 replies39 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2018
    OP, keep in mind that some people do not try hard in academic settings, but work very hard in other settings. I could never study hard in school setting and got by barely to get degrees and understand concepts good enough to get C+s or Bs, but was able to work very hard with dedication in business world. The fact your kid is working hard shows he is not a lazy kid. Getting good grades is not for everyone.

    I thank my mom who signed all permission slips to skip school. Lol
    edited September 2018
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  • emk2000emk2000 5 replies5 threads New Member
    edited October 2018
    Just want to add that community college is a good option for other types of students as well. I did super well in high school. I had such big goals and thought anything was possible. I was so happy to get a top scholarship at UC Davis, into their environmental and ag college which is one of the best in the country. It became my identity and I was obsessed with it before going. Then I got there. When my life didn't immediately meet my expectations, I lost it. I became unhealthily depressed and left quickly. I knew I was giving up an incredible opportunity, but that I simply wasn't ready. Even as a top student in high school I should've considered local options and community colleges too. I was so focused on the ideals and dreams of my college experience that I didn't look at the reality of my living situation. It was simply too much of a shock too fast. Luckily I still have a clean transcript ready for me to excel at a local school, but I must say it's hard to not think about the life I could've had and the opportunities I gave up.
    edited October 2018
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 42064 replies453 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    Thanks for the update. This is great news!
    I'm sure it was harrowing and stressful. But it does help -- and shows a path for others.
    Next step: confirming the great strides, no backsliding :)
    edited December 2018
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5876 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Good for him, @sbgal2011 ! Life isn't a race - sounds like he's getting the hang of it!
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  • SweetSoulMusicSweetSoulMusic 17 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Thank you for the update!
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