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The Bad News About Helicopter Parenting: It Works


Replies to: The Bad News About Helicopter Parenting: It Works

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,240 Senior Member
    I was having the kids do all the contact with the schools, and it wasn't working. When my 16 year old asked if I could just do all the 'money stuff' I agreed. I didn't think it was too much to ask and I actually didn't mind. Not every 16 year old is capable of handling thousands of dollars. I didn't follow up on some things for my other daughter and we lost money.
  • gwnorthgwnorth Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    I still feel guilty that when my kids were in elementary school that I didn't advocate for them more. It all worked out in the end but only because they "lucked" into alternative programming, though it had quite a detrimental affect on my younger son's self-esteem that he has only recently in high school begun to overcome. I also joined the extracurricular rat race somewhat when they were younger exposing them to a whole host of different activities until they found ones that stuck and then it became a rat race of their own devising. It was the norm within our social group and I never thought twice about doing so. I also admit that though both my kids are very academically capable they have also in the past few years been involved with limited after school tutoring. For one son it was to make up for a lack of rigour at his middle school and their lack of support for his LD that left him I felt less than prepared for the rigours of high school. For the other I unashamedly admit it was to give him a better shot at selective post-secondary programs (and it has only been this year). When they were younger I supplemented their schooling with "after schooling" of my own devising but they were interested and academically curious. I never forced them. I was only supporting their interests (and the school was not). I have no illusions as to how fortunate that we have been to be able to do so nor with regards to being able to have a dedicated parent at home, but refuse to feel guilty about being able to provide my kids with the type of parenting that all children should have access to. I do feel sad however that not all children do. I have never "helicoptered" in the sense of doing my kids' homework or interfered with their teachers (which I should have done more of when they were younger). We did however set a high bar of expectations for our kids, because we knew they were more than capable, and provided support for them to be able to achieve. As far as I'm concerned that's what parents should do. I will freely admit that DS19 has had the added benefit of having a peer group that is predominantly high achieving girls from a cultural background that values academic achievement and puts a fair amount of pressure on them to do so. I haven't had to push him with regards to academics and I haven't had to "craft" his extracurricular path since elementary school in large part because of him internalizing the values of his peer group.

    I did lament to some friends the other day that I haven't felt like a true parent to DS19 for a number of years. He is quite self-sufficient and responsible. He hasn't needed a true parent in quite a number of years. As a result our relationship has evolved into me being more of a coach or a mentor. I suppose that that's ultimately what our relationship with our children should evolve to as they get older and from that perspective I guess I have been successful in my job of raising them to be self-sufficient contributing members of society, but on the other hand it's been a bit sad letting go.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,936 Senior Member
    FWIW There is helicopter parenting in sports as well in academics.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,936 Senior Member
    Decades ago, helicopter parenting seemed to be limited to parents pushing a child into a career as a physician. In every instance with which I am familiar, it worked.
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 2,004 Senior Member
    "FWIW There is helicopter parenting in sports as well in academics."

    Sports could be worse than academics, because it's been around longer and parents think that a bad call by the umpire or bad coaching is keeping their kid from the majors or NBA! Just attend a little league game or maybe a club soccer game as well. Parents abusing and hurling profanities at referees can be nasty, it makes helicopter parents abusing teachers a love fest.
  • droppeditdroppedit Registered User Posts: 1,029 Senior Member
    I hate to be "that* person ... but doesn't it depend on the kid? I don't see any way to pick the "right" choice for parenting in general. About all we can say is that the "neglectful" style is wrong. For example, friends of ours have two girls and they're totally different, like night and day. One was studious and serious, the other was somewhat of a bully and mean/clique-ish. Same house, same parents. How could you use the same parenting style with both?

    Similarly, other friends also have two girls a couple of years apart. I could see that the oldest was "edgy" but not inappropriate around us. I also noticed that she was always hoarse, something I attributed to allergies. It turns out that she was a complete monster at home. The hoarseness was from her yelling all the time there. It got so bad that the mom took all of the furniture out of her room and said she could get it back piece-by-piece if she behaved!

    I told D18, when she was home for college break a few weeks ago, how fortunate we were to have her as our kid. I guess we were "permissive" parents (I didn't read the article but that's what she told us compared to her friends) because she never gave us a reason to be otherwise.
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 37,369 Super Moderator
    MODERATOR'S NOTE: Please remember that the Terms of Service apply to all threads. I had to delete a few posts.
  • gwnorthgwnorth Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    @droppedit wrote:
    I told D18, when she was home for college break a few weeks ago, how fortunate we were to have her as our kid. I guess we were "permissive" parents (I didn't read the article but that's what she told us compared to her friends) because she never gave us a reason to be otherwise.

    I have no illusions about the fact that the reason I've been able to be relatively hands off with my kids, at least once they were out of elementary school, is because of their temperaments. They've both been relatively easy kids to parent once they got a little older. As young children they were a bit difficult only because meeting their intellectual needs was quite demanding and they were both very emotionally sensitive which they expressed differently. With DS19 I rarely even had to raise my voice to him let alone employ any stronger discipline. Just knowing I was disappointed with him was enough to make him cry. DS21 was also very emotionally sensitive but whereas DS19 would internalize his feelings DS21 was much much more intense. He had difficulties handling his frustrations and had a tendency to hit. When he got upset he absolutely needed time outs to calm down but fortunately it would blow over fairly quickly. Until it did though you would have thought that the world was ending. He slowly outgrew that tendency as he got older and became better able to manage his emotions. Since they've become teenagers it's actually become very easy to parent them and I've become much more hands off. They aren't your stereotypical moody teens. Our household is quite peaceful unlike the stories I get from some of my friends and their teens. My in-laws would argue that I coddled them too much but their parenting style was very definitely authoritarian. I may be fairly permissive and give them lots of freedom but I trust their judgement. They are polite, respectful kids, and do very well in school, so I guess it's been the right approach for them.
  • gpo613gpo613 Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    I have never exchanged emails or talked to one of my D19 HS teachers. There were a few times in middle school I scheduled a retake of a test(Totally within the normal rules of the school) by email. My D19 and D23 know the expectations they are under, which is do your best.

    In the college app process I have been on my D19 to get things done. She is tired of writing merit essays, but almost done. I don't read any of them unless she wants me to and that has been one college essay. I don't know her portal passwords or anything.

    My wife advocates for D23 because of her 504 plan for nut allergies, but that is life or death so we are going to be a little crazy. She got good with the school now.

    We are stern parents, but we aren't going to make our kids crazy. A friend once told me that a parent's job is to get your kid into the state flagship school and anything beyond that is up to the kid. It is true.

    After all of that we are probably known as strict parents, but really we aren't. We just care and will intervene when needed.

  • natty1988natty1988 Registered User Posts: 206 Junior Member
    Every kid is different. Heck, every parent and family is different. It's not a one size fits all solution. Some kids need more supervision and guidance then others. I do think it is appropriate for parents to do their kid's schoolwork for them...helping is ok, doing it is not.
  • natty1988natty1988 Registered User Posts: 206 Junior Member
    edited February 12
    @MaineLonghorn that would be ideal to have the kid talk to their teacher themselves, but sometimes the kid may never talk to the teacher making the problem even worse. I've seen instances where the teacher writes "Please see me" on their assignment and the kid never does anything. Then the teacher has to call the parents...
    There is no one size fits all and some kids do need more guidance. And sometimes the parents need to intervene before the problem gets worse...
    On some occasions having mom or dad intervene might be enough to motivate the kid to get back on track
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