Friday, April 4, 2014

Helicopter parents...ugh!

You know the phrase. The media has coined this term for us. Can you imagine!?!? :) Me a helicopter parent? A friend forwarded me a segment from 20/20 about this subject and I have to say, watching it made me cringe, made me a wee bit defensive, and quite a bit of "I don't do that" ... do I? No, I don't. What I do do is definitely struggle with "letting go". That's why running things by my friends who've been here before me, or are experiencing this with me with their own kids, are saviors.
I remember way back when my mother strongly urged me to send our eldest to cooperative nursery school. It was good advice. Not only was the price tag more affordable, but there I was able to see once a week my daughter with her peers, I got to know other parents to bounce ideas off of, I got to check and see if what my daughter was doing was on par with the other kids...we didn't have the internet then to compare notes or have discussions on blogs with or websites to go to, we depended on that interface, on that exchange. It also paved the way or should I say sealed the deal with being sure to volunteer in the classroom when the kids were going through school. That was another great way to find out what was going on. But now that they're "launched", just how involved can or should you be? The million dollar question.
I really like the analogy Deborah Golder, Dean of Residential Education at Stanford University uses on this subject of 'letting go' and allowing our kids their independence and to live independently from us and we need to learn to live independently again too. "It’s like learning to hit a ball. In the end, the student has to swing the bat. If your parent is there, holding on to the bat and not letting go, you can’t learn. Parents can stand on the sidelines and give advice, like “keep your eye on the ball.” But let the student be the one out there swinging the bat." Hear! Hear! Well said.
I blogged about this idea of letting go and not being that helicopter parent they talk about before. Check out Transitions: Part One from High School to College.
It's a constant struggle, I won't lie. And it seems to be ongoing, but for now I'm watching the game from the sidelines, and loads of "keep your eye on the ball!!!"

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