Tag Archives: helicopter parents

Spoiled Rotten

A few weeks ago the top news story in the Northeast was about a teenage girl who was suing her parents for money.  From all accounts, it looks like she is just a spoiled little brat who was devising a plan to get all that she wanted (including keeping a degenerate boyfriend and staying out as late as 3am if she so chose to) while her parents pay for her education.

I believe the judge denied the teenager’s request and the girl went back home.  It ended well for all of us parents.  Could you imagine if she had won?  I shudder at the thought.  I was going to write this big post about how I felt about the situation.  And then this morning I had a conversation with a friend about kids today and how spoiled they are and how badly we hover.  Which could possibly be partly what happened to this child.

We live in the age of The Helicopter Parent.  We all do it.  Ok, excuse me.  Most of us do it.  There is the exception.  I have a friend who is the parent of 4 kids and she’s got these kids doing what they need to do, when they need to do it without a complaint from them.  I am in awe of her.  Still, at the end of the day, there is some overprotecting going on.  What, with all the crap we hear in the media about kids going missing, etc. how can you blame us?

But there is a price to be paid.  My generation figured it out.  My parents didn’t do it for me.  We had street smarts.  Hell, when I was 11 years old I had to walk to and from school where we lived in Yonkers.  Alone.  I lived in 7 different places in 12 years.  I had to suck it up.  I would become close with other kids, then BOOM.  The Army moved us again.  Too bad.  I had to pick myself up, brush it off and move along.  There was no time to mope and cry.  Besides I wasn’t allowed to.  Seems rough, right?  No.  It’s called life.  And quite honestly, I’m grateful to my parents for the way I was raised.

So if I was raised that way, as I’m sure most of us were, why is there so much coddling?  “Oh, let me clean your room because you have too much homework.  Oh, why don’t you take the day off of school, you need a breather.  Oh, no, you can’t walk down the street to Diane’s house, you might get stolen.”  Everything from doing their homework to calling Abercrombie to see if there is a size 1 in the faded skinny jean they just “have to have.”

I do it all the time.  Actually, I don’t do the homework.  I don’t believe in that.  Besides, my kid would fail.  Anyway, guess what?  We aren’t helping our children.  Not at all.  We make it too easy for them.

The Kid and I toured a college last week.  A college that is at the top of her list.  When we got there, I was expecting a show of extreme excitement from her.  Because she is, by nature, an easily excitable person.  She will deny this for the rest of her life, but I could tell by the look on her face that she was completely freaked out.

I’m hearing a lot of stories of kids dropping out of college lately.  Kids just not able to take the pressure.  They don’t know how to take care of themselves.  They can’t keep up with the work.  They miss mommy.  It’s scary.  What do I do to prevent this from happening to my kid?

Suddenly, we are on the final stretch of our parenting journey.  And it dawned on me that we have about 2 years to get her ready.  Because as much as I will miss her and will probably cry my eyes out for a good week after she leaves, I do not want her coming back home.  Not under those circumstances.

Oh God, I have to go.  This helicopter just ran out of gas and is plummeting to the earth.  Which is good, but I have some repairing to do.  It’s going to be a long 2 years.  Wish me luck.

Linking up with Shell

Go Outside and……Oh, Never Mind

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Remember when we were children?  There was no such thing as the video game.  We had no smart phones or computers to keep us busy.  What we did have was the Great Outdoors.  Our mother’s favorite thing to say was, “go outside and stay outside.”  I think we were only allowed to play inside of it were raining.

I remember leaving after breakfast and only coming home for lunch and dinner.  Our rule was we had to come in for good when the street light’s came on.  DH’s mom had a cow bell attached to the front of her house that she would ring to let her boys know it was time for lunch, dinner or bed.  It was a simpler time.  It was a carefree time.

When the kid was little, I remember feeling so resentful that I couldn’t let her play as I did.  Why couldn’t I?  When did it change?  I mean, I think they had just as many perverts back then as they do now, maybe even more.  My parents weren’t afraid some psycho was going to snatch us off the street.

Because I had to conform to society and because I loved my kid and was scared shitless of what the media said, I kept her in.  Safe and sound.  I remember if she played outside in the yard, I would pull up a chair. I mean, we would hear on the news that weirdo’s were coming into people’s yards and taking their children.  Out of their own yard!  That right there is some scary shit.

What are our kids going to tell their children?  Probably something that sounds a bit like this:  “When I was young, we would play Wii until the cows came home.  And there was this really cute place called a Park and all the moms would sit on the bench and watch us like hawks while we played.  I remember this one time, your grandmother had a heart attack because she lost sight of me for about 40 seconds.  Haha!  It was a trip.  You should have seen the look on her face.  We almost had to call 911 on her.”

I can totally see why we are called helicopter parents.  These poor kids will not have street smarts. My kid sometimes forgets to look both ways before crossing the street because she always assumes it’s my job.  I don’t think she can find her way out of a paper bag.  I’m afraid when she goes off to college she’s not going to know what to do.  How to navigate.  We’re going to have to pin a GPS device to her jacket.

Look, I know I’m exaggerating a bit.  I have dropped the kid off at the mall with some friends and she comes home unscathed.   I’m learning to let go a little.  Be a little less afraid.  So let’s see….three years, 6 months and approximately 1 week until she leaves for college.  A little more time for me to hover.  Then what?  Advice to give our kids who are going off to college:  don’t put your drink down and travel in packs.  Let’s hope they listen or I’ll be having another heart attack.  Or twelve.