If there ever was one of those busy days after a holiday, this one was beyond being one. After my stacked appointments were over at 2:00 p.m, one of my dear clients walked into the office, and as the door closed I raised my hands high and yelled, “I made it! I got through all of my stacked after-the-holiday appointments!” She laughed and said, “I’m just glad I don’t have to watch the so closely clock anymore.” I went on to say, “I really don’t mind it except I worry about one of them going over the expected time frame and then playing catch up the rest of the day.” After we finished up with her business, we fell into a general chat about one thing which lead to another where she mentioned a neighbor down the street being a “helicopter mom”. I laughed and said, “I’ve never heard that expression.” She went on to describe what her definition of a helicopter mom was which made me laugh all the more. I said, “Oh Mercy! You’ve just opened the door to my memory re-call and many names and faces of those helicopter moms are filtering through. I did a little research on helicopter parenting and found that it is just another term for cosseting. There’s been books written about it, as well as even a movie comedy called, “Helicopter Mom”. One of the comments about the advent of cell phones being given to children was, “I’ve found children being given cell phones creates the world’s longest umbilical cord.” No wonder there are so many young ones driving around with their cell phones either up to their ears or in one hand and likely texting when they think nobody’s watching.
After remembering the most vivid examples of helicopter parents, I’ve come to the conclusion they criss-cross all socio-economic levels. Some may think if a parent has only one child it’s a reason to cosset, but I’ve seen it happen with two or more offspring. I’m sure all of you when thinking about it, can come up with a long list of helicopter parents you personally know. The unfortunate thing about this form of behavior is that it has a long term negative effect on those being cosseted far into adult lives. I’ve even seen this helicopter parent scenario reach to the extent of a parent or parents allowing their children to do all those “adult” things right under the roofs of their homes without even thinking twice about possibly setting their children up for some very bad situations which would likely have negative effects on them for the rest of their lives.
I copied the following cleverly written signs of someone being considered a helicopter parent. Too funny!
1. You have the cell phone numbers of all of your kids’ teachers on speed dial — and you’re not shy about calling.
2. You enlisted the services of a preschool admittance essay adviser in your second trimester.
3. You started a line of kids clothing with built-in tracking devices.
4. Your child is your best friend.
5. You attend, observe, and videotape every dance class, and then learn all of the routines so you can practice together.
6. After your tot and a friend set up a lemonade stand, you ask the friend’s mom for a letter of recommendation highlighting your 6-year-old’s business acumen.
7. You see nothing wrong with personally taking down that 8-year-old bully (and her mother) who didn’t let your lil one in the clubhouse.
8. Your 4-year-old orders Chinese food. In Chinese.
9. All potential playmates and their parents must cooperate with a thorough background check.
10. You don’t count Cornell as a real Ivy. In ten years, your child will only be applying there as a safety school.
I hope all the helicopter parents out there read this and take notice because we will be watching.