Confessions of a Helicopter Mom
Reflecting on my parenting skills, I realized I am a helicopter parent. What is the definition of a helicopter parent? I would have to say it means a parent who involve themselves in every aspect of her children’s life. The helicopter parent often makes educational decisions for her children. In the day and age, we live in, is that a really bad idea?
My mother was strict when I was growing up, but she did not interfere with every aspect of my life or my educational goals. She dropped me off at college and I was completely on my own. Times have truly changed since then.
As a parent of two millennial daughters, I find myself getting too involved in their lives and decision making about college choice, education, friends, finances, etc. I want to provide them the support that I wished I had grown up. I know some people feel that today’s parents need to allow their children to be truly on their own especially when they enter high school and college.
In my work with students, I recommend that parents stay involved in their child’s life after high school on into the first two years of college. College students have a transitional period during the first year that consists of letting go of high school and embracing a new environment, making new friends, making decisions. Some students tend to do well and some not so well. College students during their first years, go through so much emotionally, physically and academically. Helicopter parents can be there for support and guidance as students adjust to being on their own.
As a parent and educator, I can assure you that my snooping, nagging, and monitoring came with a price. My children see me as overbearing, but I see myself as being proactive and getting prepared for any situation and or problem or concern. In the end it has worked out for my children, they know that my; expectations of them performing well academically, spiritual and socially is a life goals that I have for them.
My advice to parents: don’t be too hard on yourself if people call you a helicopter parent because in the end it will pay off. Parents are the most influential persons in the lives of the children. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to continue guiding your children through the journey of higher education and workforce.
I wouldn’t trade anything for being a helicopter parent. I can honestly say that it worked out and my children were successful.
Were you or do you know someone who is a helicopter parent? Leave a comment about your thoughts.
Regina Middleton, M.S. M.Ed.
RM Academic College Consultant