Friday, February 12, 2010

Helicopter Parents

Helicopter Parents: Parents who hover around their kids, to intervene and solve all of their kids problems resulting in restricting their activities and growth.

As the kids grow and enter college the parents morph into “Lawnmower Parents” (as coined by professors) as they attempt to smooth out and mow down obstacles in their kids social and academic lives and even reaching into their child's life to effect salary negotiations for their Childs first job after college.

One of the newer definitions to me is “Blackhawk Parents” which is a term given to those parents who cross the line and write college admission essays or do their children’s homework.

I like this one……Curling Parents: Term used in Scandinavia to describe parents who attempt to sweep away obstacles in the paths of their children.

All these would be in contrast to “Slacker parents” or “Idle Parents” who fall under the group known as “The Slow Movement” who are looking to raise “Free-range” kids which is a great concept unless you happen to live next door to them.

I do not advocate or take part in labeling or placing parents into categories. I just thought this would make a good topic considering recent events affecting our family and wondered if I fell cleanly into any one category.

I feel Jeanine and I are, for the most part, ones to step back a little and allow the children to do their own thing and learn for themselves. This may be the opposite of what I have been describing above and may be considered Non parenting to those who over parent. I see myself as one who utilizes many styles of parenting depending on the impending event or situation. If I feel there is a danger I may hover. On the other hand if I feel there is a valuable lesson or learning experience to be gained by sitting back and allowing the child to fall or fail I will do that also.

But anyway I was sitting here with Daniel and Rebecca thinking I should try and keep the blog going since this is a great venue to document thoughts, current events and to share current photos with family and friends who live far away.

This topic touches me because there have been many changes since I posted last, the biggest being the decision to take Daniel out of school (for a short time anyway). This decision did not come easily and, without going into detail, there have been events and circumstances affecting Daniels education (and sanity) that needed the immediate attention that our local schools could not provide.

So, as a start, I decided, in January, to take on the role of teacher myself. Daniel ,of course, has had mixed emotions over the whole change. From our talks I concluded that he mostly misses his teacher, one class mate and the Veggie plate they provide at lunch twice a week… (go figure, I cannot get him to touch a vegetable at home). But so far he has benefitted and has enjoyed our one-on-one time but tires quickly of my somewhat humorless and unbending morning schedule of getting down to work. After a month I am still searching for the right schedule, learning style, balance and sense of humor that will help this work for all of us.

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