Call Me Helicopter Parent One More Time

My husband and I make our daughters’ education a high priority, and we have always insisted they do their best. We get to know the parents of our daughters’ friends and drive them to their play dates.

(Do you hear the whirring of the blades yet?)

When my kids have been right, I’ve taken their sides, even against adults. When one elementary school wasn’t working for my youngest, we found another that was a better fit.

I prepare separate meals according to my children’s taste preferences and cut off the crusts of the sandwiches I make for lunches.

(I know you want to call me Helicopter Parent.)

Or maybe you don’t want to because you were the mom who verified with me today that your son submitted all of his assignments for the high school literature class I teach (he did). We exchanged email high fives over how responsible he’s become. We were a good team in support of a good young man.

Or maybe you don’t want to because you’re the mom I know who is working with your son to make sure his financial package is in order for his first year of college.  You could let him figure it out on his own. He is eighteen, after all. But instead you decided to approach the process as a collaboration with your son. Now he’s all set to enter the premier program he earned his way into.

I mean, we could just let our kids duke it out in life the way we say we did. Except that as college admissions grow more competitive and attendance more costly, the economic necessity of a degree has increased. Is there any question why so many of my fellow parents are doing the most for their kids?

I’ve been an elementary through high school teacher for a lot of years. I’m just one person and not a study, I get that. But in my career I’ve met maybe five parents total who wanted for their children what they had not earned. Overbearing parents are not the norm, at least not in my twenty plus years in eight different public, private, and charter schools.

As a teacher, I see a rising generation that knows that they are not in this world alone. There are people who have their backs, and the kids are eager to be of service to others themselves.

As a parent, I have made sure my daughters know how to manage their money, advocate for themselves, and contribute. My goal in parenting is to raise capable, resilient people who are brave, financially independent and see the value of community. They just haven’t had to get to that point by themselves.

So call me a helicopter parent, if you must. I’ll be over here cutting off the crusts of my daughter’s sunflower seed and jam sandwich (she doesn’t like peanut butter, don’t hate),  calling myself a parent.

Birds, planes, helicopter parents. Whichever.


The forthcoming release of The Ghost Daughter has me thinking about parenting and everything that goes with it. Pre-order here if you want.

One Comment

  1. I just clicked on this after loving and applauding another of your posts, and I am starting to wish we knew each other in real life LOL. I suspect my kids are way older than yours, from your examples of cutting the crusts off their sandwiches and cooking separate meals for them, but I still make my 18 year old a sandwich before she leaves for school, and the reason I do this because if I don’t, she won’t make her own sandwich, she’ll choose to not eat all day. Who does that bother? Not her, me! So I’m pandering to my own needs, not hers! LOL

    Anyway, back to the point of your post – I remember saying almost exactly the same thing to someone else recently, that I want my kids to know that they’re not in this big rough world alone. Yes, they get to experience hard knocks and unfairness and all, but they know that at least one person in the world will always have their back.

    Liked by 1 person

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