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Helicopter?

Do helicopter parents even know that they hover? I mean…what if *I’M* a helicopter mom? It’s not like my kids’ teachers would tell me…right?

I drop my kids off and pick them up from school. (There is no bus option at this age.) The school does offer a drive-up drop-off option where the teachers will come get your kids out of the car (and at pick-up they’ll bring your kids out to your car), but I prefer to take them in myself. I feel much more connected and like I actually know their teachers (and they know me – which I also think is important). There’s not a lot of individualized communication at this school – no parent/teacher conferences or anything like that. So…I go in, help the kids get settled, chat with a teacher or two – if they’re not too frazzled – and then go. When I go back in to pick the kids up, I sometimes get a quick update. For example, on Tuesday, Maggie didn’t want her picture taken with “Rudolph” at the Holiday party that day … which put her in a funk for the rest of the day. I’m not sure I would have known about that if I hadn’t gone in.

Next year, Burke and Maggie head to Kindergarten where they’ll have the option to take the bus. But I really don’t want them to do that (and luckily, Mike agrees). I think part of it stems from my own hatred of the bus when I was little – well…the 1/4 mile hike to get to the bus stop anyway. That and the fact that my Dad (and then my step-mother) drove us to school. I’m sure that part of it may be that I’m a complete control freak. Part of it is that in MA, there’s a law that kids have to be in booster seats until they’re 8 … are there boosters in buses??

The thing is, I know that I want my kids to have minds of their own (mostly 😉 ) and be able to fight for their own grades and stuff when they get older. (There’s no way I’m going in to argue over grades for one of my kids!) And I want them to be able to make their own decisions – which includes making their own mistakes. I don’t want to “smooth out and mow down all obstacles” for them.

But I don’t want to not be there for them either.

I’m sure there’s a happy medium. I just hope I find it.

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5 Responses

  1. Welcome to my daily “grown-up kid” battle. Usually with homework. I can give many examples, but it will usually arises with spelling (tyler is horrible…he’s trying to spell “where” as I write). Do I just tell him how to spell the word? No, I do the exact opposite and I TORTURE him by making him figure it out on his own. Same with math problems. And then I feel like a *bad* parent. That maybe I should make it easy and give him the answers. Sigh. All you can do is love them, and hope you don’t screw them up too much! hee hee!

  2. Sounds like you’re doing just fine so far. As a 1st grade teacher, I had a (perfectly capable) student whose father would walk her to the classroom, hang up her coat and backpack, help her get out her folder and snack, and kiss her at her seat before saying goodbye. Now that’s just too much!

  3. You’ll find it. Trust me.
    The fact that you’re looking for it means you’ll find it 🙂

  4. It’s such a fine line between being involved (good) and hovering (not so good). I think you’re doing perfectly!

  5. Oh, Helicopter parents….no, honestly you sound like you are doing just fine. I know it is especially hard when they are this little and I think it’s fine to not have them ride the bus next year. As they get into upper elementary, think about letting them try or at least letting them get to their our classroom doors. That is something I have noticed for my fifth graders- they desesrve the chance to have their own “world” and to maneuver in it. They learn really vital life lessons that way.

    You know what’ s worse than helicopter parents- Dry Cleaner parents (those who would like their kid all clean and fixed and ready to be picked up at the end of the day:)

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