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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.