One of Those Parents: Helicopter Edition

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Up until two weeks ago, I had never heard the term helicopter parent/parenting. If you're unfamiliar with the concept, I'll give you a quick run down. A helicopter parent is, essentially, a hovering parent. A parent who always does everything for their child and/or never let's them make mistakes is, most likely, a helicopter parent. Some of us have a hard time letting go of that infant who, seemingly not so long ago, needed mommy for everything.

I'm not going to go in depth highlighting why it's important to let our children make mistakes and do things for themselves, because even a helicopter parent usually knows what they should be doing.

I'm bringing this up because today I took my two-and-a-half year-old to work with me for the second t,e ever. I want to start bringing him to preschool two days a week. Today I was up at 3AM and him at 4AM. Work is about a 40 minute drive for me, so I have to leave my house fairly early.

I'll admit that I worry. And I definitely miss him when he's gone. However, today that meant I was "one of those parents". When I left him with his own teacher, he was furious with me. I think when we first entered the classroom he realized where he was and that I'd left him there last time because he started crying. Because I wasn't leaving right away he calmed down, started eating his snack, but that all changed when I left him

The cook caught me peeking through the widow to check on him a few minutes later, and said "Oh, so you're one of those parent." My first instinct was to be hurt, offended, and deny the allegation. It's true though, if by one of "those parents" you mean the ones who worry when there children is with others, especially strangers to him. It's not like that when he's with my sister, his grandparents, or my aunt. When I left him with my dad for the first time for 4 to 6 hours, I was having a silent, inner freak out a little.

I'm not a helicopter parent normally. My kids definitely get to make their own mistakes and do things their own. Even after he easily transitions to preschool, I'll probably peek sometimes. I want to see him growing and learning and being part of it all. It makes me proud and happy.

What annoying habits of other parents do you see?


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