Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Helicopters everywhere!

I often wonder if when I become a mother, what sort of Mother will I be.  The women who does the cleaning for our building has a teenaged daughter and the more I talk to her the clearer it becomes that she is a helicopter parents.  Today she is asking me for any sort of graphs, or figures that her daughter can use in a homework assignment.  The mother isn't really clear on the requirements for the assignment.  And she has been given multiple examples of graphs, but thinks that some of them are too complicated for her daughter.

I've suggested using The Google to find statistics on Justin Beiber (although most of them yield mocking statistics on Justin Beiber's ego or lyrics) that way she will be interested in actually doing her homework.  Seems to me that the cleaning woman is more concerned about getting her daughters work done that her daughter is.

The receptionist for my department has a son in university.  She spends most of her time worrying about whether he will get enough to eat, she reminds him to study for his exams.  She drives to pick him up on weekends.  She does his laundry.   She has found him a summer job. 

I worry about this.  As someone who may be limited to just one child, as someone who may be spending thousands upon thousands to make that child a reality, as someone who has built a lot of hopes and dreams into our future child will I be a helicopter parent? 

I have spoken with someone who works with students in a university and college situation and says the biggest problem they are facing today is that students don't know how to fail.  They are used to having their parents do their homework and tell them how and when to get their assignments done.  By the time students get to higher education they don't know how to do for themselves.

I was not raised by helicopter parents.  I found my own jobs.  I failed tests.  I ran up credit card debt and had to work and sacrifice to pay it off.  I paid for my own education.  Now, I am an obstinate, stubborn strong person... in both good ways and bad.  But I think a lot of my strength comes from being forced to find my own path and pay the consequences for my decisions.

I hope that my husband and I will be strong enough to resist the urge to be helicopter parents.  I hope that we will be able to resist doing everything for our child, but that we can still be close enough to protect them.  

I think it is a harder fight for me because of the struggles we are going through to conceive than it would be for someone that it happens easily for.  Then again, you look at the world today and it is easy to want to wrap your children in bubble wrap and keep them hidden from the evils of the world. 

My thoughts are with those in Boston.

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