There’s this thing I’ve been hearing about, “Helicopter Mom.” They seem to be parents living vicariously through their children to the extreme. Yes, when parenting is done right, children become an all-consuming part of your life. Wow! There are parents that will uproot their lives and move away to college with their kids? Really! Is this dedication and commitment, or is it something else? Why would I do this? Why would I want to?
This is my rational/logical side talking. The side that gets me called Ms. Spock. BUT there’s another side…The emotional/nurturing side that makes moms all around the world special in their own way. That part panics and screams NO DON’T GO! What is it about us moms that make us yearn for our eagles to fly, yet wants to hold on so tight we risk smothering the life spark right out of them?
I saw some of it in scouting. Some parents would complete the achievements for the scouts. In fact for the Boy Scout rank of Eagle it’s a big enough concern that the review board actually has to find out if the scout even did the project to qualify (sorry I don’t know the Girl Scout achievements). For goodness sake this is an extracurricular activity! The scout should want the achievement. Otherwise what’s the point?
To me this almost becomes a Boomer or Xer versus Millennial thing. Boomers (since I am one, I know this generation the best) are competitive. We like goals and achievements. We like stuff (i.e. badges, trophies, and ribbons). Give us a cheap prize and will go for it! And possibly kill ourselves in the process. We go full steam ahead until our bodies give out or give up! [Insert your battle cry here!] Woo Hoo!
My Millennials are so different. They grew up is a world where trophies don’t mean much (everyone gets one right?). Everybody is special. To me it’s not bad. I like that my kids think everyone is special. Not the same but, people are uniquely extraordinary in their own way. My guys don’t put themselves in a stereotype and wear it like a badge. They are confident in their own skin, much more confident than I ever was.
The shift is confusing to a traditional parent like me from a Boomer generation. While I admire the new way of thinking, and it does align with my flipping tripping hippy side (yes the 70s are still with me), I am confounded by the lack of drive to get those prizes. But I must accept their differences from me. I realize if I don’t let go I’ll never move forward in my growth. However, mama eagle doesn’t think they’ve got it together enough to survive. Therefore, Humans have a lot harder time kicking the offspring out of the house.
The scary thing is I actually could see myself helicopter parenting. Wow! That hurts to admit. It causes me to pause. As I said before, this was supposed to be a twenty year commitment. I’m supposed to change and grow into another life phase (I know…more psycho-babble…said sheepishly). Mama eagle does not want to change. Mama eagle wants to protect and nourish these guys forever. For goodness sake, over the last 21 years I have made all my decisions with my kids in mind. It’s hard to let go.
I know the logical side of my brain is quietly telling me what needs to be done. I will do it through gritted teeth. I will accept change. I will push them into their own unknown. I will not buzz around their heads with my mega-phone drone (only available in Milly’s Realm of course) making decisions for them. It’s sooo tempting. I will not…I will not…I will not…be a helicopter…
Sigh…I will not…