It seems that Helicopter Parenting is alive and well and that in spite of all the research that suggests this is a dangerous direction in parenting with negative implications for our kids, families, our communities and our country, there are no signs that this trend is being replaced by a more common sense approach to parenting. In fact, we seem to be a culture who has accepted that it is here to stay and there is nothing we can do about it. And this style of intrusive parenting is infiltrating the life of kids over 18 years old, whose parents are still talking to them a dozen times a day, calling college professors, going to job interviews, organizing their lives, making recommendations on food, clothing and the friends they should be spending time with.
As a woman over 50-years-old it is disheartening to think about my future as an over 75-year-old retiree who will be at the mercy of “leaders” who still rely on mom and dad for help in making simple decisions let alone complex, multi-layered decisions with far reaching implications.
Am I supposed to feel secure with the idea that the same individuals who can not seem to manage their way out of a paper bag without their parents direction and guidance and in some cases advocacy, are going to be the same individuals who will be making decisions for us, for ME, when I am old, incontinent and have no teeth? The world is becoming more complicated, not less which will require future leaders who are smart and thoughtful decision makers, who cultivate relationships of cooperation and collaboration, who can view issues from many sides, who can stand strong in the face of criticism and defend their positions with respect and clarity.
Are you Helicopter Parents asking me to believe that the same kid who needs his or her parents to advocate in a job interview is the kind of leader who can restore a crumbling automotive industry, revamp an entire education system, broker peace talks, put an end to hunger and disease, commit resources to projects that are environmentally sound, and fight for policies that are controversial and forward thinking. SERIOUSLY?
Maybe instead of a Vice President, a new position will be created in which the advisers are mom and dad who will continue to advocate for their kids, lest they feel unprepared to do it for themselves. Or perhaps the new press secretary will be a steadfast parent who tells the news hungry journalistic community with their probing questions that the president elect is feeling a little picked on today and could everyone be just a wee bit kinder to said President Elect.
For the life of me, I can’t imagine that anyone in their right mind thinks that continuing this kind of parenting is good for anyone. I for one am NOT accepting this more intrusive form of parenting as the “norm”, nor will I sit by as more and more parents insinuate themselves into areas they have no business even commenting on, let alone controlling.
Instead of throwing up my hands in frustration and resigning myself to the situation, I WILL CONTINUE to do what I can to offer parents another approach to parenting which will prepare children for the challenges that await them, armed with the skills necessary to navigate a complicated world with grace and dignity.