Oh Wait… Are We Helicopter Parents? (Part 2)

22 months.

This is the continuation of Oh Wait… Are We Helicopter Parents? (Part 1)

We live in a townhouse with a staircase leading up to our son’s room. A while back we used to talk about getting a “baby gate” to keep Jack from crawling up the stairs or falling down them.

But looking back now, we just haven’t got around to it, and I figured out why:

My wife and I have this default policy that we never let Jack wander into the next room without us.

But as little as he actually gets to see us, he doesn’t want to be in a room alone anyway.

So anytime Jack wants to climb up the stairs, one of us is right there with him, ready to brace his fall if he stumbles.

Sure, we let him run around free, outside. But only in a park, and we’re casually chasing him. Or in a racquetball court.

We love to see Jack explore the free world, as long as we’re right there with him the whole time.

I’ll say this: My parents were definitely not helicopter parents. Mainly because back in 1983 when I was Jack’s age, I wasn’t curious enough to try to stick car keys into an electrical socket.

That’s not to say Jack doesn’t know the concept of danger or has no real concept of boundaries, because he completely does.

But maybe he’s just a more curious kid than I ever was, and as his parent, I am overly aware of this.

Are my wife and I helicopter parents? I don’t know.

I’ll let you decide, based on what you’ve read about our style. I suppose it takes a third party to decide that.

But really, what does it take to qualify someone as a helicopter parent, anyway?

It’s not like Jeff Foxworthy has a joke series called “You might be a helicopter parent if…”.

That’s where you come in.

I would love your feedback on helping me get some good stereotypes, I mean, examples, of helicopter parents.

In fact, I think it would be pretty cool to write an article called “7 Token Signs You’re A Helicopter Parent.”

Okay, go…


Add a Comment
Back To The Dadabase
  1. by Hannah

    On October 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    You’re supervising your child responsibly, not hovering over him. I also see no issue with you carrying him to the car after day care, either. Any time you can provide your child with a secure bond should be taken advantage of. With that said, I think the term “helicopter parents” comes from parents who hover over their child and try to dictate every detail of their little life. Case in point, a student I taught when I was teaching 6th grade. The school was grades 6-12, so many of the students either rode the bus to school or drove themselves. Students who did not were dropped off at two designated spots. One parent chose to forgo this, and walked her sixth grade son into school every single school day. She unpacked his books into his locker, stacked them in the order he would need them during the day, double checked his homework, and dropped in on each of his teachers at least once a week to review his grades. You carrying Jack is obviously nothing he has a problem with and, when he’s old enough, he’ll likely tell you to lay off when he’s uncomfortable with something. The student in mention was visibly uncomfortable with what his mother was doing and he was teased by both his classmates and upperclassmen. While parental involvement is to be applauded, there comes a time when a parent has to allow age-appropriate independence. However, the age of 2 doesn’t allow just a whole lot of independence.

  2. by Susan

    On October 5, 2012 at 7:53 am

    I’ve never heard the term ‘helicopter parents.” What does it mean?

  3. by Jenna

    On October 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Does your presence prevent him from making mistakes that he would learn from, or cause him stress/anxiety if you’re not there? The other day one of my twin two year olds ran into the kitchen and bumped her head on the corner of the breakfast table. I was changing her sister’s diaper, and since its impossible for me to be in two places at once, she was by herself. Perhaps if I’d been there she wouldn’t have bumped her head. But because this happened I was able to talk to her about being careful, not running in the house, asking mommy when you want something from the kitchen, etc. I think that kids need to know that their parents will protect them and always be there for them, but they also need to learn their boundaries and understand freedom and the ability to make choices, and that their choices have consequences. Sometimes “helicopter parents” prevent this from happening.

  4. by Amanda

    On October 8, 2012 at 7:29 am

    That’s SOOOO not a helicopter parent! Hannah said it beautifully, so I’ll just agree with her.

  5. by Susan

    On October 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Oh I get it! (Just read Hannah’s response) They hover! Ha! Not sure if I’m guilty of that or not. I think you should do the “7 Signs…” article.

  6. by Irene

    On October 15, 2012 at 9:28 am

    My sister did her children’s homework while they watched tv.
    She wrote their papers (in her handwriting) She wrote their cover letters and resumes for them while they went out with friends. She does their laumdry and grocery shoppng even though they are 27 and 30 now and they don’t live with her.
    She cleans their bathrooms and vacuums their floors as well.
    Believe me, I could tell some stories! Worse case of a helicopter parent I’ve ever heard of!