Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Of helicopter parents and creepy picture books

Our town recently made news by canceling a local Easter egg hunt. This NPR story tells how aggressive parents "swarmed into the tiny park last year, determined that their kids get an egg." It goes on to say:
"Parenting observers cite the cancellation as a prime example of 'helicopter parents' — those who hover over their children and are involved in every aspect of their children's lives — sports, school, and increasingly work — to ensure that they don't fail, even at an Easter egg hunt."
I will admit it's sometimes hard to sit back and let Milo problem solve on his own. I've been working to let him do more on his own, as long as he won't get hurt. Even then, sometimes he has to fall on his own to figure out how to get up on his own. I'm sure I will at some point in his life be guilty of being a helicopter parent, but I'm going to work really hard not to do it too often.

Coincidentally, my good friend Lisa over at Grandma's Briefs wrote today about a favorite picture book --  Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. As Lisa tells us, in the story, "Mommy drives across town in the middle of the night, leans a ladder up to her son's bedroom window, and climbs the darn thing. She goes through the window into the bedroom, where she cuddles and rocks her sound-asleep man-sized boy."

Lisa reports that her grown daughter, now a mother herself, finds the book "creepy." Sure, the idea of someone climbing in my bedroom window definite creeps me out. But all in all, I think the story actually sounds sweet. I don't know what exactly raises the creepy flag for Lisa's daughter but I'm guessing it's the stalkerish mom's ultimate act of helicopter parenting.

Sometimes the best parenting is about being silly

Being an older mom, I'm not sure exactly which generation of parenting I fall under. I'm technically a Gen-Xer but because that generation spans such a range to include moms in their 20s, I'm not sure who I identify with.

Not all parents with young children are the same. I have read traditional books like "The Velveteen Rabbit" and brand-new things like "Goodnight, IPad" to Milo.

I believe that while it sucks, we all have to learn that sometimes life is just not fair. We all have to learn that lesson -- children and parents alike. Sometimes our kids are going to come in second (or last). Sometimes they aren't going to get an egg. That's life. And one day, even if we still consider him our baby, we have to realize that climbing into a grown son's window is decidedly creepy (even if it makes for a sweet picture book).


  1. I've been an unintentional helicopter at times. Maybe there's some connection between helicoptering and affection for sappy picture books.

    1. Ha! I better stay away from those books.