Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Helecopter Parenting

Are you familar with the term Helecopter Parents?......I'm betting you are. If you're not, a helecopter parent is a parent who hovers...who scoops in to rescue the moment their child gets too close to screwing up or getting them selves into a tricky or uncomfortable situation.

The whole idea behind NOT being a helecopter parent is that by allowing your kids to make mistakes, take risks, experience uncomfortable situations, when the currency (result) is low, you'll hopefully avoid the BIG consequences later. I GET all of that. I BELIEVE it to be TRUE. And, I try very hard to NOT be a helecopter parent.

All that being said, tomorrow, I am breaking my own rule & going to act like a helecopter parent. For some reason, Lindsi HATES fire drills. It's not like she has a good reason to hate fire drills.....she certainly is no where near the situation of the poor kid who lost a parent & sibling to a fire & is now personally escorted to the comfort of an office prior to any fire drills. No, for her, fire drills are just noisy & chaotic, & worst of all, timed. She totally stresses out, gets upset, & cries when she has to participate in a fire drill. In short, she becomes a mess.

Tomorrow AM, I know, courtesy of her bus driver, that they are scheduled for a bus drill. He knows how upset they make her & thought that by giving her a heads up, she would be better able to handle it. Instead, on the day he told her, as soon as the bus pulled out of sight, she started sobbing & she has marked the days, & she has worried about it every day since then.

Part of me thinks that if she just did the drill, she would see (again) that it is just practice in case of an emergency. A bigger part of me though, does not want her to be so upset & stressed out as she starts her school day. In the past either her interpreter or one of her past teachers has had to comfort her & calm her down after a drill.

She knows how to exit her bus if there's an emergency. There are only about 5 kids, an aide & her driver on the bus anyways. I know she's safe in her current bus situation.

So, even though it's inconvenient for me, tomorrow, I will get Jami up & dressed an hour early so that I can drive Lindsi into school, so that she can SKIP the bus drill.

I am totally, (sadly? lovingly?.....not sure which)the helecopter parent tomorrow.


Darlene said...

I think, for now, it's ok to drive her to school. I think you are doing the right thing.

Now, say in five years, she should be able to adjust to this, but for now, at her age, I think it's fine.

We have an alarm system in our house and just a couple times it has went off, Timmy was very upset, more so than I would expected of him, so I think it's ok for her now.

Laurie said...

I think it is fine to drive her (and I am teacher, so heaven knows I KNOW about helicopter parents). I don't really think this qualifies you. Here's the thing: You know she knows what to do in a real emergency (the purpose of the drill). You also know the drill itself freaks her out and inhibits her ability to have a good day. You are just taking a simple step to avoid unnecessary stress. And you are right -eventually she will get past it, but for now, why let her suffer if you can help it? You are just being a good mom...not a helicopter. :)

Amy said...

I agree with your other friends, Debby. Sometime's a Mom's just got to do what she feels in her heart is the thing to do...even at risk of being labeled a "helicopter" parent.

I remember one of our pediatricians telling us a long time ago that if you're typically not a hoverer (helicopter) and your instincts tell you to be so in a particular situation, you should follow your instincts. So enjoy your time with your cutie-patootie in the car tomorrow. :)

Amy said...

Hey Debby,
I just wanted to post on here in case you didn't see my message back to you in my comments section on my blog (I couldn't find an email address for ya)...how about "D"...does that work for you? Can't wait to read your answers! Have a great day! - :) Amy

Kerry said...

Thank you for your sweet comment. Your daughters are so beuatiful and I look forward to following your family.

Ladybug hugs,