So much has been written on the helicopter parents who oversee every aspect of their children's lives: from sports, to college applications, to the college experience. Being lazy and rebellious, I was pretty nonchalant in my parenting and so assumed I was not a helicopter, hovering over my children.
Every now and then, though, I wonder. For instance, I read a blog post (could not find it again, so if you know what the source is, let me know, so I can link) a little while ago by a mom who works at Drew university. Her daughter, a student at the same school, emailed or texted something along the lines of "I need tampax and shampoo!" To which Mom replied "I do too!" This exchange was lauded as a NON-HELICOPTER moment, since Mom did not rush out and buy daughter said items.
Am I a helicopter mom? I wonder this as a prepare to visit Miss Em this weekend. Last time, I brought her some toothpaste and oat groats. I did not make a special trip. I pick up items as I see them on sale. I got the toothpaste for under a dollar. If Miss Em had to rush out to get the stuff, it would take her a good bit of time, not to mention at least a few dollars. I'd rather she save her money where she can so she can use it where she wants.
On this visit, we will probably bring things back, as she approaches the end of the semester. Still, we plan to bring her a treat in freezer bags: some red beans and rice. Is that hovering?
Sometimes I think I am out of step with American culture because I subscribe to a more Asian (so says Frugal Son) idea of family. As I write I am wearing a new-to-me Eileen Fisher linen and cotton sweater. This was picked up by Miss Em on a thrifting jaunt. It was a sacrifice because Miss Em likes the sweater. She gave it to me because she knows I love Eileen Fisher and only buy a piece or two a year: even on sale, the prices are high.
Thanks Miss Em, my helicopter daughter. In the same spirit, instead of mom and daughter going off to buy their own toiletries--requiring two trips to the drugstore--I would like to see one say, "I'll pick up some for you." Maybe next time, the other one will do the same.
So, am I fooling myself? How much do you do for your kids. And how much do they do for you?