Instead of helicoptering, today you will:
1. Call Mama instead. “Honey?” she says. “Where are you? It sounds like you’re in the middle of a rainforest.” (Note to self: get out of the car wash first, so you can have a nice chat.) You plan your next visit, so you can hover over her instead.
2. Call your supportive friend, your lifeline, Georgia. “Georgia? Don’t you want to text your son all of the time?”
“I’m trying not to. But I mean, you’re talking to someone who used to cut up his meat every night at dinner.”
You feel a little better. And maybe you won’t text your son to make sure he’s using spf, or call your daughter at work and make sure she heard about the egg salmonella thing.
“I’ve gotta go. I’m going to get online and check out his banking and credit card expenses, to make sure he’s not eating at Chick- Fil-A every night,” Georgia says, hanging up. Doesn’t that sort of count as helicoptering? Hmmm.
3. Connect with an old friend, Alex, who you haven’t seen in awhile. She has older children and has gone through this already.
She offers this advice, “Well, maybe your children will be out of sight, out of mind.”
“What do you mean? Of course I think about them.”
“No, I mean you may not worry about them as much.” This sounds promising. Anyway, by all accounts this is the best time to cut the cord, so that they don’t Boomerang back, live in the basement, and eat all of the leftovers. Alex is great. Whenever her grown children can’t make decisions and call to ask her advice, she simply says, “Go with your gut instinct,” thus boomeranging back. This method seems to have worked–they live quite independently in New Zealand and Viet Nam.
4. Helicopter the dog. Talk the dog out for a walk, at least to the mailbox and back. Tonight, give him a bath.
5. Text Cha Cha, instead of texting your son. “Cha, cha, what has my son been doing for the last 72 hours?” (Even though your actual texts usually appear in Yoda-speak, “son 72 hours doing is?”) And doesn’t Cha Cha charge a fee now?
6. Sign up for a photography class. (May need to take a ‘texting class’ on the side, to brush up on your skills. Alas, in these days and times, this is the primary form of communication–especially for young men.)
7. Volunteer. You decide to tutor a child at the local elementary school. You can try and channel your extra energy into helping someone else. Then you stop and take a deep breath. Don’t over-commit to too many things. Two new interests is plenty for now.
9. Go to the library and check out a new book, or run in Barnes and Noble. (Do not try and upload a new Itunes song. You will get frustrated and text your kids).
10. Aha–there’s a Starbucks inside! Go with your gut instinct and get a green tea frappuccino. (Get it to go, because you are late getting back to work).
- Colleges Shoo Away Helicopter Parents (neatorama.com
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