No, that’s not a helicopter you hear. It’s the GPS

I have been called many things in my time. Aloof, Snob, Isolationist (all untrue in my opinion), but one thing I was very surprised to hear was “helicopter parent” coming from a college professor at meet and greet breakfast 

Now that, I will take a stand on. I am NOT nor have I ever been a helicopter parent.

This article: Grounding the helicopter parent – The Washington Post. has a very thorough and sensible approach to how to deal with children going off to college. I feel this has been our approach over the years, in fact it has been our approach since our first child took her first step onto the school bus for kindergarten.

It is important to nurture and guide, It is unhealthy to take over and do. We all must remember that we are really not helping at all by interfering, we went to school already. Let them experience it now. 

As a librarian I can’t tell you how many parents I have helped “assist” their kids with projects. I do help, but I will remind them that the child should be the one to come in and learn the research process. They do not see that they are hindering the growth of curiosity, exploration. It is parental GPS: “now look here” “write this now”,”don’t waste time reading all those resources.” They are so dependent on the voice telling them where to go they have no idea where they are, they’re just following directions. 

College is good practice for drawing the line. Let your child grow and explore, guide them, be there as a shoulder to lean on. Let them get places on their own. As I have heard many times before, it is a parent’s job to give their child roots and wings. Send them on their way, and don’t forget to turn off the GPS.


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