February 26, 2012
We polled our staff, readers, experts, friends, and family to bring you a Top 13 of moments when our helicopter blades were whirling. While some may make you giggle or gasp, others may sound, well, uncomfortably familiar–proof positive of how difficult this can all be. The bottom line: if these moments are the rule in your home, and not the exception, it may be time to take a deep breath, review the tips from our experts and come in for a landing.
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Our Top 13 Overparenting Moments
- Recently, my high schooler was going to be speaking at a school meeting. In anticipation of some possible disagreement, I emailed about 100 adults to ask them to be mindful of their behavior during the meeting.
- Our daughter is a freshman in college and complains bitterly about the cafeteria food. So I called the college to complain.
- My son missed the deadline to return a form that would allow him to participate in an extracurricular activity. I called the school to convince them to let him join anyway.
- I can’t help myself. I attend my daughter’s rehearsals, take notes and then review with her the areas that I think need improvement.
- My son needed a summer job and he wasn’t doing anything to make that happen. I couldn’t stand the nagging so I filled out my son’s applications for a summer job, and I called to schedule the interview.
- I was going to be paying for college so I felt like my daughter and I were both applying to college. And I wanted us to get in. I filled out her college applications and helped her write the essay.
- My daughter kept getting the graveyard shift at work. My daughter wouldn’t say anything so I called my daughter’s boss to ask for a better work schedule.
- In college, my son had to return a book to his college’s bookstore. There was a problem, so while he was standing in the store, he called me on his cell phone, and I talked to the manager.
- I require my teenager to take a picture on her phone and text it to me, so that I know she really is where she says she is.
- I check online daily to make sure my daughter’s grades are acceptable. The school gave me access so I feel like I am invited to do this.
- I went to my son’s school and held his spot in line to make sure he got into an activity he wanted to sign up for.
- My daughter is late for everything, including the school bus. When she misses the bus, I drive her to school, usually 2-3 days a week.
And here’s one from the headlines. A house shared by seven Boston University students was going up in flames. Instead of dialing 911, one of the students called his parents, who in turn alerted the University’s police department.
Here's a feature about helicopter parents:
Read one teen's story:
Here's another teen's story:
Here's the difference between a tiger mom and a helicopter mom: