Helicopter Parenting Turns Deadly
Judith Warner writes an article about a particular parenting practice called “Helicopter Parenting Turns Deadly.” Judith Warner has received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree from Columbia. The article brings attention to helicopter parenting and the effects it has on our children through examples and Rosalind Wiseman’s, an author and traveling counselor of parents, teachers and teens, first-hand accounts of helicopter parenting and observations of parents.
Warner first brings our attention to helicopter parenting by telling us about a 13-year-old girl from Dardenne Prairie, Missouri named Megan Meier. Meier committed suicide after learning that the 16-year-old boy she was having an online relationship with was a fictitious character thought up by 47-year-old Lori Drew. Lori Drew created a fake MySpace profile to “find out what Megan was saying online” Drew said, about her daughter (506). The Meier case is an example of a new survey showing that one in three children in the United States have been the victim of online harassment or bullying (506).
Warner says another issue is “the disturbing degree to which today’s parents- and mothers in particular- frequently lose themselves when they get caught up in trying to smooth out, or steamroll over, the social challenges faced by their children” (506). According to Rosalind Wiseman “people now feel like having a good relationship with your child means you’re involved in every aspect of your child’s life,” she continues by saying “nothing is off-limits. There’s no privacy and there’s no critical thinking” (qtd. in 507). Wiseman also recalls stories of parents giving away so called “loot-bags” (qtd. in 507) to lure the in-crowd to parties.
Madeline Levine, clinical psychologist and author, talks about child and adolescent issues. She says, ”the whole notion of parents being in an entirely different space than their children is disappearing” (qtd. in 508). Levine blames the self-esteem movement, and the narcissistic needs of parents who want their children to like them at all cost. She also blames mothers’ loneliness, stress, satisfaction in work and marriage, sense of failure, and emotional isolation.
As we can all see helicoptering is a poor parenting strategy. But, never the less we have all caught ourselves spending a little too much time worrying about our children’s popularity. What our children really need is for us to let them make the same mistakes we all have made, and they need parents to behave like mature adults.
Warner, Judith. “Helicopter Parenting Turns Deadly.” The Bedford Guide for College Writers. 9th ed. Ed. X. J. Kennedy, Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Marcia F. Muth.
Boston: Bedford, 2011. 506-08. Print.