I read an article in the newspaper recently about “helicopter parents” — a phenomenon, where parents have difficulty cutting the apron strings when their children are grown. So much so, that they continue to parent their offspring well into their twenties. Some examples were: a dad sitting in a waiting room while his son had a job interview, mothers who call in sick for their grown children, and even one mother who demanded a change in grade for their university student from their professors.
While I read the report, I was aghast at the depths that these parents go to “help” their grown up kids!
Yet, I got it. I understand the compunction to rescue, protect and help one’s children no matter how old. I’ve felt that pull myself.
Kids grow up and leave home, ready to take on the world. It’s the expectation of all parents, that we spend the first 18 years of our babies’ lives, preparing them to leave the nest, to learn to fly. And when they do, it is with joy and just a little trepidation that we watch them soar.
Now that my two girls are young adults and they face the usual bumps in the road of life — relationship woes, financial struggles, job/school stresses — I find myself tempted to solve their every problem. I call this “giving suggestions, or advice”. After all, I have been there and done that, I know what they are going through and they should listen to and follow my solutions. Don’t they know that Mom knows best?
But, I realize that I have to turn off “Mom” mode and refrain from giving advice, unless asked. I know it’s better to listen, to offer a shoulder, to give a hug and be encouraging. But I am not perfect and I sometimes cannot help but share my well-intentioned answers to my daughters’ problems.
Hopefully, my girls will understand that this unsolicited “help” comes from a place of love and caring. I really just want them to be happy, healthy and to have a wonderful, full life. They are my dear hearts.
So girls (if you are reading this), I promise to listen, comfort, and support you both in all your decisions (even the ones I think are questionable). I will try (very, very hard) to keep my advice to myself unless you ask me for it. I promise to never be a helicopter parent (I don’t even like to go on job interviews!!). I also promise to be ready to help anytime you need me — all you need to do is ask! !
And one more thing… if you need cash — ask your dad!!