Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Helicopter Moms: What have you been doing for the last 18 years?

In the July 2008 issue of Oprah magazine, there is an article on "helicopter moms" -- those moms who hover over their kids when they go to college and beyond, ready to swoop down and "fix" things.

There is a Mother who drives 4 hours to do her college son's laundry. "He's so busy...I'm glad I can help," she says proudly. There is the Mother who checks her child's college assignments online and calls her if she missed class or didn't hand in a paper. There's the Mother who calls her child's friends to ask them how her child is. And then there's the Mother who calls employers and tells them to hire her child. Yet another bargains the compensation package with human resources.

Mothers: what have you been doing for the last 18 years? If you have done your job right -- they will attack life with gusto. The struggle is theirs. Remember when you started out? You struggled, you learned, you made mistakes and fixed them. You grew up. You became an adult.

If you're saying, oh but its a tougher world out there...It's no tougher than when you had at it. Each generation inherits its own world with their new and improved, adapted survival skills.

J.K. Rowling was the invited speaker at Harvard's 2008 Commencement. The title of her speech was: "The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination." Bottom line: her failures were better and bigger teachers than her success.

All the prodding I did to my daughter for not studying was to no avail. It was only when she failed several subjects (School in Mexico is very different from school in the U.S. I won't go into it here.) and had to suffer the consequences, did she begin to take responsibility for her education. Now, she's a serious student.

Helicopter moms are raising a bunch of babies. Hovering is not in the best interest of your child. They have to grow up sometime. Maybe...when you're dead?

I've let go already and my son still has 6 weeks left at home. I'm always here to help, but only if he asks for it.

You can read J.K. Rowling's inspirational speech at

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