I used to think I was a bit of a helicopter parent. Compared to my parents I certainly am. And then some. But compared to the parents of some of my children’s friends, I’m practically neglectful.
My children get their own breakfasts. My son often makes dinner for the family. They put away their laundered clothes (sometimes they even do their laundry). They take out the garbage and green bins. They’ve flown by themselves (if it can be called that, in this age of cellphones and airline minders for a fee). My daughter got her driver’s license as soon as she was able, and she drives to friends’ homes, to run errands for me, and to pick up or drop off her brother. And when we travel, the kids wander neighbourhoods where we’re staying.
When our daughter decided to attend university out west, some friends look at me like I must be crazy to send her so far away.
One of my children’s classmate’s parents told me her daughter was torn between a program at Humber (on the outskirts of Toronto) and one in Edinburgh. She was delighted her daughter chose Humber—not because of the cost but so they could see her every weekend. Seriously.
More and more, students seem to have trouble coping at University. They’re lonely, have difficulty making friends, don’t like doing laundry, dislike cafeteria food, hate cleaning their own rooms. Some take time to adjust. Others move back home, transfer to a local college/university, and are clasped firmly in the bosom of family.
And their parents seem delighted.