A good friend of mine in Nebraska — who shall remain nameless unless he steps forward here — sent me a great email yesterday full of fascinating thoughts and feelings as well as the following riff on unsavory and selfish parents:
I have personally witnessed and heard stories about minivan moms. These are the women — who have one, maybe two kids — but don’t work regular jobs, and take their kids to school every day. They band together in packs, always drinking their morning coffee in the drop off lanes at school.
On the surface, this of course is a “Leave it to Beaver” scenario. But I have discovered that many are prejudiced against those of us that have jobs, and drop our kids off and go to work. If we are in a hurry, they bitch and honk at you like you ran a red light or cut them off on the interstate. They travel in packs, socialize at the school, and help out at the school like it matters to their son’s or
daughter’s education if they are there or not.
What I have read, later on in life, these parents, usually women but sometimes men, become “helicopter parents.” Right now in the Lincoln paper, there’s another article how they follow their kids to college and continually intervene in the guidance of their children who need to start thinking and figuring life out on their own.
In trying to be protective and nurturing, these people don’t do justice to their own offspring and get a bad name for themselves. Like an alcoholic or
drug user, they deny a problem exists. Some of these parents I have run across at the elementary level are down right nasty to deal with.
Have you heard of the “Helicopter Parents” phenomenon before?
This is a whole new breed of creepy for me — right up there on the “Ew!” scale with the Mommy Bloggers and their “Look What I Made!” brood of infant hooligans.
What is the purpose of these Helicopter Parents?
Are they an American phenomenon or is this an international paramilitary campaign?
Who makes sure their helicopter rotors are in good shape so they don’t crash into other hovering parents?
Are they vicariously living second lives through the unrealized hopes of their children?
How can we ground them and take away their self-righteous license to blacken our skies with their overbearing presence?