Chronicles of a Single Mom: Post #7 – Heli-parents

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As parents, we often second guess ourselves when it comes to our children. We want to make sure they get the best, emotionally, socially and educationally. Lately, I started to wonder if I was taking too much of an interest in my child’s life.
We can pretty much surmise that I don’t have much of a life outside of my work schedule or events related to said schedule. Most of the super fun, carefree events are on the calendar because it’s part of her social schedule. (Mom’s a bit of a complicated extroverted introvert.) However, this school year I feel like I have to know every single detail of what’s going on, what’s she’s learning and how it’s taught.
I don’t know if it’s the transition from S, N, and I (Satisfactory, Needs Improvement, Improving) to letter grades on the report card or if it’s because she’s now in a testing grade but I’ve been hypervigilant when it comes to school.
From her coming home and saying someone’s bothering her to getting weekly reports about her grades through the school-wide Parent Portal. From sending emails on the weekends to popping up for an impromptu conference before school.
(To all my teacher friends- I know I should do none of the above but that didn’t stop me.)
So you can see why I was starting to question whether or not I was becoming a helicopter parent. However, in the evaluation I thought about the other things I do during the school year like attend PTA meetings, make sure I can attend award ceremonies, buy treats for the class and parties, lunch visits, Christmas presents for teachers, field trip chaperone, etc.
And I don’t like kids like that.
So after heavily weighing the bad against the good I’ve come to this conclusion.
I’m just a good parent.
Here’s the thing, I want to make sure my child succeeds in school but I also want to make sure that she’s given the proper tools and guidance to do so. That’s not a bad thing, is it? I LOVE the school my child attends and try to help out in any capacity I can. I want her teachers to know that they can call me just as much or more as I call/email them. I want her to see us a united front.
I also want my child to know that our expectations are the same and we expect her to give nothing but her best, at school or at home. While I know that I can’t fight every battle for her, I want her to be prepared to fight her own battles and to know when she should ask for help, whether it’s from home or school. I want her to understand that her independence begins with her and a lot of it’s rooted in her education.
In order for her to know and understand these things, I have to show her I have a committed interest in educational process as well.
Not just when she’s in trouble for talking or brings home a bad grade.
But when the school calls for volunteers, supplies or an encouraging word from an adult that doesn’t have a teaching certification.
If that makes me a helicopter parent, we can start spinning the blades now.
But we’re going to need some oil because she hasn’t even finished third grade yet.
I’m just saying.

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