Sometimes it has nothing to do with "S"
I meet alot of "helicopter" parents. My definition of that term, perhaps not accurate is basically a descriptor for a group of parents who feel the need to hover above their child in order to protect, guide, influence or motivate. I understand the psychology behind the actions. We live in a chaotic ever changing world, and basic parental instincts are to insure (by continual intervention) that everything goes as planned. My two grown children would most likely state that if there was a term for the exact opposite of that category such as "Passerby" parent, that would be me. I raised my children from the 70's onward under the notion that I had to promote independence beyond all else which meant quite a bit of bringing them to the edge of the nest and lovingly giving them a little push. It meant failure, trial and error, sacrifice, taking risks, emotional pitfalls, and beyond all else accepting consequences. It translated into quite a bit of "you will have to do this on your own or you will have to figure this out for yourself" because frankly I worked outside the home, was a military wife with three fourths of the parenting responsibilties, and was basically like most other parents. My son and daughter did indeed flop on their faces and bellies as they dove from the nest to a flight of independence, which included many NEGATIVE life changing events. Once again I remained a supporter, but allowed each of them to receive some harsh and disheartening consequences. I was wrought with emotional pain, despair, often doubt, but they survived and are both stronger for the experiences. I am not sure I can or will live to experience these same ups and downs with "S". As a stay-at-home mother and few distractions I could easily become the overly invested parent. In situations involving safety I am overboard protective. In others, I try to weigh the life-long lesson to be learned from the experience and then respond accordingly. These constant decisions require the mind and energy of youth which I am sadly lacking. Thus, I made a decision awhile back which took many by surprise. I have invested most of my retirement on the upbringing of "S". However, this action came in complete opposition to what I planned to do, until a month ago. I lost a friend and a cousin to deadly diseases, both younger than I. My heritage could possibly insure me 30 or more years of life, but realistically energy, mobility and health may not correlate to the same number of years. Thus, I decided to take a trip to Italy, a trip I have long wanted to do. My husband was able to care for "S" and I met a tour overseas. "S" was saddened by my decision and it was not easily explained. However she survived, thrived and is no less the worse for wear. I want all parents to know, it is not always about your children, and will not always be. They will have to face very difficult choices and consequences. Allowance of independence for yourself and them will translate to valuable life-long lessons, not always without pain, but always with growth...
Garden Ridge, Texas