Confessions from a Helicopter Parent + Spouse


Confession Time: I am very fortunate to have a great family situation. However, I am becoming aware that I have been putting so much energy into maintaining this supposed “idyllic” state that I am wearing myself out.

I had a less than ideal childhood, and am overcompensating by trying to make my kids’ and husband’s life great. But, if I’m honest, I don’t think I am even being effective.

My middle child said I am putting too much pressure on him to be happy all the time. I do rush in to fix every problem and feel very stressed out when I don’t feel I can immediately make everything ok. I realize I am doing my kids a disservice since I am not allowing them to develop the skills they will need to self manage. What’s worse is that I believe I am motivated in part by looking for validation and feelings of self worth from my family, which is not fair to them.

Here’s my unintentional model:
C: Middle child’s pre-calculus grade has dropped to an 80 during remote learning (this is one of many possible examples)
T: Middle child won’t be able to pass the required college calculus courses needed to graduate with his major of choice (Computer Science)
F: Worry
A: Brainstorm ways to compensate and get his learning back on track. Look into tutoring programs (Huntington), online program (Khan Academy), bribe him to pull up his grades, reading a book on math to be able to teach him myself and best understand how to explain to him the importance of calculus, wonder if my daughter can teach him calculus, identify a back up major (IT) should he not be successful, research summer calculus classes at a local college to bring him up to speed. Worry that if he takes a second class this summer, it might be too much. Discuss ideas with husband and middle child. Ask middle child for ideas and solutions. Caught in a cycle of finding a perfect solution that middle child doesn’t reject. Lots of spinning and little effective action.
R: The result I create is: continue to worry and negotiate with middle child with minimal actual progress

This is my intentional model:
C: Middle child’s pre-calculus grade has dropped to an 80 during remote learning
T: Middle child is a smart and capable young man
F: Calm
A: Let middle child know he is the owner of his learning and to let me know if he needs my assistance on anything
R: The result I create is: peace of mind knowing I have a middle child who is learning how to manage his own issues

Let me know your thoughts. I want to make some additional models on the idea of looking for validation and self-worth by trying to be a super mom. I think this is the bigger issue…