The so-called helicopter parent phenomenon is in no small part due to the helicopter institutions and helicopter social phenomena. Parental anxiety is often amplified, if not created, by studies and expert advice. True, some advice is reassuring and it’s nice to have guidebooks to turn to. But there sure are a LOT of guide books (articles, TV shows, websites, radio interviews, health and nutrition pamphlets, developmental milestones, discipline, learning disabilities guides and assessments, religious material, instructions for sports gear, instructions for sports conduct, wavers, and so on)!
Parents, mothers especially, are under enormous social pressure (from other parents, grandparents, judgmental childless friends, strangers in malls, school secretaries …) which intertwines with expert advice. Consider the Mommy Wars: whether one ought to breast feed or bottle feed, use cloth or disposable diapers (harm your children or the environment they grow up in), potty-train late or early, spank or don’t spank, visit a speech therapist or wait it out, work or stay at home, and so on.
While holding your ground in the Mommy Wars, you must simultaneously swat up on global warming, vaccines, politics, etc. between hockey practices, flu season, meals and menus and spills and pet messes, outside work, carpooling, and volunteer activities.
Oh, and don’t forget your marriage. And your aging parents. And your relatives. And your friends. Your housework and your cleaning supplies. Be sure to read the labels on your groceries. Check the labels for laundry care when you buy clothes. Have that talk with your kids about … sex, puberty, bullying, internet safety, drugs, stranger danger, don’t touch zones, polite behaviour, homework, friends and why they’re different, why your family is different, why Mommy and Daddy are fighting, that Mommy and Daddy are going to live in different places, and peer pressure (Ha!).
But don’t worry. Your anxiety is harmful to your child. I read that somewhere. Just remember, your child’s future is in your hands and if anything goes wrong – – it’s all YOUR fault.
See, It’s all your fault. Pam-toons.