Jeff just called me a Helicopter Parent. ME? Seriously? He just picked a fight with one pissed off mother. There is NO WAY I’m a Helicopter Parent! I’m simply a mom who does her best to help her children succeed in school. And as a Boy Mom, this is hard work. My boys don’t learn best through traditional classroom methods of sitting still while the talking head goes, “Wah wah wah wah waaaa - ah!!”
Now, Ben is our 6th grade middle child, and I confess, he is treated as such. Last month, he called home 2 days in a row asking, “Is someone going to pick me up from school?” Gulp. So this would prove that I’m NOT a Helicopter Mom. I’m more like a 911 Operator that only responds when there is blood, or maybe screaming.
Nevertheless, I am bitter about Jeff’s accusation. I think through the events that led up to this moment:
Ben comes home angry from school. His teacher humiliated him by calling out in front of the class, “Ben forgot his homework again!” I, being the NON Helicopter Mom, insist that he must work through this because he will always have misunderstandings with people.
I send a sweet email to the teacher with my thoughts on the matter. Okay. Let’s be honest. It was passive aggressive. I mention the classroom incident and how Ben perceived it. I ask her NOT to discuss it with Ben. Just an FYI. She should be called out for what she did, RIGHT?!?
Teacher DOES discuss my email with Ben, and accuses him of lying to his parents. I want to punch her in the head. But I keep my mouth shut. SEE? NOT AN HP here!
Days later, I email Bully Teacher to ask a homework question. She says she only talks with students. “Of course,” I think. “Because you can bully THEM!” But I don’t respond. SEE? NOT AN HP HERE!
Teacher does NOT give Ben full credit for the math homework we TRIED to get her help with. She says to him, “are you going to tell your parents?” I envision myself punching her in the head repeatedly.
Ben forgets a book he needs for homework. I make him go back to school to get it. GOOD MOM. GOOD MOM. Bully Teacher tells the whole class they are not allowed to come after school to get forgotten books or work. And refers to Ben. Bully teacher just picked a fight.
I rant and rave to Jeff, but he sides with Bully Teacher and calls me, gasp, a Helicopter Parent! I ask, “How am I an HP? All I want to do is help my kid! I want to “walk alongside” him and teach him to deal with bullies like her!“ He scolds me for calling the teacher a “bully” in front of Ben. Apparently I’m giving Ben the wrong impression, because, like maybe she actually is trying to toughen him up for Junior High or something. Oh please. Whatever. Bully. Bully! Bully! Bully! I get silenced, and I’m advised to no longer discuss this issue in front of Middle Child.
So I smile, kiss & hug Ben goodbye and tell him sweetly, “Have a great day!” adding under my breath ..."with your Bully Teacher." He whispers, “so, Dad doesn’t agree with you?” I tell him, “yeah... NO. He thinks I need to back off and make you handle it.”
I stew over being called an HP. I’m not. I’m not. I’m not. I’m a GREAT parent! I defend my child! I show I care! I’m “involved!” I go and look up the definition of HP:
"Helicopter parent is a colloquial term for a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child's or children's experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions."
Holy crap. I’m a Helicopter Parent. No wonder I’m never chosen to escort field trips.