It’s not my fault. I swear that I am to blame for many things. I admit to the fact that my personality, viewpoints and beliefs have changed since becoming a parent. I am definitely more vigilant. Until today I have never tiptoed over the line that separates the typical parents from those that hover. Until today when I became a helicopter mom.
The parent who dropped her child off for a sleep over without ever meeting the parents. The mother who takes her child and their friends to the town fair and tells them to meet me in an hour. The mom that trusts her child to pack and ends up with a child not bringing any underwear. I have never stopped my child from feeling sad, getting hurt or thinking life was perfect. I may have been responsible for all three of those feelings.
I’m not a free range parent, but I am certainly not one of “those” moms who chase their child with bubble wrap in case their feelings get hurt.
Until today when I became a helicopter mom and I swear on my glass of Pinot Grigio it wasn’t my fault.
In junior high our school system comes with a torture device that allows parents to get up to the minute updates on their student. Child doesn’t turn in their homework, you get an update. Child takes a test, you receive not only their score but their current grade for the course. Child goes to the nurse’s office and misses a class, you get an immediate notification that they are not in class. Their teacher can send reminders and alerts. A parent can e-mail from the app to discuss any of the above.
It is the Facebook of Helicopter parents and I fell into it’s trap.
Fourth day of school I get an alert that my student is failing English.
What the what! It’s day 4 and already she is failing 7th grade. How the heck did that happen? I immediately enter the app and find out she is missing a homework assignment. While at work I immediately, as in four seconds might have passed from the moment I got to the alert, from when I was e-mailing the teacher from the app to find out what assignment was missing. I get home from work and
kick that child’s behind assist that child in finding the assignment.
Deep breath, I thought, just check the app every once and a while. It’s not Facebook. One missed assignment out of one missed assignment is not a true average. I should just check in to make sure my child is on track. I need a true average not a status update.
I forgot that I had turned on automatic updates. I don’t have to check the app, the freaking app checks me.
Third week of school I am sitting at my desk and receive an alert that my child has marked absent in 3rd period. What the what!
I feel kind of bad for kids today. Back in my day (damn, I’m old enough to say that), you showed up in homeroom, got marked present and then you could go on your merry way to the beach. (Not that I ever did that, but I could have). Fast forward 30 years later and I am sitting at my desk having a moment of panic that my child was abducted by aliens in between science and social studies. For the rest of the day I wondered if she was okay.
I stopped myself from contacting the school. I figured when I didn’t get any more status updates I could trust that my child had turned up for 4th period. I will not e-mail the teacher, I chant to myself, I will not e-mail the teacher.
My name is Kerri and the school system turned me into a helicopter parent.
Oh…. Memories of the good old “absent list” where by showing up late gets one out of school for the day, while not being marked absent officially because you signed in late, but too late to be removed from that list that has already been distributed – not that I ever did that either 🙂