A 21-year-old college student named Aubrey Ireland has convinced a court to approve an order of protection against her own parents for "stalking." Helicopter parents, everywhere, consider this your last warning. This could be you in a courtroom saying your mea culpas next!
The Irelands had raised a kid responsible enough to get to her senior year at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Not bad, huh? Not good enough for the Irelands apparently. They've spent the years since their daughter actually grew up and became a legal adult doing everything from driving to her school unannounced to accusing her (wrongly of course) of promiscuity.
Poor kid, er, adult woman.
Parents, if you think your kid is that screwed up at 21, it's time to sit back and consider: whose fault is that? I mean, you raised that kid, didn't you?
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This is the problem with helicopter parenting in a nutshell: these sort of parents put so much effort into controlling their kids' every move that they forget that eventually they will grow up. And when they do, these no-longer-kids need to have developed the skills to survive. If they haven't: guess whose problem it is ...
Ding, ding, ding! The parents!
It's tempting to be controlling, to spy on your kids, to be up in their every bit of business. But it will only end up hurting everyone involved.
Aubrey Ireland seems to have made it out pretty OK, all things considered. Somehow, she escaped.
But her parents seem to be living the life of a typical empty nesting helicopter parent. You get to that point where your kids are grown up, and it's too late. You can't do anything but wonder: can they do it? Can they muddle through with the limited skills we gave them?
Stalking your adult kid like the Irelands have isn't a sign of the kid having done something wrong; it's a sign of a major parenting failure. These people can't even trust their (grownup) kid. If that's not a wake-up for the helicopter parents, I don't know what is!
Don't let your kid be the next one hauling you into court. You can still fix this!
Be honest, have you considered how your kids will fare in college without you? Think they will be able to do it?
Image via Steve Snodgrass/Flickr