bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life


Okay, that was supposed to be the sound of helicopter rotors.  Did anyone think that?  Oh, well. Titles are tough. Moving on…

I am having trouble deciding how to balance between being a mom who lets her kids learn responsibility on their own and being a helicopter parent.

My son is a Freshman. I asked one of my son’s teachers if hounding him to do an ongoing project was “helicoptering.” She was very vague. So, in other words, not helpful. But, then again she’s probably half my age and doesn’t have kids. She said things like, “If he would work on his project for an hour a day instead of waiting until the last minute, that would be beneficial.” Well, duh. My question is, “Do I treat him like I did when he was in elementary school and tell him, ‘You can’t be with your friends until you complete an hour on this project?'” Does that teach him independence?

My daughter is different. She’s doing very well in school. In most classes. One class she is bombing. I don’t know how to help her. We study for the test (it’s math, by the way), and she gets it. She takes the test and BOOM! Bad news. I asked her how her homework grade can be 100%, then get so many wrong on the test. Apparently, the homework is just an “effort” grade. If you do the homework, you get 100%, regardless of how well you do on it. Well, that explains why the homework doesn’t figure into the final grade, but it’s a little misleading.

But, she’s in 7th grade. I don’t have as much of an issue with making her sit down and work on the math with me each day. She’s still learning “the ropes.” But, am I doing the Freshman any good by “mothering” him? In just 3 1/2 years, he’ll be in college. On his own. Certainly as far as studying goes.  His grades are good. No complaints. Do I just let it go?

When I was in MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers), someone said, “When your kids get older, it doesn’t get easier. It just gets different.”  Amen, sister!


Comments on: "Whirrrr…Whirrrr…" (2)

  1. Lisa Malmstrom said:

    Oh, Michelle! We are sailing in the same boat!! Someone always told me this when my kids were little and I couldn’t wait until they got older…”little kids, little problems; big kids bigger problems.’ This is so true!!

  2. It’s a tough one. I have a child that I haven’t had to ‘help’ since grade school and she’s done great.

    I have another (just to balance things out!) that has gotten (needed?) more ‘direction’ and worry from me. When this one got to high school, she asked me to let her do things on her own and not nag her. Not total A’s and B’s, but very respectable. And MUCH more peaceful around here, though it’s been hard for me to watch the ‘last minutes’ and ‘catching up’. I told her that she’s responsible for checking her grades online every week, and seeing what she needs to do.

    I would say to let him learn on his own-because, as we all know (and I sometimes forget), learning isn’t only about passing the subject…..

    Hope that helps.

    Good luck with the math thing-maybe a high-schooler that tutors?

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