Learning to Let Go – How I Stopped Being a Helicopter Mom
Written by Stephanie M.
It has recently become apparent that I am no longer an integral part of my children’s school day. My daughter has herself buried in honors level courses, and my son is doing what he does best- cruising through his assignments and getting the job done. Since we have started online classes, they have politely asked me to butt out of their daily routine…except for lunch…I am still called upon to make lunch. Oh, and I still have to drive everyone everywhere, so I guess I’ve got that going. My point is, now I have A LOT of free time!
For years I hung around looking over their shoulders, or worse, did things for them, to make sure they got things completed on time and the work was done correctly. I was a Helicopter Parent. In fact, my son would make “choppa-choppa-choppa” sounds when I entered the room while he was working, and my daughter would just sit idly by while I re-did all of her work. Not my proudest mom moments. I realized I was not helping them learn to be successful on their own, and it was doing more long-term harm than good.
Whitmore School works for us. The mastery approach to education allows students to learn from their mistakes and make corrections to assignments before being graded. (CREEEA-KK- audible sound of a metal gears grinding). The teachers are supportive and give specific directions on how to make improvements to their work. (CLANG! I think that was one of my rotors falling to the ground). And, with the Diploma-Plus Program, I get weekly updates showing me exactly what assignments have been turned in, how many assignments are left to complete a course, and their current grades. (BOOM! I am on the ground. My hovering days are over!)
Admittedly, I don’t always know what to do with all my new found freedom, and there are times I feel less than useful. I’ll gladly take their lunch orders (yes, they call me on the phone to ask what’s on the daily menu) and drive everyone to and fro without complaint. It gives me a chance to catch up and talk about non-school related subjects. (WHIRRRRRRR). Could that be the sound of the Helicopter’s engine firing up again? Nah, it’s the blender – I’m making green smoothies for everyone.
I chose Whitmore School for both of my children. Click here if you would like to learn more about Whitmore School’s self-paced mastery learning.
Mom of Cal and Parker M. – current students