Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Helter Shelter

with 2 comments

If you’re going to be a helicopter parent, do it right. Get an actual helicopter and scare the bejabbers out of your kid.

We’ve been hearing an awful lot these days about overly protective or smothering parents, the kind that stay at the college several days into the grown child’s first semester away, even accompanying him or her to the registrar’s office to select courses (the New York Times had quite a series on the phenomenon a few months ago). Such devotion is all well and good, but if you really want your kid to depend on you forever and never risk his or her developing independence or healthy relationships with a significant other, putting the mother in smother has got to start much earlier than that.

I may not have a Facebook account, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know enough to suggest establishing a fake profile with interests and background congruent with those of your child, and using it to spy on or stalk your offspring. Since kids as young as nine are a dime a dozen in that ostensibly mature environment, the sneaking around online must start not when your child is considering applying to college, but when he or she is in third or fourth grade. That‘s the kind of forethought you need to maintain your edge in competing with the child for control of the child’s own life.

The hand-holding that you cultivate in the early single digits must evolve into a bear hug by the time junior high comes around. Choice in friends? Only with your approval. Evening out? Only if you can come along. Babysitting gig? Only for family friends with a webcam you can monitor. Access to the internet? Only through a tightly controlled terminal at home. Homework or school project? Shepherded along aggressively by Mom, Dad or both. Driver’s license? Over your dead body. Any independence the adolescent may attempt to assert must be met with overpowering demonstrations that they are but an extension of you, and therefore you hold ultimate authority over every little detail of their lives.

Yes, technically the law allows an eighteen-year-old to make independent decisions, but what does the law know? Did the law suffer morning sickness, swelled feet and back pain for what felt like three years of pregnancy? Did the law change your little boojie-woojie’s poopy diapers? Did the law shelter little boojie-woojie from that awful Wheelock kid across the street, the one whose parents neglected to mow their lawn regularly? Did the law comfort little boojie-woojie through bumps, scrapes, bruises and social rejection by “friends” who couldn’t appreciate the benefits that your attention afforded your child, and masked their envy in playground teasing? To heck with the law.

The test of your parenthood will come following college: when all is said and done, will junior move back in with you and remain perpetually single and possibly unemployed? Will he depend on you for food and laundry? Will he seek out friends exclusively in the single-digit and preteen range? If so, you have succeeded where most parents have failed. Pat yourself on the back.

Now it looks like junior needs his toenails cut. You go right ahead; we wouldn’t want to deprive him of immediate parental attention to his needs.


Written by Thag

November 1, 2010 at 8:16 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Stalking your child online doesn’t always make you a bad parent. However, stalking them in real life might.


    November 2, 2010 at 12:03 am

    • Yes, the person being stalked online definitely doesn’t care or get creeped out or anything. Especially not when fake profiles and IDs are involved. Noooo, of course not.


      November 2, 2010 at 6:18 am

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