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Helicopter Parent and Tiger Mothers

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We confess we had never heard of a helicopter parent until a friend brought up another parent whose son had just suffered an accident: “He is such a total helicopter parent.”

It turns out that there are several types of helicopter parents — combat, traffic and rescue, for example — and this phenomenon has raised considerable controversy.

Helicopter parents’ lives revolve around their children.

If you have friends who teach university classes, they might tell you they were shocked to find some parents or others attending their children’s exam reviews. They have experienced examples of helicopter parenthood first hand.

helicopter parent

Things have gone so far that many universities have teams assigned to tell parents when enough is enough, and that they can go home and leave their child alone in the dorm room. This happened to Phil and Claire Dunphy on the TV show Modern Family, when they dropped off their oldest child at college. They practically had to be thrown out, weeping and crying, despite Phil’s attempts to seem like a “cool dad”, as shown here.

But there comes a point when some parents begin to ask themselves. “When did our parents ever go to our school? What did our parents know about the parents of our friends?” Our parents were not ”helicopter parents.”

Nor were our mothers so-called tiger moms. Amy Chua, a Yale professor, wrote Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother about the demands her parents placed on her and those she put on her own daughters. Amy Chua says that although she might have been misunderstood, and that her book was in part self-parody, if parents have to choose between success and happiness for their children, they should not hesitate to choose success. “It’s about believing in your child more than anyone else – more than they believe in themselves – and helping them realize their potential, whatever it may be,” says Chua.

Smartick parents believe in developing both their children’s happiness and their potential. For this reason, Smartick sessions are short, so children do not get tired of them. Children are rewarded with points in Smartick’s Virtual World. This can help keep parents from becoming parodies of helicopter parents or tiger moms.

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Conchi Ruiz Cabello

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