Tag Archives: pre-teen

Open letter to helicopter parents

Dear Helicopter Parents,

I am sympathetic to your worries and can understand your intentions, but I would appreciate it if you could reign in your hovering urges when it comes to my kids.


Kids leading the way along the WillametYou see, I am not one to hover; mine are the children who wave goodbye to me without looking back.

They know I would never send them off into a world they are not prepared for.

They know that things might go differently than they might expect, but they can adjust and move on.

They have been listening to the new skills I have taught them at each step of their development.

But it is what I know that I would like to discuss with you.

I know when it is time to let them choose who attends their birthday parties.

I know when my kids have learned what range of foods they should put in their own lunches.

I know when it is time to let my 11-year-old navigate a controlled crosswalk across a busy street.

I know when my 11-year-old can ride with his 8-year-old sister to your house for a play up the notorious hills of North Vancouver.

I know when they are ready to be at home alone for 15 minutes, a half an hour, and eventually for an evening.

Isaac star jump

So, please don’t

Pout if your kid was not invited this year,  he or she may make the cut next year, who knows, kids are fickle.

Feed my children more than they thought to pack.

Insist on picking him up because you wouldn’t let your child cross a busy street alone.

Offer to drive them home.

Wonder what kind of parent I am to leave her children alone.

Because, I’m the kind of parent who expects that her kids

Never need to be reminded to be polite.

Never expect other houses to be just like home.

Never need me to hold their hands while they are out.

Never question why we choose to leave the car at home whenever possible.

Always know that I am just a phone call away should they need me.

They are confident, flexible, individually minded, and proud they can do so much on their own.

They make mistakes, they get hurt, and they struggle with their feelings.

They fly their own helicopters.


A woman trying to teach her children independence and courage

Live within limits without limiting life

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Your lip turned down and you began to cry


10, yet today you were my baby boy. Your voice rang like it does in our home movies, and as long as I wasn’t looking at you, you were 4 years old, without a care in the world.

Your voice is believable as a little boy’s, but your face seldom trips me up… that familiar face. So familiar in fact, that it’s expressions reflect my moods, my tones, my own temper, and straighten me out when I’m being unfair. Today though, you were beyond repair and needed “mommy” as you haven’t needed me in years. Years.

Boy with a cello by Betsy Agar

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“Them” and “Us”

A boy and his mom

A boy and his mom

I am a researcher.  Science has been my specialty until recently. Now in a humanities undergraduate program, I have become quite familiar with the theory of “us” and “them.” In concept, this notion is easy to apprehend, but in practice? I had to experience it first hand. I was officially “them-ed” today. Continue reading

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