DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My mother was the biggest helicopter mom out of all my friends’ moms, and that is saying something!
I NEVER asked her to step in and fight my fights. Worse than that, her interference made problems for me where there weren’t even any.
To show how bad it was, a few years ago I ran into a retired teacher I had in elementary school. She told me she and the other teachers in the school used to feel sort of sorry for me because they knew from experience how such an “active, involved parent” can complicate life for some students.
I swore I would not ever do to my kids what my mother did to me and my brother, and I have kept that promise.
I made a gigantic mistake last week, though, when I mentioned to my mother that my daughter had gotten her first “warning” because she and some other girls were getting rough on the playground.
My mother started flipping out and saying it wasn’t my daughter’s fault if the staff wasn’t keeping an eye on things, and this is the kind of thing that starts trouble for a student because everyone will think my daughter’s a bully, and all this on-and-on-and-on stuff.
I told her flat out this is MY daughter we’re talking about, and it was none of her business.
She got pissy with me and said I wasn’t much of a mother if I didn’t stick up for my kids.
Her words hurt regardless of how wrong I know she is. But what has me more upset is she hinted she “would have to say something” to the principal, who happened to be a teacher at the same school when I went there.
How do I put a stick in my mother’s helicopter blades? --- DON’T NEED THE “HELP” OR THE HASSLE
DEAR DON’T NEED THE “HELP” OR THE HASSLE: It sounds like you already started strong by letting your mother know in no uncertain terms that you don’t need her assistance with your child’s school life.
Given her history with your own childhood, however, it’ll likely take more than one reminder to reinforce your demands that she back off.
Hopefully your mom won’t feel she can capitalize on her prior knowledge of the current principal. I’d advise that if you get a confirmation that her contacting the school herself is indeed in the works, it may not be a bad idea to give the school a heads-up that they’ll possibly be hearing from your mother. Any seasoned administrator will have a strategy or two onboard to handle helicopters of every generation.