I am a helicopter parent, and I am not alone. Lisa Belkin, a blogger for the New York Times, admits to many of the same tendencies I exhibit. This school year I am determined to let go of the reins a little. I want to do my best to help my children prepare for their academic careers as well as the social challenges they will face while at the same time encouraging them to strike out on their own a bit.
I can encourage them to sleep well by keeping them to a routine bedtime. I can feed them well-balanced meals. I can check their homework. I can ask where they spend their free time away from home while still encouraging their independence and keeping my fingers crossed that they stay motivated to make the right choices academically and socially.
The one thing I really need to work on, though, is remembering that my children are not me. They have different likes, wants, and aptitudes. Stephanie Elliot recommends being aware of the difference between helpful involvement and unproductive hovering. The best way for me to stay involved in my children’s academic careers is to know what they are learning and what they still need to learn to achieve academic success. Let’s Go Learn offers effective online assessments to diagnose students’ math and reading abilities, coupled with great differentiated instruction to enable me as a parent to help them prepare but let them perform.