Judith Woods reminds us that there’s a difference between good parental involvement and hovering overkill (i.e., “helicopter parenting“). We ought to dispense with calling it helicopter parenting, in fact, and call it marionette parenting. Parents should be in the helicopter, hovering about their children’s lives. That’s their bloody job, after all — to supervise, counsel, protect. You can’t do that from a beach a hundred miles from the action. You have to be in that helicopter. But you shouldn’t be pulling strings to make your children jump to satisfy your every hope and whim, whisking them away from every sign of trouble, hurling them into every situation that you think is a good opportunity for them, regardless of their wants. Helicopters aren’t the problem, marionette strings are. Pass it on.
This little essay came to me more as a dream or a prayer, and people seem to like it, so I thought I’d share it