2 hours ago
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
New Grounded Parents Post: Helicopter Parent
I have (finally!) written a new Grounded Parents post.
This one is On Being a Helicopter Parent.
I hate the art with this one tons, so instead of using it, I have used ENTIRELY DIFFERENT art instead.
Why didn't I use this art at GP?
Excellent question, to which I have no answer.
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My parents were a mix. In high school my mom told me I was the one who needed to talk to teachers and administrators about problems, so I'd have these experiences in which I'd meet with a high school counselor right after another girl and her mom came out of the counselor's office about the same problem teacher.
In the end, my mom (and my roommate's dad) did make a phone call for us in college after our entreaties to housing to get the several-day old vomit cleaned up from our hall (which housecleaning refused to do until our neighbors got rid of their dog) and that actually caused something to happen. Threats to call the local health department may have been involved.
See, it never would have occurred to me to ask my parents help in *either* of those situations. I was entirely on my own from about age ten on.
Which I'm not convinced was a great thing. Sure, I learned (early) how to do things. Like, I've been doing my own taxes since I was fifteen.
But I missed out on a lot of things, too. It never occurred to me to apply to decent universities, because I had no idea scholarships existed, for instance. (And despite my terrible GPA and missing SAT, my ACT was phenom.)
My mom bought me the Fiske guide for colleges and said I was on my own but they'd pay for whatever I picked. My boyfriend's mother actually did every part of the process for him except writing his essays (including making sure that he didn't apply to schools near where I was going-- but we ended up married *anyway*).
But I also had the benefit of having an excellent college counselor at the fancypants magnet we went to for high school. Without the college counselor I would never have ended up where I am today. As older siblings and recent college grads, DH and I were able to give better advice to our younger sibs.
Talking to DH's relative's girls, the oldest didn't even really understand how college worked. The second had a much better idea because she'd taken advantage of a lot of college-prep programs in high school and it's too bad she got pregnant (and has mental health problems and now I guess an arrest record) because she is very smart. In a different universe she'd be pre-law right now.
Yeah, I had none of that. I barely knew that I had to apply to schools. The ACT had that bubble thing, where you filled in the schools you wanted to scores sent to, and I just filled in the schools I lived nearest to -- the ones I could ride my bike to, basically. (I had no car, of course.) I ended up at the University of New Orleans, which as at that time an open-enrollment school (as I recall).
My parents paid half the tuition -- nothing else. Luckily, universities were dead cheap then, and I had money from the summer jobs I had been working since I was fifteen.
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