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Helicopter Parenting Has Gone Too Far


Helicopter parents are a really big problem in America.  These parents must stay involved in every aspect of their kids lives.  These parents pay extremely close attention to their child’s or children’s experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions.  Helicopter parents are accused of being obsessed with their children’s education, safety, extracurricular activities, and other aspects of their children’s lives.  The term was originally coined by Foster Cline and Jim Fay.  Helicopter parents are so named because, like helicopters, they hover overhead.  Sadly, it has also been reported that some such parents get involved with their children’s salary negotiations at their jobs.  Yes, helicopter parents needs to put that helicopter down and let their kids experience the highs and lows of life.

I believe the biggest reason why helicopter parenting is so big right now is thanks to the media.  We all get bombarded with news stories about child abductions, child killings, academic competition, and ultimately, competition in a global economy.  Kids of helicopter parents often feel embarrassed because their parents are embarrassing them in front of their friends.  Kids want to keep their friends and be popular in school instead of being bullied!  So how would you feel if your parents were controlling your lives while in college?  A story has come out where a college student has gotten a restraining order keeping her parents 500 feet away from her.  Here’s the story from ABC news.

Aubrey Ireland, a 21-year-old senior studying music theater at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, now has a stalking protection order against her parents, Julie and David Ireland of Leawood, Kansas.  Aubrey’s parents would often drive 600 miles  to surprise their daughter.  They installed monitoring software on her cellphone and computer.  And at times, the mother wanted her daughter to leave Skype running so she could watch her daughter while she was sleeping.  The parents told the school officials that they suspected she was suffering from mental illness and needed evaluation.

Aubrey Ireland said it perfectly, she said in court it was like being “a dog with a collar on.”  Aubrey claimed her parents accused her of promiscuity and illegal drug use and threatened to take her out of school to be tested for mental illness.  This is really going too far isn’t?  The situation got so bad before the restraining order that the school had to hire security guards to protect Aubrey Ireland.  And now since her parents are demanding she pay back the tuition to the school.  The university has given her a full scholarship.  The saddest thing about all of this, the parents and the daughter cannot resume contact until Sept. 23, 2013.

It sounds like the mother and father just could not let go of their daughter.  For some parents, it’s tough to let their kids go into the adult world.  It’s just like watching mama birds kicking their child birds out of the nest.  One day; it has to happen!  But for some parents, they want to stay involved in their kids lives way into their 20’s.  Children learn best when they are allowed to make mistakes, spend time alone, experience disappointment, experience winning and losing, and find out the difference between right and wrong.  They don’t need their parents to show them what to do.  They need to experience it!

It’s sad this story had to come down to this.  But parents need to let their kids experience life.  I hope Aubrey Ireland can re-establish a relationship with her parents one day.  But until then, she can complete her college education in peace.  If you need help stopping the “helicopter parent” addiction watch the video below!

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