The term “helicopter parents” is an expression for parents that has been widely used in the media. It seems it first appeared as early as 1969 and gained larger acceptance based on the continued use by school administrators. Specifically college administrators; as parents did everything from calling their child in the morning to wake them to contacting teachers directly about their child’s grades. They spend too much time ‘watching over’ their kids not allowing them the freedom to be on their own.
Welcome to the world of the cell phone, and all other sorts of instant messaging devices. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to make sure I was not a ‘helicopter parent’. Some parents I have talked to since I heard this expression say they are, definitely are, and are also proud to be so.
Now, as always, the diabetes community has been ahead of THIS CURVE for some time. I am pretty sure our “diabetes police” is the rest of the world’s ‘helicopter parent’. If I have a choice in the matter, I would much rather be more concerned about my child’s diabetes management than waking them up at college to attend class.
In either case it must be stated that too much of either, can be a detriment to any child. It’s crucial for them to stand up on their own. I have heard parents say that they will take care of their child’s diabetes for as long as they are able because their child will have to do it for the rest of their life. I differ with that statement and if it works for you—-it’s your call.
I’m a firm believer that the quicker a child starts to manage this disease and know that at the end of their day it is up to them, I think the better off they will be. Some things in this life are non-negotiable and good management has always topped the list. Not because I want. Not because anyone else wants. But because, I know, they will physically feel better.
And that is something they need to understand and realize so I, nor anyone else, will need to be ‘hovering’ overhead like a helicopter.
I am a diabetes dad.
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