A thoughtful article about drone parenting (and you thought helicopter parenting was bad)

I just read this article by a parent who realized she was getting overly involved in her kids’ lives, especially their school work, and I shuddered when she said that often her first question to her sons after school was “What’s your homework today?”

Starting the after-school conversation with homework sounds cold and impersonal compared to “How are you?” or “How was your day?” which I always say first, but the second question I usually ask is “What’s your homework today?”

This mom said she micromanaged not because she was pushing her kids to excel, but because she realized her children were in that gray area of needing but not needing their parents so much anymore and she did not want to fail at parenting during this most critical time.

Like these parents, I could choose to look at my sons’ grades online every day if I want to (I don’t). She called this constant monitoring of her children “drone parenting,” and she gives some tips at the end of the article for how she stepped back and got back to being a more relaxed parent.

Since I’m a teacher, I sometimes feel an extra pressure for my kids to do well in school. After all, if I can’t help them stay organized, do their work on time, and get good grades, who can? I often advise parents to let their children become more independent and for kids to stop asking their parents to study with them, so I need to set the example by treating my own kids that way.

For the most part, I’m pretty hands-off when it comes to schoolwork, but every now and then I have that mini-breakdown where I fear I’m not doing enough (whatever enough is) and I start looking at my kids’ planners or their teachers’ websites to try to glean insight into what they’re doing every day in school.

I noticed I get more stressed out when I go into this mode and it doesn’t do anything helpful for my kids. Therefore, I vow not to be a drone parent!

[Image courtesy of public domain images on http://www.pixabay.com]

If you enjoy reading my blog, please check out my first novel, Giving Myself Away, about a divorced mom making tough choices and a fresh start.

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The coffee addiction cycle

It all started in high school. I started drinking in high school because it made me feel more alive, more energetic, more “me.” I just needed a little boost now and then. My friends were doing it too. Pretty soon, I found that I didn’t feel right without it. I started waking up feeling a little shaky in the morning, not wanting to talk to anyone til I had my fix. I told myself every day that just one would be enough, but I rarely could stop at one. I tried to quit, many, many times. The withdrawal was unbearable, but I’ve made it six months at a time for a few stretches. Seeing other people enjoying it without consequences fills me with longing.

IMG_7369It sounds like alcohol, but I’m talking about coffee. One of my friends in high school gave me this mug, which I still use to this day. I am not only physically hooked, but psychologically too. I definitely believe that coffee = success.

All these years later, I’m still caught in the coffee addiction cycle.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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Week one: I’ll just drink one cup a day. I hide my coffee maker in storage, and I use a tiny little eight ounce mug and I will only have one. If I’m craving more, there’s always decaf in the background (haha).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    IMG_7370

A week or two later: It’s a really tough day and there’s a lot to get done at work. I’ll just have one or two cups of the sludge that comes out of our industrial coffee maker. I know my stomach will start hurting very soon, but the rush of energy is worth it. I ignore my fast-beating heart and the lightheadedness.

A few hours later: I hit rock bottom (again). My stomach is hurting unbearably, my left eyelid is twitching constantly, and it feels like my heart is fluttering instead of beating. Time to quit.

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Day 1: It’s green tea all the way for me, baby! Notice the giant mug to make up for less than half the caffeine. I nurse a constant stream of tea and the first day is pretty good. No headaches! I don’t even miss coffee! I can do this!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Day 2: UGH. Just one cup of coffee….

If you enjoy reading my blog, please check out my first novel, Giving Myself Away, about a divorced mom making tough choices and a fresh start.

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