I never really thought of myself as a "free range" mom until I started paying attention to the way some other parents, well, parent. That's when I started encountering all these crazy helicopter moves!
When did we become a nation of such hoverers? Was it because we're the first generation of parents raised on a steady diet of after-school specials designed to scare the ever-living bejeezus out of us? Because we've had it drilled into our heads what happens if you open the door to a stranger, do drugs, or eat something with raw eggs in it?
Whatever is causing it, helicopter parenting has taken over America. And it could be in your house! Don't believe me?
Just take a gander at the signs of a helicopter parent:
1. Your kids' teachers see you coming and instead of greeting you with "Hi, Mrs. Jones!" they groan and whisper, "It's her again. Runnnnn!"
2. You still cut your son's meat. He's 12.
3. You have the principal on speed dial and keep a list of things to tell her "next time."
4. You're the mom who reported the mom at the playground to CPS. For feeding her son Goldfish.
5. You've priced a kiddie lo-jack system, and you're seriously considering the purchase.
6. You have a voodoo doll that looks suspiciously like Lenore Skenazy.
7. When your daughter got her "pen permit" from the school for learning cursive, you took it away because someone might lose an eye with that thing!
8. You've completed one of your kids' school projects. COMPLETED, not helped (yes, there is a difference).
9. Your won't let your son ride the school bus because the driver won't let you get on to check that his seatbelt is securely fastened.
10. You bought your 5-year-old a smartphone so she can text you when the bus gets to kindergarten to let you know they made it OK.
11. Your daughter wears a helmet to bed in case she falls out (and by bed I mean mattress on the floor, around which is a sea of pillows).
12. You are horrified when your parents suggest your 10-year-old throw out his own napkin and put his own plate in the sink.
13. Your child has NEVER lost a game. Not even Go Fish.
14. Your son's friends don't like to come over for playdates because they don't want to have to play with YOU.
15. You hired a Mandarin tutor. For your preschooler. In the United States.
16. You have "mommy" business cards that list you as "Acai's Mommy" and list her many talents.
17. You have never left your 10-year-old home alone with ANYONE (not even his father).
18. Your kids don't go to birthday parties because there are GERMS there.
19. There's a nanny cam in your daughter's bedroom. You don't have a nanny.
20. You say your kid has never eaten dirt (and you actually believe yourself).
Sooooo ... are you a helicopter parent? What other signs should make the list?