Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Helicopter Parent Who Needs To Let Go

I was reading an article recently about the separation issues faced by parents sending their kids off to college.  They commented on how hard it can be to go from the active to the passive stages of parenthood. That made me think about my own journey out into the brave new world. While I did okay, I mean I didn't lose a limb, get arrested, or find myself living on the street, I do shudder to think of some of the ill-informed decisions I made for myself.

Now that I am a parent and included in what the media calls the "helicopter parent" generation, I wonder how I will do when my day comes to send my offspring out into the world. I know I will cry.  I will probably spend time feeling sad in their room. But I think the biggest thing I will worry about is their knowledge of themselves. (Okay, now is the time to roll your eyes and say something like, "Geesh! Don't you think your kids know themselves pretty well by now???")

I'm not talking about if they know their favorite color or who their BFF is, I am talking about details.  Do they know their medical history? Do they have their social security number memorized?  Do they know all of their allergies? Do they have an emergency contact list? Do they have access to emergency money? Do they have their current insurance information? (Wow, I am starting to scare even myself.)

In an effort to calm my nerves and prepare my child, I believe I will provide them a care packet of information.  Sending cookies is nice, but in reality it is the details that matter. A simple accounting of their personal information, along with medical records, insurance contacts and financial documentation will better prepare my child to face the world.  But really, who am I kidding? It will help me know they are prepared, and then maybe, just maybe, I will be able to let go.

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