Parent blogger, Mark Spellun, talks parenting, separation anxiety and the technology that drove this generational change.
Helicopter parents—those moms and dads who can’t stop hovering—are supposed to be a symptom of our age. It’s unclear the exact cause. Some will blame the sensationalism of the media for scaring parents into not letting go. As for me, I’m going to have to blame technology. Please let me explain.
If you were born a few decades ago, your parents might have been happy just leaving a door open so they could listen to their sleeping bundle of joy. If they were really high tech they had a little radio monitor so they could hear their child if she woke up. Today nothing is left for chance. We are now on our second video monitor. The fist one served us well. It traveled with us everyplace. But I think it got dropped one too many times, so we had to get a new one. We just bought the Motorola MBP36 Remote Wireless Video Baby Monitor with Infrared Night Vision and Zoom.
The picture is crystal clear. The connection is much stronger than that of our first one, so we almost never lose contact. If he moves, we can even remotely adjust the camera. Our child never needs to be out of sight. The monitor even tells us what the temperature is in the room. And I think that’s where it all begins. We get used to so much information and control.
My question is, where will it all end? At what age will we feel comfortable with turning the night monitor off? What happens when our son starts going out on his own—will we let him or will we replace the video monitor with a cellphone?
Today’s parents never need to get separated from their kids, and that’s why they keep hovering even when their children hit their teens and beyond. Why say goodbye if you don’t have to?
Our son is just finishing up a separation class for two and three year olds. There was a lot of crying the first two months. He wasn’t even two yet. But now he runs through the door as soon as the teacher opens it. There are no goodbyes or looks back. He just wants to see what toys are set out for him today. He is a happy independent kid.
Now if there was a separation class for adults that would help us cut the electrical cord, then we could all move forward without tears.