You’ve heard the term: Helicopter parents are those moms and dads who hover low over their children, ready to swoop in for a rescue whenever the going gets tough. But kids learn best when they’re allowed to try things on their own, even if it means occasionally failing.
To see where you fly on the helicopter spectrum—too low, just right, or totally off course—answer these questions.
Answers and More Information
B. When a child is disruptive in class, it could be a sign that she is having difficulties or needs extra attention. Working with your child’s teacher, your child, and the school guidance counselor is the best way to get to the root of the behavior so you can look for ways to address it.
More on talking with your kids about school
B. It’s never a good idea to go over the teacher’s head and call the principal—especially for something like a poor mark. Instead, work with your child and the teacher on specific ways to bring up the grade, whether that means receiving extra help after school or instituting a stricter homework and study schedule.
More on working with teachers
B. It’s one of the hardest things a parent can do, but children—and adults, for that matter—must learn to accept the negative consequences of their actions. Forgetting something at school is an honest mistake. But it shouldn’t happen regularly. Getting a zero on a homework assignment should make a big enough impression that your child will get in the habit of double-checking that he has everything he needs before leaving school.
Download/print a reproducible homework checklist
C. At this age, most children love to use what they’ve learned in school to create a project all on their own. But most need help getting organized. As a parent, you can make sure your child has the materials she needs and walk her through the steps of creating a project. Then step aside and watch the results take shape!
More on helping with homework
B. Teachers often schedule back-to-back conferences with parents, making long conversations impossible. That’s why it’s a good idea to come prepared with questions—you’ll be sure not to forget anything important that you want to discuss.
Download/print suggested parent-teacher conference questions
A, B, C. There are always ways to stay connected to your child’s school. Taking personal days to attend school events, finding ways to help out during non-working hours, and checking in on PTO meetings are just some of the ways you can become involved.
More on how you can get involved