I Hate Bubble Wrap: Could I Still Be a Helicopter Parent?
The other half of the time I spend trying to keep track of Devlin. Neither one of these activities is relaxing. After losing him for the fourth time in a half hour, I finally found Devlin in line for the twenty-foot high diving platform. There were children younger than him in line. It wasn’t immediately apparent to me whether I should let him jump or not. On the one hand, if he wanted to do it, it would be a great confidence booster. On the other hand, he’s had private swimming lessons for two years and we describe his swim skill level as “able not to drown”.
I never considered myself as one of those overly-protectivehelicopter parents, but perhaps I’m delusional. In my meager defense, Devlin is not neuro-typical and has a heart-stopping habit of running away (a/k/a eloping) Two summers ago I took him to the emergency room three times in six weeks for self-induced head wounds. He’s just that kid. I try to let all my children, but especially Devlin because of his unique perspective as a child on the autism spectrum, make their own mistakes. I’m the parent that thinks to myself that one of the kids is really close to bonking their head on the table and if they are doing something stupid, have the attitude that, “well, if they bruise their noggin trying to juggle the cat and their slippers, they’ll know not to do that again.” But maybe I’m not really that cool. More empirical evidence needed.
I did let Devlin go off the high dive. He could never remember to hold his arms in so his arms hit the water like he was hurling towards earth from a plane without a parachute. That didn’t stop him from jumping off at least fifteen times before we left.