Sunday, November 24, 2019


When I went to St. Joseph Church in Macon, I heard a new term applied to some parents. They were called "helicopter" parents constantly hovering over their children to watch what they are doing and intervening in every affair of the child at school and usually not to support the school and its administration of their child but the child's complaints about the school. It is another term for micro-management or what some call control freaks.

This is how I was brought up.

My generation of kids were free range kids. We went outside to play and wandered far from home usually on our bicycles. We came back in time for lunch or dinner if that was required and certainly arrived home before dark.

I can remember as a 4 year old getting up early in the morning just after sunrise, before anyone else got up, dressing myself and going behind our apartment to my friends apartment's back door. He was my age. I would throw pebbles at his second floor bedroom window to wake him up. He'd come outside to me and I'd have to help him get his clothes on right and we took off! This was East Point, Georgia and Ft. McPherson, now a movie making capital of the world.

Of course my mom and his mom freaked out but it really wasn't any big deal to me. They may have notified a few moms in the complex to help find us but the police weren't called! BTW, my friend and I returned home on our own after going far off (I knew how to get back and I can still get around that part of Atlanta from a 4/5 year old's memory). We got home in time, of course, for breakfast!

If our school was in walking distance, we walked to school unaccompanied and back home to homes that had the front door or back door unlocked whether or not anyone was home!   In fact my mom would tell me she'd be downtown and would be home after I got home from school and simply come in the house by the backdoor that was unlocked!

Do kids today have the resources to be as independent as we kids were????? I know, I know, it's a different world and each kid now needs a secret service agent to protect him every where he goes which is usually only the back yard unless he has technology at his disposal which keeps him locked in his home. Or at least they have control freaking helicopter micro-managing parents.


The Egyptian said...

Well you survived quite well, I was raised on the family dairy farm, (that I now own, operate and hope to pass on to my son), badgered my dad from sun up to sun down, mom threw me and my sisters out of the house and put us to work, by the 2nd grade we were feeding calves and helping in the garden, by the 3rd I was driving tractor and feeding the cows, when dad didn't have me busy I was in the farm workshop tinkering, taught myself to weld in the summer between 3rd and 4th grade, year later dad just turned me loose and let me do repairs, I'd come in the house shirtless and covered with grease and hay chaff and happy as a lark. Sunburned and tired, oh how I wish I could go back and live it again. Ate like a horse and slept like a log, those were the days.
Oh and yes I got my behind kicked and probably deserved much more than i got

Anonymous said...

Father M. unfortunately the area of your childhood deteriorated after you were there, and East Point and the Fort McPherson areas have lots of poverty and crime. Like the type of area you would not walk around at night, and if you did, you would hope that only pebbles hit you and not gunshots! But maybe the rejuvenation of the Fort will help...right now in Atlanta, the portion north of I-20 is far more prosperous than the portion below, kind of like in Augusta, what is north of 15th Street and the Atlanta to Augusta CSX line is better off than what is below there.

DJR said...

Watch the short skit "Alternative Math." It's pretty funny.