For Real Friday: Demeter the Helicopter Parent

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As I mentioned on Monday, Demeter is often labeled as an overprotective helicopter parent that sheltered her daughter to an extreme degree when the myth is told, despite the very clear and logical reasons she had for worrying about her daughter’s safety.

Some of this attitude is reflected in the echoes of the myth that have permeated modern culture. Mother’s searching for their kidnapped children are labeled as crazy or hysterical despite the obvious insanity of the situation. That attitude of children making their parents (mother especially) irrational and “crazy” overprotective isn’t just limited to extreme cases like kidnapping. Mother’s run into commentary on whether they’re being over protective every single day.

You’ve all seen the “when I was young memes.” When I was young, streetlights were my curfew, I rode without a car seat and didn’t die and stuff. Most of the memes and blogs and commentaries on parenting today leave it at that, life was simpler when I was young. Fair enough. But many take it a step further and use the commentary to talk about how dependent we’re making our kids, how being over protective is so harmful and irrational, how entitled this generation is becoming. Ignoring the fact that every generation has said that ever, let’s break down that “argument” here. When you were a child you lived in this perfect idyllic utopia. Okay…so when your generation grew up the world became a horrifying and terrifying place where we can’t leave our kids alone. I mean, you see that as an accomplishment? Oh, wait, no, this is the part of the debate where you throw the fact that the world is safer now than it ever was at me, kidnappings are rare, all the scary statistics are down, it’s just the media sensationalizes everything to make you paranoid. Which…generation controls that media, again? I mean, regardless of the why behind the fear, you don’t get to build that fear then rub our faces in the fact that you didn’t live it.

I mean, let’s forget the fact that for the earliest years of our children’s lives, when we aren’t seeing terrible stories of children kidnapped or sold into the sex trade, we’re being arrested for stepping more than five feet away from the car, sued for neglect for letting kids play outside unattended, and criticized for taking time to look at our phones while our kids are happily playing. Let’s ignore the fact that if anything ever did happen to a child, literally the first comment on any news article is always something about what the mom should have done differently (rarely does anyone mention Dad). Yet when a mother’s action reflect the reality of the world they live in, they’re scrutinized for being over protective and crazy. The earliest lesson a mother learns in today’s society is that there is no winning.

Becoming a mother is a wonderful thing but it’s also taking the weight of the world on your shoulders. The entire world. Because that entire world is sitting back and watching your every single move with your child and judging every decision you could possibly make harshly and loudly. Even goddesses aren’t exempt.

What are some ways you’ve seen mom’s called over protective in light of a completely rational fear?

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One thought on “For Real Friday: Demeter the Helicopter Parent

  1. Pingback: For Real Friday: Kidnapping | Kaitlin Bevis

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