The New Helicopter Parents

Danielle Braff in the New York Times:

Welcome to e-learning, where some parents have become reluctant helicopters, circling their kids as they attempt to learn, helping them with their every move. Throughout the country, grown-ups privileged enough to be able to stay at home, or to even have a few minutes of “spare time,” can be found sitting adjacent to their children on Zoom — or just a few feet away, poking their dependents when attention wanes, and yelling at them to raise their hands, speak into the camera and stop fidgeting.

This has been my life from March-June, and then when school started again, from August until last week, Monday, October 5. I was kind of torn with the idea of sending our kids back to school when the pandemic is nowhere near under control. At the end of the day, I was ok with all the precautions the school was taking, and the fact that our youngest needed the structure and socialization of school. And my wife and I needed our sanity back. Given everything else going on, I think I can say that distance learning has been the hardest thing on me by far.

Although this aspect of the pandemic has been covered in the media, like it has in the New York Times, I don’t think it is being discussed honestly between other parents.

Why Time Feels So Weird

The global coronavirus pandemic has heightened our awareness that time is subjective. For some people who enjoy working from home, the days have whizzed by. For others desperate to travel or visit a loved one, time has slowed to a crawl.

I’ve noticed that my sense of time is all messed up since the pandemic started. In the middle of March, when shelter in place was first implemented, the rest of the month took forever. Then April flew by. We’re halfway through July and I can’t believe all of our family’s May birthdays were two months ago. It seems longer.

For those of us with kids, we can relate. There’s a saying, which I’m paraphrasing, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Each day, especially now, seems long with keeping them entertained, fed, and, most of all, healthy and safe. But it’s nuts to see our youngest one is now 5 years old. The passage of time is weird.