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.

Life As A Working Parent During Covid-19

Our struggle is not an emotional concern. We are not burned out. We are being crushed by an economy that has bafflingly declared working parents inessential.

This is something that I’ve been thinking about a few weeks after shelter in place started. And here we are, almost 4 months into this, and it is only now being written about.