In a Boston Globe article called “Meet the Helicopter Parents: These helicopter parents are 90. Their kids? 65,” by Beth Teitell gives a number of hilarious examples of middle-aged grown-ups being helicoptered by their 90-year-old parents:
“My mom asked for the phone number of our school board to tell them they keep me out too late at meetings,” @bonitadee tweeted. “I am 57 and a school principal.”
The writer Roxane Gay captured the new reality. “My mom just texted me to curse less on twitter,” she tweeted on April 8. “I said stop stalking me. She said ‘I will not.’ I am 43.”
I too get unsolicited advice from my dad. I probably enjoy it as much as my kids like unsolicited advice from me. It’s not very often, though. And another thing I learned in this article is this: when the advice ends–you’ll be very sad.
Another point, we are just as much at fault for allowing our parents to helicopter. Most adults don’t stand up to their parents or say anything at all. For example, my daughter has no problem telling me when to stop over-parenting or helicoptering. My son is more polite about it, but he tells me not to worry. “That he’s got it handled.” Me, I say nothing, or try to explain my point of view. Mostly, I view both my mom and dad as leaning to the “free-range” spectrum of parenting, rather than helicoptering.
Here’s more from the article:
Welcome to 2018, when people are living so long that baby boomers, the original helicopter parents, have helicopters of their own.
A growing number of middle-aged folks — accustomed to directing their teenagers and young adults’ lives — are also on the receiving side of the equation. In today’s world, you’re never too old to be somebody’s baby.
In 2012, 53.7 percent of people aged 55-59 had at least one parent living, compared with 43.6 percent in that same age group in 1992, according to Ashton Verdery, an assistant professor of sociology and demography at Pennsylvania State University.
Relationships between adult children who are 65+ and parents who are 90 and up are new enough that the National Institute on Aging is funding a study.
Kathrin Boerner, the principal investigator of the “Aging Together Study,” and an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston, said she was surprised at the amount of advice and support that flows “downstream,” from very old parents to senior adult children.
Are you an adult with helicopter parents? What do you say when they give you unsolicited advice?