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Old 08-07-2018, 06:48 AM
3,340 posts, read 3,121,286 times
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I don't really think what you described as helicoptering. I agree with another poster that if they were you wouldn't have been in those situations. I'm guessing it's because you didn't check in.

When I was 16, I went to Denmark, Austria, Germany and Switzerland as part of an international cross country team. We ran together every morning but they used to give us a few hours to go exploring. I was exploring cities in Germany with other kids my age and having a blast. I didn't know anyone until I showed up to O'Hare to get on the plane to Denmark. I was one of 64 other kids that made the trip. I was gone for 9 days and had zero contact with either one of my parents. My parents were certainly not helicopter parents.

I'm not sure that I could let either one of my kids do what I did....we'll have to see. I have a few more years. I am a little more relaxed about some things than my husband is and it's definitely because of our experiences growing up. I also know that things are a little different than when I made that trip. My worst fear is human trafficking and for that reason I always keep aware of our surroundings especially in places that are close to the interstates. I didn't think about it until we needed to have a place to hold our girl scout meetings. The church had about 3/4 rules that were non negotiables and one was the girls were never allowed in this one area by themselves ever. It was because someone could grab them and be on the interstate and gone in a matter of minutes. Something must have happened at one time to make them have this rule.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:32 AM
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I don’t consider the incidents described to be “helicopter parenting”. I consider helicopter parenting to be a pattern where a parent tries to micromanage their child’s life.

I would be worried if I didn’t know the whereabouts of my child, teen or not, while in unfamiliar territory.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:33 AM
Location: Wisconsin
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OP, have you considered the possibility that your mother may have kept a closer eye on you when you were 14 because she knew that your father was very ill, maybe dying, and she did not want to risk losing another person that she loved? And, that she kept a closer eye on you two years later because of a similar fear?

Our next door neighbors were basically "free range parents" until their 16 year old daughter was killed in an car accident (when she was with friends). While they did not become classic helicopter parents, in their grief they really, really tightened up their monitoring of their other children. That monitoring even continued after the children grew up and left home (as an example, their married son bought a home almost next door to his parents and checked in with them daily for many, many years).
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:32 AM
Location: Canada
5,550 posts, read 4,003,739 times
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I was 14 and wandering around a motel alone in Florida. I was 17 and wandered along the beach alone in Daytona.

I think even these days, it depends on the individual teen as to how street wise they are and how good they are at navigating alone.

The OP should have left a note but it was good that his mother noticed that he'd changed his clothes and guessed he was doing something sports-wise.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
Would approximate whereabouts be enough? And does it depend somewhat on the intelligence of the teenager?

Based on your prior posts, I'd say they were not worried nearly enough!

jk, of course
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:43 AM
Status: "Spring has Sprung!" (set 25 days ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,497 posts, read 101,466,648 times
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Originally Posted by AnotherTouchOfWhimsy View Post
Um, no? A couple years ago, I traveled internationally with my then-15-year-old (to London). He was in a tournament at the EXCEL Centre and we stayed at a local hotel. He was able to go over to the convention center for his competition, but he wasn't allowed to leave the building without letting me know first. If he had taken off to do whatever else, I'd have been extremely worried and angry.

As much as 14-16 year olds think they are grown, they simply are not. In a foreign country, there are all sorts of cultural issues to contend with. (I work with foreign teens who come to the USA and are generally shocked at some of the differences.) A teen disappearing in a foreign country with no note and no way of contacting him/her? Any parent would be worried whether or not it was "only an hour."
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:59 AM
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This seems like almost the opposite of helicopter parenting to me. They let you go off and do your own thing without too much trouble it seems. Any parent will get nervous and angry if their child goes "missing" and they don't know where they are for an hour... especially in a foreign area.

Helicopter parenting would be them insisting you come with them, stay with them at all times, have an adult go with you to the bathroom, to buy a drink, etc. Also, probably remind you incessantly to put on sunblock, wear your hat, and watch out for insects/splinters/weird people/ and so on.
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:13 AM
1,201 posts, read 394,459 times
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Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
March 1973 - Bahamas

Not sure if this is the right forum but here goes. At the time of this event I was about to turn 16. I was relatively well-educated, aware of my surroundings and knew how to handle a variety of problems.

In March 1973, about two months after my father died, my mother and grandmother took to Sonesta Beach Hotel in the Bahamas. Which I think is now the Melia Resort. My mother and grandmother decided to go shopping in downtown Nassau, about 2 miles or so away. I took one look at the available shopping and decided I'd be dreadfully bored.

I knew from prior reading that they sold turtle soup at the local zoo, so I asked to take a side trip there. I went to the bus terminal in Nassau and quickly figured out that the timing wouldn't work. I'd have to take a bus to the zoo and then double-back into town to catch a bus back to the hotel. I thus returned to the hotel, changed my clothes and went to play tennis with a girl I had met and her brother. I forgot to leave a note in the room and cell phones didn't exist then. Needless to say my mother and grandmother were furious when they came back and couldn't find me. Finally my mother stuck up for me (a rare moment) by pointing out that I did leave my street clothes on the bed, meaning I was engaged somewhere in athletic activities, either in the water or playing tennis. And to this day I never have had turtle soup.

The forum question is, was my mother and grandmother needlessly alarmed about a one-hour disappearance?

================================================== ===============================================
February 1972 - Barbados

Rewind about 13 months if you will, to February 1972, except this time it was my mother and still-surviving father. We went to the Barbados Hilton. I was 14 at the time.

I loved calypso music, and told my parents I was going to the "night club at the hotel" to listen. I didn't realize there were two, one in the dining facility and one in an outdoor gazebo. I picked the latter. About an hour later I was the subject of a frantic search.

Now an aside, they would have been even more unhappy if they knew I was chatting with a doctor, who was explaining the real nature of my father's illness, quite distinct from the "happy horse-excrement" with which they were feeding me, and in turn which they were fed by their doctors.

Were these incidents "helicopter parenting" at its worst? Or was it warranted?
I don't think either is even remotely a case of helicopter parenting. Your parents left you and trusted you alone. Had you simply remembered to leave a note in the first instance, it would have been a non-issue, as would have been the case in the second issue if they had found you were you told them you were going. You were given the freedom to make the decisions to get on a bus to look for turtle soup or go play tennis; they didn't insist you tag alone with them or stay in the hotel! There's not one thing in this story that is helicopter parenting.
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:17 AM
Location: State of Denial
1,838 posts, read 903,701 times
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Apparently my parents didn't have a helicopter.

They let us two teens (my sister was only 14) go bum around Europe for three months in 1967. My mother said she cried all summer. They didn't know where we were or had been until they got an infrequent call from us or a postcard.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:13 PM
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Most mature adults share their itenary or changes. It's what we do when we have each other's backs.
I'm glad your parent had concerns of your whereabouts.
Beats the neglectful adults who assume a teen is immune from making care'less' decisions.

I recall leaving a note for my parents on a day where I was taking golf lessons. At 7pm I arrive home to , two anger filled parents. I was miffed....and grounded!! They said no note was on the counter. A few days of harsh words festered . Finally my step mom was going thru the mail and there was the note! No apology to me ...they just said...next time put it on the fridge.
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