Working moms have always had to contend with feelings of guilt, but those feelings are compounded by non-working moms who believe their way is the only way to raise a child. Then throw in moms like “The Tiger Mom” and “Helicopter Parents” and what you have is an all out mommy war.
“The Tiger Mom” is about strict parenting. This parent didn’t let her children have or attend sleepovers, required “A’s” on every report card, no TV, etc. You get the picture. On the other hand is the “Helicopter Parent” who is a tad over involved in their child’s life. Basically, the child is never able to make their own decisions, be anywhere without a parent, etc. Again, you get the picture, it’s what is known as “smothering.”
Where the mommy war comes in is because obviously these are two completely different styles of parenting. Both of which have lit up blogs, newspapers, and television screens as moms make their cases for or against the style(s).
Moms are not the only ones interested though. The American Bar Association (ABA) Journal has been having its own mommy war on the issue. Gaia Bernstein and Zvi Triger, both law professors contend that the courts are encouraging what they call “Helicopter Parenting.” They say the courts are rewarding overprotective parents even it it damages the child psychology.
Now, some of what the two professors contend as overprotective is little extreme on their part, they think showing up at every game, knowing the child’s friends and teachers, or making them ride with a helmet is smothering them. They also share some parents wanting access to their college kids records, professors, etc (OK, that is a tad much).
Melisa Zwilling, a lawyer, says, not so fast on the “Helicopter Parenting” label. She says that what Bernstein and Triger call smothering is actually good parenting, although she admits there are extremes but note they are the exception, not the morn. She calls the article “offensive and ridiculous.”
So, who is right? Is wanting to be with your child smothering? Will they be psychologically wounded for the rest of their life because you made them wear knee pads while they ride their bike (mandatory in some States)? Or, is this mommy war just another sneaky attempt to diminish the importance of moms to make them feel guilty for working or not working?
ABA Journal: Smothering Mothering: L.J. Jackson, November 2010: pg 18
ABA Journal: In Defense of Mothers: Melisa Zwilling, February 2011: pg 6