Are Helicopter Moms Enablers?

I met a woman today who told me she has a 37-year-old son, who lives with her.  Her son is married and has three children  (ages 5, 6 and 12).  Her daughter-in-law does not work and is currently in the job market seeking employment as a job as a dispatcher.  The problem is that the woman I met, we’ll call her Liz says she supports her son and his entire family and has been doing so for the past eight months.  I think it’s OK to help your kids out when they run into financial difficulties but to support an entire family – that’s way too much.

What really grabbed my attention was when Liz mentioned that her son was a crack addict.  I said, “You gotta be kidding me.”  Liz exclaimed, “I love my son and will support him until the day he dies, if I have to.”  Now that’s a true Helicopter Mamma.  She is standing by her son and his family through these tough economic times, but I say Liz needs to throw that son of hers into rehab.  If she really loves her son, then she must be willing to accept the fact that he is an addict who needs immediate help.

I asked Liz, “Who gives your son the money for drugs?” and her response was, “I do.”  I was speechless.  I felt bad for her, because I could see the pain in her eyes, but I think Liz feels hopeless.  I mean, her son is 37 and still lives at home with mamma?  I mean, really???  This is ridiculous!

Which brings me to raise this question, “Are helicopter moms enablers?”  Do we enable our children in both good and bad situations?  How can we stop enabling them when we know it isn’t doing them any good?

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