Behaviour Therapy

helicopter propellers

Hovercraft

So now I’m seeing a therapist who sits in her chair and listens to me for an hour.  Last week during my second therapy session, I asked the question… “Why do I need behavior therapy?”  Therapist’s response, “Because we need to focus on your behavior.  Not the thoughts or feelings that cause the behavior”.

Boy, did that make any sense to you?  Surely makes no sense to me.  Why not first study my thoughts and feelings, because obviously it’s these thoughts and feelings that are causing me to be a hovering, overbearing and overprotective Mommy.  It’s these thoughts and feelings that make me worry about my son every waking moment.

I sit there and spill my guts out to this woman.  Pay her an exorbitant fee, and then leave her office wondering what the heck just happened?  How many more sessions before we get to the root of this “Helicopter Mom” thing?

I started thinking maybe I am so overprotective because my father died when I was just thirteen.  I grew up without a father and a mother who worked night and day to provide for myself and my siblings.  Or maybe it’s because my mother remarried, had more children and my siblings and I don’t all have the same father?  I’m not sure, but I hope we can get to the root of it all very soon.  This stuff costs way too much money.  But, it was something I had to do, because I have to find a way to function when my son leaves for college next year.  Trying to keep him home with me or following him off to New York – will only hinder his growth and I don’t want to do that – but sometimes my propeller switch stays in the ON position.

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Risky Teen Behavior

What do you define as risky teen behavior? Submit your comments via email, so I can blog about them in the next few posts.

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Abnormal Teen Behavior

Please define this too?

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Teen Girls are More Likely to Off Their Helicopter Moms

If you have a teenage daughter and the two of you are not getting along – you’d better beware. If your daughter has a boyfriend and you don’t like her boyfriend, then please watch out for the obvious signs that could lead to the unthinkable. Girls between the ages of 14 and 17 who attach themselves to the so-called wrong kinda guy or bad boy are usually prime candidates for resenting their mothers so much that they often team up with their no good boyfriends and murder their helicopter moms. You read about it all the time, but sometimes no one makes the connection.

These young girls usually have very loving, attentive and caring mothers. Mothers who only want the best for their daughters. Unfortunately, teenage girls don’t always make the wisest choices when selecting a boyfriend. They sometimes end up with older, more controlling guys. These guys brainwash them into thinking life would be better without their meddling moms.  The girls are young and are sometimes totally controlled by these boyfriends.
You helicopter moms need to keep your eyes open and look for the signs:

Your daughter argues with you in order to spend more and more time with her boyfriend

Your daughter sneaks out of the house to see her boyfriend

Your daughter steals money from you to give it to her boyfriend

Your daughter constantly lies to you about her relationship with her boyfriend

Your daughter has mood swings, that vary from happy to extremely sad and almost hysterical when you place restrictions on her regarding seeing her boyfriend

Helicopter moms, you love your daughters but be careful, look for the signs and get counseling for your daughters before it’s too late.

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Teens Who Want to Divorce Their Helicopter Moms

I was reading an article today about an 18-year-old young girl, who lives at home with her parents. She views her mother as controlling and a bit too much at times. She has a boyfriend that she is madly in love with, but her mother totally disapproves of the guy. According to the teen, her mother wants to control when and where she sees her boyfriend and even impose a curfew. Her mom sets unrealistic house rules and even blurts out things like, “…you are never to move in with him until you are married”.

The problem here is that the 18-year-old wants to be treated like an adult but won’t be – until she starts acting like one. In today’s society, adulthood comes with more than just a number. Yes, she is 18 and in the state of Ohio she is recognized as an adult, but unfortunately she is a “dependent adult” whom depends solely on mommy and daddy for financial support.

In her letter to Dear Abby, the teen writes:

“I am technically an adult, which means to me that I can make my own decisions and suffer the consequences if there are any.

I know I live in my parents’ home. I follow their rules and respect their wishes – but this is a bit extreme, don’t you think?

Abby, please advise me on how to explain to my mom that I’m an adult and not a newborn baby as she regards me.

– Not a Child Anymore in Ohio”

I must agree with her, when she says she is technically an adult. However, in reality she is not. An adult is someone who is responsible for themselves. She needs to get a job, earn her room and board and ultimately her parents will respect and trust her. But, right now she is acting like a spoiled, ungrateful, little brat. The teen complains that he mother treats her like a “newborn baby”, but if you behave like a newborn, then you will be treated as such. Grow up and stop whining!

If you are sick and tired of your mommy being all in your business, then get a job, move out and get your own place. Start school (if you haven’t already) and begin to act like a young, responsible adult. Your mother isn’t hovering because she’s bored. She’s hovering because you are immature and she’s worried that you will make some really bad choices. (i.e. your current boyfriend) She doesn’t want to see you hurt. So, wake up and stop blaming your Helicopter Mom, she only means well.

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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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Overparenting equals Neurotic Kids

I read an article a few days ago about helicopter moms who raised neurotic children.  I can only hope that my son does not become neurotic since I am truly a helicopter mamma.  I don’t see myself changing anytime soon and as I write a new book about my experiences as a helicopter mamma and how it’s affecting my life, my husband, my close and extended family and friends – I can’t imagine my life any different that it is today. I always wonder how my son is doing and if he is OK.  Even while he is at school.  I still worry and pray that he is alright.

I know this is an illness, this thing called over-parenting, but how can I stop?  I read once that a study was done on mice who hover over their newborns and there was something in a certain region of the brain (within the mice) that caused this over-protective behavior.  It was called Stathmin.  It caused a fear factor to reside within the mamma mice.  I wonder if this is what’s causing my fear?  I hope not.  I feel like a protective mamma bear.  I want to make sure my son is always happy and always doing well.

In the coming months, as I get closer to publication of my new book, I will post where you can purchase it.  I am hoping that by writing, I can help others and myself overcome being acute helicopter mammas.  If we can’t be so overly protective, can we still be minutely protective?  Or does it have to be one way or they other?

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