Kayak Women has often ranted about Helicopter Parents in the past. Last week I heard a variation on that term, Curling Parents. This got me researching via the web. This post is compiled (with editing) from various sources.
Curling Parents like Helicopter Parents are both metaphorical compounds. They both denote parents who serve their children way too eagerly. Helicopter Parents are so named because, like helicopters, they hover closely overhead, rarely out of reach, whether their children really need their help or not. The term Curling Parents draws an analogy with the sport of curling; the phrase refers to parents who rush ahead of their children, frantically sweeping their path clean of even the most minor obstructions. Helicopter Parents is an American colloquialism, while Curling Parents is of Scandinavian origin. In Swedish the original word is curlingförälder (Curling Parent).
I’ve said that these are metaphorical compounds. In some types of metaphorical compounds, like computer virus, the modifier (computer) and the head (virus) make their metaphorical nature obvious. The term Curling Parents requires at least a rudimentary understanding of the sport of curling. To truly understand the term Helicopter Parents, I think that you really have to experience it in the flesh. Connecting two separate domains via metaphor can open wide the potential for conceptualization. For various reasons, some of these connections will seem more natural then others and will become more widely used. The following are some other terms that are derivatively related to Curling Parents and Helicopter Parents. Some connect better than others:
Blackhawk Moms – These are the ladies (and sometimes men) who attempt to remake the terrain so that it works better for their child to succeed, regardless of the consequences for anyone else.
Jet-Fighters –This is what you call Helicopter Parents who have become even more aggressive.
Parent Bouncers – The University of Vermont has employed `parent bouncers,’ students trained to redirect adults who try to attend their children’s sessions.
Satellite Parents – These are parents that perform the same functions as Helicopter Parents, but from a distance.
Snowplow Parents – Similar to Curling Parents, these parents try to clear a path for their kids
Submarine Parents – The opposite of Helicopter Parents, these parents have fun with their kids while letting them explore and learn natural consequences.
Trophy Kids – The generation graduating from high school and college now are called Trophy Kids and their Helicopter Parents are still hovering, making sure everything is going well for them.
Some hyper-attentive parents will call (over and over) the instructors of their kids’ college classes—no kidding!
Sam is right. A friend of mine did that. In fact, she even called the prez (small private liberal arts school but not K, which wouldn’t have admitted him). Kid? Flunked out freshman year.
As a person who grew up watching the CBC network (I was 10 when we got our first American channel), I got the curling metaphor right away even though I don’t know the fine points of the game.
So…do you fancy yourself a helicopter or a submarine? If a submarine, would a sub really go all the way to Acapulco?
We see ourselves as submarine parents, but I’m sure we still feel like Apaches to our kids.
Is it Acapulco or Cancun, I’m lost already?
I was not given the gift of life; I had the misfortune of birth thrust upon me!