Let’s Talk Helicoptering

I was sent this video about six months ago, and with the topic of motherhood and parenting this month on the blog, I thought it appropriate to bring it out into the conversation. It features Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of the book How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success who was in town speaking at St. John’s School here in Houston.

And, wow.

Lythcott-Haims is a former Dean of Freshman at Stanford University. You will not believe the stories she tells involving the level of involvement some college parents invest in their kid’s lives. She shares a very unique perspective in that she was witness to the evolution of “helicoptering” which she says began early to mid 1990s, when she and her colleagues were highly amused and perplexed by, for example, parents selecting their kids’ college course load. Fast forward to today and this overparenting is the norm. Additionally, as a parent she’s squarely in it and admits to succumbing to it.

Here she is giving a Tedx talk to an audience of high school students, an abbreviated version of the link above which is tailored to parents.

Listening to Lythcott-Haims speak is eye-opening to say the least. As I listened, I kept finding myself thinking about my own childhood. What happened to the days when your mother said things like “Be home before dark.”  and “If you are bored, go play outside with the garden hose or use your imagination.”  OR “Please wear shoes today.”

Ah, the gift of simpler times. Now, mind you — I grew up in a sprawling suburbia outside of Houston, Texas in the 70s and 80s. It was an emerging mecca of half dirt roads and half civilization. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I guess the reasons are so vast and complicated as to how we, as parents,  have gotten to be where we are today, but one thing is for sure — our kids have lost their ability to just be kids. And this, more than anything else, makes me sad.

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Gratitude and Perspective

My friends-

I was in the middle of a crazy busy week recently, hyper-focused on the job at hand, blowing, going and barely looking up. You know these days.

Then this hits my inbox, from a family that had received a grant from Autism Rescue Angels, the non-profit I helped form to help ease the financial burden for autism families. This type of letter just puts everything right back into perspective.
ARA letter

This mom’s words are profound. You hear a mother’s heart in every sentence. 

I invite you to learn more about ARA in the video below or visit Autism Rescue Angels here.


P.S. The Angel Wing Charm that’s a part of my Southern Charm Bar was inspired by the work of Autism Rescue Angels and honors all those affected by autism. Fifteen per cent of Southern Charm Bar sales both online and in stores through September 2016 will be donated to the organization.

Next week on Wednesday, May 18, 6-8 pm we kick off the Southern Charm Bar with in-store events at four Houston area stores featuring fashion bloggers as our special guest hosts! Hope to see you there!

Rice Village featuring Lilly of Daily Craving 
2439 University Blvd., Houston

Market Street featuring Dede of Dress Up Buttercup
9595 Six Pines Drive, The Woodlands

BLVD Place featuring Elly of Uptown with Elly Brown
1700 Post Oak Blvd., Houston

CityCentre featuring Alice of Lonestar Looking Glass
800 Town & Country Blvd., Houston

For more details about the Southern Charm Bar launch parties, click here.

Share for a Chance to Win from the #SouthernCharmBar!
Share this post by May 18, 3pm CST and three lucky winners will receive an angel wing charm, a 22 inch necklace, and two charms of their choice!  Elaine

What If…

I wrote the poem below in reverence to moms everywhere — single moms, married moms, special needs moms, non-special needs moms, working moms, non-working moms, overwhelmed moms and lastly, moms who are just waking up every single day doing the best they can trying to find grace, healing and peace IN THE SPACE BETWEEN — that elusive, magical space between knowing and not knowing. Happy Mother’s Day.

What if…

We knew what was ahead…

The worry.
The fear.
The uncertainty.

Would it change our decisions or destiny?

What if…

We could control it all…

The milestones being met.
The friends to be made.
The grades to succeed.

Would we feel complete?

What if…

Our hearts weren’t so exposed…

Disappointments mitigated.
Challenges made easy.
The pain relieved.

Would we experience the fullness of it all?

What if…

There is no right way…

Too much. Too little.
Too soon. Too late.
Too harsh. Too soft.

Would we know we are okay?

What if…

The healing rests in the journey…

Finding beauty amongst chaos.
Simple moments ring true.
Mistakes bring growth.

Would we feel at peace?

What if…

The answers rest in the space between.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be thrilled if you’d share it and I invite you to Join the Collective
to follow and subscribe to the blog. Elaine