It’s NOT Helicopter Parenting!

helicopter parenting

Updated 9/26/2022

If you homeschool long enough, your teens are going to grow up, and what happens then might make such a difference in their lives.

Parents typically separate from their kids at age 5, if not earlier. It hurts, but they try to get over it, and their kids go about dealing with schools and teachers. But homeschoolers choose a different path, one that doesn’t involve breaking away from our kids. That’s a really good thing, in my opinion.

But what about when your child becomes a teen and decides to get a job or go to college? Conventional wisdom says that all kids are ready to fly from the nest and do their own thing at age 18 if not earlier. Homeschooling is over. We need to let go, most would say.

I think it’s a mistake to assume that we’ve done our jobs as parents at some arbitrary age. Homeschoolers don’t often talk about their older teens other than to gush about how wonderful they are. We should be sharing what’s on our minds – that in our hearts, we would really like to be more supportive of our young adults, but don’t want to appear clingy. And, gasp, we certainly don’t want to be labeled a helicopter parent! Yes, we parents have our own peer pressure to deal with!

Instead of anguishing because you think you have the only young adult who can’t do [fill in the blank] without your guidance, just listen to your heart and do what you know is right. You ignored society’s pressure when they were 5, so don’t stop now! We all know that each child has their own developmental timetable and that we see wide variations when our kids are young. It’s the same when they are teens.

If your older teen still needs your guidance, give it freely and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. And please pass on your experience to those who are following you.


Karen Taylor’s always homeschooled son attended a local community college after graduating from homeschooling. He transferred to UC Berkeley as a junior, and received a PhD in neuroscience from UCSF.  She shares homeschooling comments and links on Facebook, Pinterest, and this blog.