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  • Writer's pictureSara Hurand

Autopilot Parenting

Have you ever heard of helicopter parents? They hover and micro manage every aspect of their childs' lives. And then there is a lawn mower parent, who mows down obstacles in front of their children so they don't have to suffer or work hard. These are American phenomena. Then there is the new me. The expat parent. The immigrant mom. Which manifests itself more like autopilot parenting. My friend asked me today how my children are doing in school, and I thought for a moment and replied, "I actually have no idea." They come home happy. They talk about their teachers and classmates positively. Instead of a mowing their lawns for them, I am taking a walk along what appears to be a well manicured lawn. My foreign language skills are still limited. I don't bother translating the parents WhatsApp group. I never visit the school website, which is, I'm not even sure what it is. I'm not exactly proud all the time about this, but for the most part I feel kind of great. There is so much more space for me as a person when I don't get in the weeds with my kid's business. They are taking care of themselves. If they need to fill out a form for a field trip, or wear a certain color, they are responsible for it. They are developing many more skills precisely because I am not helping them.

They speak two languages now. Imagine that? They go to school entirely in a second language. They are learning science and geometry in Hebrew! What a wonder. How do you say science in Hebrew? I have no idea! But they do. My 12 year old taught me how to use the bus this week. Sometimes it's a little weird to take a backseat to my kids, but I am honestly enjoying the ride.

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