Just Plane Dad mentioned this topic casually the other day as he prepared for an important meeting. Why do some people feel the need to micro-manage other’s lives? About halfway through our grump session, I realized that I exhibit the same attributes as those we were complaining about.
As a General Manager, he uses his micro-managing powers for good. As helicopter parents, we use them for evil. Hah! Bet that’s what you thought I’d say, but no, regardless of what the outside world feels, I have the best intentions.
For me, micro-management in parenting should be called guidance, protection, or discipline, to name a few. Piloting our daughter to a productive adulthood is of the highest priority. Our life is centered on making the right choices in raising her. I wear my Helicopter Mom title proudly and I realize that micro-management is at its most fundamental level. Unlike the corporate world however, I am totally invested in whether or not my child follows the path I’ve laid out.
At work, Just Plane Dad can leave his staff the list of tasks that need to be accomplished and if they don’t do it, he can choose whether or not to give them reminders or assistance or if they fail to complete the work, he can terminate them. Thankfully for his staff, he feels as adults they shouldn’t have to be watched over and expects them to work without his “babysitting”.
At home, the game changes.
If Beloved doesn’t follow the path we’ve paved for her, the consequences could be dire for her future. Kids that aren’t given direction will look for things to fill the void…bad things! We most definitely have to micro-manage her. I use every available method to drive home my message. I have an entire stash of lists, sticky note reminders, cell phone texts, verbal reminders and FaceBook notices to remain on her radar. Perfect example, it’s not enough to just tell your kids not to smoke, they need to really understand the dangers and know your stance on the issue if they are to succeed in staying away from cigarettes. They also need to be reminded of your thoughts on the matter or it will leave their angelic little heads.
If we didn’t
hover micro-manage, how would we know that she intends to follow through with our rules and wishes? Another example is school, it’s not enough to simply hope your child is passing Science; you have to ask about assignments, read the progress notes, and show up to the parent-teacher conferences. Beloved attends home school therefore I’m relied upon to participate in the learning process more than most; which feeds my desire to be near her. Even though she’d like me to not peer over her shoulder as much as I do, I feel it’s my job [while she’s a child] to be available if she needs help.
Her future boss can thank me as she’ll probably find this annoying behavior perfectly normal when she enters the real world. With regards to the corporate world, it’s frustrating for adults to be handled the same way, so tell us the task to complete and then back off!
Hovering high and low, Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad