Tag Archives: reading skills

The opposite of a helicopter parent

First of all, if you’d like to see some amazing topiary art, hop over to my photography blog. I’m displaying the great topiary I recently spotted at the San Diego Botanic Garden for the WordPress weekly photo challenge’s unique theme. I bet you’ve never seen anything quite like it.

Now, if you think being a helicopter parent is a bad thing, wait till you see what the opposite parent looks like…

My eldest is in first grade and one of his main tasks is to develop and expand his reading skills. I can’t go argue with this exercise. After all, if he can’t read well, it makes it very difficult for him to learn almost anything in school. Fortunately I don’t have to worry about it because he reads well above grade level and loves reading (like mother, like son).

As you can guess, we borrow a lot of books from the library so we never run out of reading materials. His teacher also encourages reading by providing thick storybooks the kids are supposed to read out loud to their parents every night. This activity seems rather voluntary because my son is starting his third textbook while most of the other kids are still on their first one. I personally enjoy these stories because the textbooks are very old and a lot of the pictures are obviously dated. It doesn’t seem to bother my son though.

He got his latest textbook yesterday. It’s called Shining Bridges and it’s a second semester / second-grade level storybook. The book was published in 1965. Yes, almost 50 years ago. Yikes!

Shining Bridges storybook

Shining Bridges storybook

The very first story is about Eddie, a boy who wants a printing press a store is giving away for free (seriously?). When he’s ready to pick it up, another kid beat him to it. He happens to know the girl and offers her to trade the printing press for another toy. Eddie suggests a doll and she accepts his offer. The problem is, he doesn’t have a doll. So he goes to a resale store and finds one that’s pretty beat up but can be fixed. The store doesn’t have a bag for him to put the doll in and he’s embarassed to be seen holding it (sexist boy!). When a group of boys comes close to him, he puts the doll down and pretends to look at a store window. In the meantime, a dog takes the doll away. Eventually Eddie finds the doll again and this is what happens next.

Make sure you read all the words and look at the pictures. Then you tell me what’s wrong with this story.

Eddie, the doll and the baby carriage

The opposite of a helicopter mom

The opposite of a helicopter mom

Did you notice what’s wrong with this story?

Did you notice there was a baby carriage with a baby in it, outside a store, with absolutely nobody else to watch over it? Did you notice the mom was inside the store the whole time this scene happened?

I guess it’s a miracle our parents didn’t all get kidnapped. From helicopter parents to simply absent parents, from one extreme side of parenting to the other, I’m guessing there has to be a happy middle. What do you think?