Admit it. Are You a Helicopter Parent?

Amanda Lynch Elliott

by Amanda Lynch Elliott

Amanda Lynch Elliott is a native of Pensacola and an attorney with My Pink Lawyer®. Amanda and her husband are parents of two young daughters. Amanda enjoys running, yoga and paddle boarding, and has a twin sister.

I can’t help but feel a bit of sympathy for the kids of the celebrities that are currently headlining the news in what has been coined “Operation Varsity Blues” – a massive college admissions bribery scandal.


Fifty people have been charged for their involvement in a bribery and cheating scheme to get unqualified children into elite colleges by altering exam scores or being admitted based on false athletic credentials.


A federal investigation uncovered over $25 million in bribes, altered exams, and even photoshopped sports photos.


The more well-known amongst those charged include Full House’s Lori Loughlin, otherwise known as “Aunt Becky,” charged with paying over $500,000 to the University of Southern California, and Felicity Huffman or “Lynnette” from Desperate Housewives, who is accused of paying $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT score altered.


They are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud (felonies) which carry a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison.


While I generally share the public reaction that these kids took the spots of deserving, hard-working, less privileged applicants; a part of me feels pity for any child whose parent is willing cheat and lie to make sure she or he is “successful.”


One applicant was edited into a stock photo and portrayed as the MVP of the soccer team on her application to the University of California, Los Angeles, having never before even played soccer.


She was added to the team roster and named team manager upon her admission to UCLA.


What a surprise that must have been for her teammates! And how embarrassing for the kid!


My takeaway?


I won’t be a helicopter mom. I won’t be a helicopter mom. I won’t be a helicopter mom.


A helicopter parent is one who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child(ren).


My own parents somehow managed to strike a remarkable balance of providing my siblings and me with just enough direction to keep us on track (whatever track we chose), while requiring us to be extremely independent from a very young age.


I hated it at the time. It seemed like a lot of my friends/classmates got everything they wanted just by asking. Why the heck did I have to work so hard for EVERYTHING? Why is life so UNFAIR?


However, as is true with most things, in retrospect I totally get it.


Among other things, they taught us how to navigate the tough parts of life, be resourceful, make important decisions, and work hard – traits that (in my humble opinion) have served us all well in our respective endeavors thus far.


Now that I’m a mom myself, I am absolutely sure that my parents were just winging it; nevertheless, we’ll give them some credit here.

 Amanda Baby Liv & Becca

Similarly, at My Pink Lawyer®, we’ll help you navigate the more challenging parts of estate planning.


You don’t have to have a million dollars in the bank to benefit from estate planning. We will work with what resources you currently have and go from there.


We’ll break the big decisions down into bite sized pieces for you and give you the information necessary to make sound choices for yourself and your family.


We assess the needs of each individual client and tailor our services to meet those needs.


We do a bit more handholding (helicoptering?) in our professional role, but hey – that’s what you pay us for.


Truth be told, it will be a few years before I can attest to my own parenting style with any real certainty.


However, I refuse to hover over my daughter’s shoulder, monitoring her every move.


In my mind, I’ll just swoop by every now and then to check on things.


Maybe that makes me more like a paper airplane mom than a helicopter mom – and I’m okay with that.


Amanda “More Like a Paper Airplane Mom” Lynch Elliott


P.S. My Pink Lawyer® now offers TWO great options to get your estate plans in order. Our group workshops are cost effective ways to get started if you have never planned before and want a cost and time effective way to have a basic estate planning solution. Our Family Succession Strategy Sessions are private, more in depth and designed for those wanting a bit more from their planning, their situation or family is more “complicated”, or they just want some extra hand holding. Either way, we got you covered.


To learn more about our upcoming group workshops for fast implementation of a basic estate plan, check out our information page here.




To learn more about our Family Succession Strategy Sessions, read more here.


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