Things are changing so fast these days that it’s hard to gauge how it’s all affecting our children and their sense of joy and wonder. Some parents worry that their kids will grow up emotionally distant and lacking warmth if they aren’t enough of a presence in their lives during the formative years. This has caused some of us to be at our children’s side as much as possible to anticipate their every need, or as it’s been called, “helicopter parenting.”
Some parents who will receive the most benefits from the upcoming tax bill might need some extra guidance on how best to helicopter parent in the new gilded age, so I’ve devised some handy tips.
1. When you’re placing your child in their helicopter seat, make sure they’re strapped in tightly.
Seriously, no one wants to be jostled around while mid-air, even if it’s a short ride from the Upper East Side over to the Hamptons. They say you don’t need to put them in car seats after 8 or 9 years old, but 26 is a lot safer because college and grad school is so important now. A master’s is the new bachelor’s after all!
Just to cover my bases I duct tape my little Worthington down and put a fun, bendy straw in there for him to breathe.
2. Before the propeller starts, put the short-wave radio headphones on your child yourself to make sure they’re on properly.
Trust me, there’s nothing worse than hearing descriptions of the East River from your pilot/tour guide when the right headphone is on the left ear. It will just make the music being piped in directly from Billy Joel’s practice space all the more jarring.
3. Make sure your child has plenty of activities to keep busy.
Remember that the devil will find work for idle hands.
Ever since Worthington started refusing to eat anything other than Malt-O-Meal with generous portions of cinnamon sugar on every layer for every meal, the chances of him overpowering the pilot to play with the controls have gone way up. I like to bring along a puzzle, coloring book, or some sort of sedated primate for him to play with when he gets bored.
It will feel like you’re helping ruin their attention span for the future, but you’ll be glad when you can enjoy your cockpit mimosas in peace.
4. Familiarize your child with the helipad space before taking off.
Should’ve put this one at the beginning but I’ll be honest, those mimosas stay with me for a while since I haven’t had a carb since either the 2003 or 2001 tax cuts. It all blends together, what a wonderful century this has been so far!
5. Make sure to have plenty of snacks on hand during the ride.
Kids have lots of energy and while that energy is being expended they burn tons of calories, those lucky little dependents. One thing I have found luck with is to wear a trench coat lined with Gogurts, granola bars, apple wedges, and a starter pistol. The snacks are for when my son needs some nutrients and the pistol is in case the revolution happens while we’re midair.
Make sure to check the coat if you’re attending one of Bloomberg’s fundraisers because junk food and guns are his two least favorite things and it will hurt your neck trying to meet him at eye level for when he lectures you about it.
6. Don’t let your child out of sight while you’re on the helicopter.
It’s so easy to just sit back and let your child entertain themselves while you go over your sculpting schedule with your personal trainer for the week, but the second you do you’ll find the apple of your eye hanging from the rotor mast screaming fun nonsense like, “Will anyone else please raise me?!”
I can’t keep up with all the new phrases kids these day like to ironically shout every time they’re in public.
7. Only allow your child to bring their 10 best friends.
Kids love to have other kids around when they’re doing something fun. And when they ask to have a little brother or sister you have to explain that you’re 57 and the IVF treatment company already put your portrait up on their wall for paying for their new wing.
This is one area I set my foot down with Worthington and only let him bring his closest friends like Brayden, Hilloria, Benzine and Grato the Third. They’ll keep each other occupied while you use the binoculars to make sure the property lines at the beach house are being respected by the neighbor’s help.
8. Ask where they want to land instead of telling them.
Sure, I could just demand that we land on the roof of our family’s compound that we’ve had outfitted for this and the holding area for our Eyes Wide Shut parties, but I like to make my son feel like he has more of a say in our family decisions, which is why I’m writing this letter and stuffing it inside this bottle in the Bermuda Triangle. If someone ever finds this out here please know that we had to eat the pilot and Worthington’s friend Palazzo to stay alive.
For the love of God get someone to come rescue us and enjoy these helpful tips during these booming economic times!