You’ve heard of helicopter parenting. But what about “jet fighter” parenting? Between helicopters, snow plows and lawnmowers, tiger moms, free-rangers and all the other “types” of parents, it might seem like there isn’t possibly room for one more. But then again, the term get fighter does sound pretty rad. So what is it, exactly?

While jet fighter parenting isn’t exactly a new term and it hasn’t enjoyed the media popularity of helicopter parents, jet fighter parents started making their mark years ago. Before Millennials grew up enough to start really adulting, Gen X parents actually started the jet fighter trend.

Photo: Doug Kelley via Unsplash

Let’s start with a bit of a parenting history lesson. Once upon a time there were just parents. No tiger moms, no helicopters, just plain ol’ parents who let their kids be kids. But then the world got scary. Or rather, the media brought the scariness of the world into American homes with the ubiquity of the television. As parents started witnessing the big bads of the world on the nightly news, they started to hover—and thus, the helicopter parent was born.

As those hovered-over kids grew into Gen X adults with their own kids, they developed their own parenting style. Instead of the constant hovering of a helicopter, the jet fighter parent waits in the wings and swoops in when needed. Think of the jet fighter as “partial-helicopter” or “helicopter-light.”

So now you’re probably wondering, “Hey, am I a jet fighter parent?” Chances are you are—but maybe only at certain times. It’s totally understandable. Who wouldn’t want to swoop in, save the day and get out immediately after?

—Erica Loop



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