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  • Subject



    I have come across the term "Fallschirmmutter" to describe, I think, the opposite of a helicopter parent-- it's a single mum who scrapes by, working class, underprivileged. The idea is that this is a parent who provides the bare minimum: the parachute required to stop the child from crashing to the ground.

    But I can't find it anywhere to confirm my understanding of the phrase. Any thoughts?

    AuthorEnglaenderin (1229752) 16 May 22, 12:32

    The New York Times has a letter to the editor in 2019 that defines "parachute parents" as those who "always want their children to have a soft landing. They’re the parents who always take their children’s side when an offense occurs and believe that their children should never have to pay any consequences for their behavior". But your definition sounds perfectly plausible to me too.

    I haven't seen the phrase in German, but that doesn't mean much.

    #1AuthorAE procrastinator (1268904) 16 May 22, 12:46

    Hmmm ... meine Suchmaschine findet keine Ergebnisse für "Fallschirmmutter" ... die alternativ angebotenen Ergebnisse sind bis auf einen Sensationsunfallbericht und eine T-Shirt-Werbung sämtlichst "adult only" ...

    #2Authorno me bré (700807) 16 May 22, 12:51

    Perhaps another expression is interesting in this context:

    “Parachute kids,” or unaccompanied minors, are youngsters who are sent to study and live in a new country while their parents remain in their home country:

    A child of wealthy East Asian parents who is left in the United States to attend school while his or her parents live abroad.

    #3AuthorBubo bubo (830116) 16 May 22, 12:57

    Es gibt sogar ein Buch mit dem Titel "Fallschirmkinder" (und "Fallschirmeltern"). Es geht um Überbehütung, entsprechend der Definition in #1.

    #4AuthorOedipa (676921) 16 May 22, 13:10

    Also haben wir drei komplett unterschiedliche, sogar gegensätzliche Definitionen von "parachute parents":

    1. eine alleinerziehende Mutter, die nichts weiter tun kann als ihr Kind so gerade eben am Leben zu erhalten (OP)
    2. überbehütende Eltern - da passt der Begriff m.E. gar nicht, das müsste eher "Schutzwesten-Eltern" oder "ich-schicke-den-Familienanwalt-Eltern" heißen (#1, #4)
    3. Eltern, die ihre Kinder über einem fremden Land "abwerfen" - immerhin gut geschützt (#3)
    #5AuthorRaudona (255425)  16 May 22, 14:40

    Mir kommt die Erklärung des Ausdrucks in #0 zu kompliziert vor und ich halte auch aus dem Grund die von Raudona mit 2 nummerierte Bedeutung für wahrscheinlicher. (Ich habe den Ausdruck noch nie gesehen.)

    #6AuthorMattes (236368)  16 May 22, 14:49

    Yes, I guess it was wishful thinking on my part that the term might represent the deprived single mums who can't afford to micro-manage their kids' lives! It was only speculation on my part and I think you are right: it's a German term for "helicopter parents. Many thanks!

    #7AuthorEnglaenderin (1229752) 16 May 22, 14:57

    In the NYT it was a subcategory of helicopter parents, the ones who took things too far - the letter was a response to an article about how one shouldn't dismiss the positive results of parents being actively interested in their children's education etc.

    #8AuthorAE procrastinator (1268904) 16 May 22, 15:02
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