Attention Helicopter Parents: College Is Not In Your Airspace
The children of helicopter parents are finally off to college. Unfortunately, mom and dad aren't staying home. Colleges and universities are having to deal with the nuisance of overbearing parents keeping constant tabs on their adult kids.
In a way, I understand the plight of the helicopter parent. Raising a kid is expensive. It takes time. It takes determination. For many folks, a child is the most important investment they'll ever make. And just like any other highly leveraged investment, you want to keep tabs on it and make sure it's protected. Thus, the overbearing e-mails to teachers and the windfalls of cash spent on safety features and now, as mentioned in this Washington Post piece, phone calls to college presidents regarding dorm disputes. Yeah, you read that right. Helicopter Mom and Helicopter Dad are still fighting their kids' battles on the collegiate level.
Amy Joyce, author of the Post article, researched a number of parenting studies and found that there's a big difference between taking an interest in your kid's life (good) and overparenting (bad -- really bad). Adults whose parents had been way too involved in their lives have been shown to have difficulty assimilating in social situations, the office workplace being an example. Predictably, kids with overbearing moms and dads have trouble assuming independence, developing coping mechanisms, and exhibiting the discipline needed to succeed in a collegiate setting. One professor, who had to deal with a mom sitting in on a disciplinary meeting, explained to Joyce that such a relationship between parent and child only breeds helplessness.
So how should a parent afraid of crossing the line prepare to send their kid to college? Joyce recommends a sit-down with your child, addressing them as an equal rather than a subordinate, and discussing the levels of support that would benefit each party the most. Just remember: keeping your college student reliant on you for emotional support will severely hinder their growth. Just as you don't want to ring your investment manager every five minutes to check in on pork belly futures, you really don't want to suffocate your kid. Joyce puts it best:
"It is more than difficult to let go. But saying goodbyes at the dorm and then giving that little bird a push is what will help him or her succeed. That doesn’t mean letting go or not being involved anymore. But hovering and intervening too often doesn’t do students any favors."
Keep reading at The Washington Post
Photo credit: XiXinXing / Shutterstock
Understanding thinking talents in yourself and others can build strong teams and help avoid burnout.
- Learn to collaborate within a team and identify "thinking talent" surpluses – and shortages.
- Angie McArthur teaches intelligent collaboration for Big Think Edge.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Rediscovering the principles of self-actualisation might be just the tonic that the modern world is crying out for.
Abraham Maslow was the 20th-century American psychologist best-known for explaining motivation through his hierarchy of needs, which he represented in a pyramid. At the base, our physiological needs include food, water, warmth and rest.
Using a new process, a mini-brain develops retinal cells.
- Mini-brains, or "neural organoids," are at the cutting edge of medical research.
- This is the first one that's started developing eyes.
- Stem cells are key to the growing of organoids of various body parts.
Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?
- Ghosting, or cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is not nice.
- Growth-oriented people (who think relationships are made, not born) do not appreciate it.
- Destiny-oriented people (who believe in soulmates) are more likely to be okay with ghosting.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.