Helicopter Parents

6 years ago

There’s a new title for those baby boomers that are parents of college kids – Helicopter Parents. Apparently we “hover.”


“Colleges complain that the millennials (kids born after 1982), as a group, lack problem-solving and decision making skills, have an inability to speak for themselves, little common sense, and feelings of being overly pressured to succeed. And they blame it all on “hovering” parents.” Said Sherry Anderson, editor of Kappa Delta Sorority’s Angelos magazine.


What I find so funny about this is that from the day these kids started kindergarten, parents have been encouraged (begged!) to be involved. We were guilty if we weren’t room mothers, proctors, chaperones, tutors, helped out in the school store or sold concessions at the football games.


We left work in the middle of the day to attend their talent shows, bring them a change of clothes or take them home if their temperature rose above the norm. We bought boxes of Kleenex and supplies for the classrooms and Christmas presents for the teachers.


Suddenly our kids go off to college and we no longer exist!


John and I went to Brittany’s parent’s weekend recently at Western Carolina and there weren’t very many parents there. In fact before we arrived she called to tell us we were being shared by a group of her friends.


I’m pretty sure the reason for the lack of parental presence was that the invitation came to the house addressed to Brittany Geiger. Not even “To the parents of Brittany Geiger”!


Apparently they thought helicopter parents read their kids mail.


I can understand why professors with 500 kids in their lectures wouldn’t want every student’s parent calling, emailing and texting their questions about Johnny’s test grade or Susan’s homework.


When I was in college it would have had to be pretty serious for my mom to make a long distant phone call to one of my teachers. Today there are dozens of cheap fast ways to make contact about every little thing.


But, still, it’s an odd feeling after managing your kid’s life for 18 years to be cut off. We can’t even see her grades without her password and permission. For a while I didn’t think they even had grades in college anymore! Even the financial information goes to her – which is kind of a joke, since we are writing the checks!


The only group at the school who has somehow tracked us down is the group that sells the baskets of goodies to be delivered to “your student” at exams. They write that they want 100% participation.


I always throw those letters away. If the school is sending something with my name on it, it can’t be important.



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