The Dangers Of Being A Helicopter Parent
Chances are you know one a helicopter parent. They mean well, they want to make sure their children have the best in life, every advantage, every opportunity. Specifically, these examples of a helicopter parent apply to the parents of college students and their over-involvement in their lives.
The problem with this is fairly obvious, but usually not to the helicopter parent. The term is used to describe parents who constantly hover over their children. They are very involved when it comes to school, and making sure their children are retaining as much information as possible. Sometimes a helicopter parent even chooses their children’s classes when it comes for registration.
From the perspective of the child, this is basically extreme micromanaging, adding lots of pressure when it comes to school. According to a study in The American Sociological Review claims that the more money that is spent on a student’s education, the worse they do. Based on a separate study this also leads to less dissatisfaction on the part of the student.
This attachment that parents have with their children, the unwillingness to let go, hurts them much more than it benefits them. The journal Education + Training recently published that there is a fine line between being supportive and detrimental, some guidance is helpful. Too much involvement makes it impossible for students to handle their own problems.
The Washington Post refers to a couple college professors which surveyed 450 students on how efficient they are, how involved their parents are and so on. The study showed that the students with “helicopter parents” had less confidence in their abilities to accomplish goals.
So, the next time you get a phone call from your distressed college student, be there for them but know when to hold back and allow them to solve their own problems. Know your place as a parent, when you are helping and when you are hurting.