April 16, 2021

Helicopter Parents

I really don’t know which side of this thing I’m on, for once. But it was interesting, and I’d like your thoughts…

Today brings us an article from the AP regarding Helicopter Parents, those parents that choose to “hover” over their children when they go to college. It seems that children are calling their parents to straighten things out on campus more than they have ever been before. The article links this to the advent of more children/parents having cell phones. This presents a problem if the goal of the college is to take children and break dependance on the parents.

But here’s my problem… is that the college’s job? Should the college be educating them and preparing them as an arm of the parent’s educating their children, or should they be a stand in for the parents. If the parents are paying for the education (in the case of this article and Colgate U, $40,000 a year) shouldn’t they be able to have a say?

I think the problem is that the parents are training the children correctly on how to be responsible and not go to them before they go to college, so that they are still dependent after they get there. Some training for the parents could help here. But, I think you need to respect the parents wishes, and be up front about what kind of service you’re providing.

One of the families in our church sent a child off to the USMC a few months back. They were not allowed to communicate with them for a few weeks, and then it was by letter. There’s some logic there, though I would think that it’s for different reasons. The USMC wants to have the adult dependent on them and are afraid that people will quit. The colleges are just afraid that the parents will call up because Susie doesn’t like her roommate.

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