calling all helicopter parents

I am not a regular reader of The Philly Post, but this particular post which I will share  caught my eye.  In essence it is on continued helicopter parenting.  The term refers to parents who so manage their kids lives they are literally like hovering helicopters.  They parent to such a degree that they literally strive to solve every issue or problem a kid might encounter –  even fairly innocuous and regular things we all dealt with growing up.

These parents are creating legions of future mammoni except male and female.  Kids unable to truly cope on their own and problem solve and reason effectively.

I have heard stories for years and seen parents that if I was their  kid they would have driven me cuckoo because they so did everything.  The problem is these kids don’t know anything different, so they have never learned how to reason out issues in some cases, or problem solve.  I think although done out of love, it does kids a disservice.  Some kids rely on it so they can work their parents – I have seen that too.

Any problems at school, parents wade in.

Any social problems outside school, parents wade in.

They go to college, parents still wade in.

The past couple of years in particular I have heard stories of friends in human resource jobs and who just work for companies where parents have weighed in with their now adult children – and it is not like their golf buddy or their friend from The Junior League owns the company.

Granted, there are situations where any parent should weigh in, but as hard as it is, we were all kids once, and there is some truth that kids will not learn some stuff unless they experience it.  And then after a point they need to learn to be responsible and accountable for their actions. And face it, the kids want to be.

The helicoptering I see a lot of has to do with kids not actually doing their own homework, or if a teacher suggests a child might say behave better in school, the parent go all postal on a school and a teacher.  (Remember the infamous story a few short years ago about the teacher at Baldwin?)

The author here mentions a book with an absurd premise called The Case Against Homework. According to these authors what is wrong with kids today is homework. Homework causes obesity and probably cancer too according to them.  Who knew?   (My eyes are rolling on THAT one.)

Anyway, vroom, vroom.  Read this:

Philly Post: Today’s Overprotected Kids Are Tomorrow’s Nightmare Employees

Maybe they’ll be able to take their parents to work.

By Alexandria Barbadoro   7/17/2012 

Have you ever been to a tee-ball game? Scooping out your own eyeballs with a plastic spoon by the end of whatever they’re calling the first inning will cross your mind more than once. There are no strikes and no outs, and the only cheer is, “Don’t worry about it, buddy!” It doesn’t matter if it’s dark or raining, or that locusts are descending upon the field, no one is going anywhere until every single kid stands at that tee and gets a hit.

This exact value system, where ego inflation prevails over boundaries once in place to support true success, is exactly what has been imposed on public education, and exactly why public schools are failing. It should come as no surprise to us that, while kids report that school is too easy, and they have the stickers to prove it, literacy of any kind is not their strong suit…

Education is the one profession that untrained people think they can do better—including the large faction of parents who think that homework is a waste of time. It’s become an annual debate that makes the rounds on morning news shows in September. Books have even been written about it, like The Case Against Homework. According to this book, kids aren’t obese because of TV and video games; it’s all homework’s fault. The authors claim that homework doesn’t promote academic success, only fatness.

As a teacher, I disagree. Homework requires kids to follow directions, learn how to ask for help, be accountable, manage their own time, and take pride in the end result of their best efforts. The kid who never did his homework and got away with it because his mother was always ready to dis the school and throw down with the teacher…and whomever else ……will be the insubordinate adult on the job who doesn’t know the meaning of the word “deadline” and always has an excuse for being late and unprepared.

2 thoughts on “calling all helicopter parents

  1. Asian child rearing is very much helicopter parenting. I have read a lot about it…I wonder how cultural differences affect the outcome.

  2. You know, I was just at the local pool yesterday, took my 2 boys and one of them brought a friend, so I was supervising 3 kids, ages, 3, 4 and 5. They got into a little “thing” with another kid who was probably 3 or 4. It was over sharing a toy, and it was this other child who came over, and asked my boys if he could have the toy that they were currently playing with, and they said no. He kept asking them for it, mine all kept saying no. I just kept a close eye, but said nothing. Sure enough, the other mom came over and intervened, and gave me the stink eye because my kids wouldn’t share the toy. The whole thing was only going on for 60-90 seconds………really? I mean, if we don’t give kids the chance to work it out themselves, how do we even expect to have adults that can solve problems? Helicopter parenting makes me nuts.

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