The Ultimate in Helicoptering Parenthood

We have all heard of helicopter parents who persecute college professors with questions about why their little treasure isn’t doing as well as he or she deserves. But have you ever heard of a helicopter parent who calls a job recruiter and berates her for not getting back to her son soon enough?

This morning, my sister arrived at her office and discovered a 5-minute-long message from an irate Mommy who is upset with how her son’s job search is progressing. The Mommy obviously thinks her son is the center of the universe not only for her but also for professional job recruiters, so she never identified herself or her son by name. But she did use the words “my son” about 30 times.

What’s next, I wonder? Parent-recruiter nights? Recruiter report cards?

Dear helicoptering Mommies and Daddies! If you just can’t force yourselves to let go of your little angels before college, maybe you can at least let them start managing their own lives after they graduate and begin looking for jobs? In a city where everybody knows everybody else, you are really destroying your children’s chances of ever getting taken seriously if you keep following them around, defending them from bad, mean, nasty adults.

24 thoughts on “The Ultimate in Helicoptering Parenthood

  1. I have used the helicopter parent idea to my own advantage when teaching. There is nothing a uni student hates to hear more than late assignments will only be accepted if accompanied by a note from their mum.

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    1. This is priceless. 🙂

      At my current school we don’t have any rich kids. All of our students work while going to school. So helicoptering parents are not an issue.

      At my previous school, however, we had to attend a workshop on legal ramifications of dealing with students’ parents. 🙂 🙂

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        1. What happens is that profs are not allowed to communicate ANY information about the students’ progress or lack thereof to the parents without a written waiver from the students. If you do mention anything without a waiver, you can be sued by the student.

          But then you get calls from those banker and lawyer parents who tell you that they are the ones paying for their kids’ education, so if you don’t tell them the kids’ grades, they will sue you. So there are threats of getting sued that come from all directions.

          In the end, I just decided to stop answering my office phone altogether. Parents get REALLY pushy about it.

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      1. I’m guessing from this comment that this particular problem of helicopter parenting is an issue associated more frequently with the wealthy?

        These controlling parent’s may eventually find themselves on estrangement boards, without a clue as to why their behaviors have caused so much distance.

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    2. I know a teacher who also did something like that. My AP history teacher in high school caught a kid doodling on his assignment and listening to music instead of paying attention and doing the exercise, so the teacher snatched the assignment and said “You know, your mother is always calling me and emailing me, asking why you are only getting a ‘C’ in my class, and now I am going to give her the reason why.” Then he faxed it to the kid’s mother.
      Constituted a crowning moment of teacher triumph, in my opinion.

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  2. I consider myself lucky in that respect. I’ve only have to deal with a mother that booked her daughters flight back home for the wrong day, and wanted me to allow her to take her final exam two days earlier. I didn’t really care much one way or the other, but I’m not supposed to do it. I refer her to my Chair who told her to talk to the Dean, and ze allowed it. I’ve heard worst stories in my institution.

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  3. I can’t imagine doing that to kids! Good grief, what will they do when their parents die and they’re left to fend for themselves? Those parents are teaching nothing but learned helplessness.

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  4. “We have all heard of helicopter parents who persecute college professors with questions about why their little treasure isn’t doing as well as he or she deserves.”

    WHAT?????

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        1. Very true. In Quebec, people are generally a lot more mature by college age. They also go through the CEGEP system often and that helps them break free from obsessive mommies and daddies.

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  5. “What happens is that profs are not allowed to communicate ANY information about the students’ progress or lack thereof to the parents without a written waiver from the students. If you do mention anything without a waiver, you can be sued by the student.”

    A trivial no-brainer. Why a workshop about this crap?

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    1. Because parents can still be really annoying and pushy whatever the legal situation. Skills for fending them off are needed

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  6. Well, this job applicant and his mother are from Quebec. I have 3 parent-son incidents thus far. Come to think about it, it’s always the sons’ parents that get involved!..

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      1. Yes this is a gender stereo type that should be broken. I am all for my parents getting involved in my sisters professional life.

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  7. Clarissa you must be an avid reader of FreeRangeKids blog? Thought I’d pass it on in case you haven’t heard of it, as I don’t think I have heard you mention it.

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