Parents: Quit Hovering

I have always appreciated my parents. They’re both wonderful in their own (very different) ways, and for the most part allowed me to make decisions independently while growing up with an occasional nudge to the left or the right if I seemed to stray. That said, it hasn’t been until the last year or two that I’ve learned my generation is known for having “helicopter parents.” I thought those were only in movies, or inflicted on the rare unfortunate soul, until numerous teachers at the UO started telling stories of parents calling to inquire about their child’s grade… and I was horrified on behalf of whoever that other student might be.

This article from NPR is all about helicopter parents, and how they have not only infiltrated my generations schooling, but are moving on to their careers with them as well! One story tells of an intern whose mother called to inform the employer of “how talented her son was, and how he deserved much more [compensation], and that he could make much more money outside of this position.”

In my imagination there is a woman hanging out the other side, frantically shouting questions through a microphone at her son who is attempting an escape via jet ski.

Apparently stories like this are common enough that many schools and companies have developed “Parent Relations” within their Public Relations departments. Again I must express my embarrassment for the guys and gals my age whose parents are the cause of this addition to our world. I can almost-sort-of grasp a parent calling about a grade if, you know, the student was incredibly ill and hadn’t been able to talk for two weeks or something. But really, by hovering around as close to 24/7 as possible, what do parents expect their kids to grow up to “be”, aside from incapable or as far away as possible?

I’m proud of the public relations people who realized something needed to be done for these helicopter parents, hopefully most of them did not have to deal with too crazy of a parent before that happened. Parent relations are a good idea at colleges anyway since many parents assist their kids in paying for school. However, to the parents showing up to job interviews on their kids behalf… It’s time to let them grow up- surely all of your hovering has formed them into a decent person.

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