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Helicopter parenting...and college. Discussion?

Posted by on Feb. 27, 2013 at 4:51 PM
  • 22 Replies

I tutor nursing and premed students at a Big 10 university in biological sciences. Mostly pathophysiology, anatomy, pharmacology, etc.  HIgher level, just before they have to apply to their nursing or med programs or once they're in.

First of all, love it!  I love teaching and I love the subject matter so it's a great way for me to use my degree and keep a foot in the field.

BUT.

I wonder if parents realize that a lot of what they've done through middle school, high school and now colllege as far as being somewhat overly involved, has actually been detrimental to their kids?

This is my 6th year tutoring one class with the same prof--pathophys.

I have had quite an interesting variety of students. But one thing that has been pretty consistent in the kids who really struggle is that they've got very very involved parents.  Like...the parents call me and want to talk about their kids' needs.  I do a pretty thorough intro session at no charge with kids at the beginning to learn about their challenges, strengths, study habits, etc.  But no joke, they hand my number off to their folks who happily rattle off all of their thoughts on their kiddo.  Who is typically a sophomore or above in college!

I am starting to think that all the parental involvement in MS and HS as far as homework, studying, and even talking to teachers might actually be more detrimental than helpful once the kids move on to college.  THey don't feel like they can talk to a prof themselves.  They look for excuses.  They have an inflated sense of self with regards to their abilities/intellect.  They don't know how to manage their time without a Mom or Dad over their shoulder.  

These kids are just a few years away from the workforce but they're relying on Mom and Dad SO MUCH!

Do you think that YOU might be "overparenting"?  Is that possible?



by on Feb. 27, 2013 at 4:51 PM
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jlg12678
by Gold Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 4:59 PM
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I work in HR. I cannot tell you how many parents call trying to apply for jobs because their college student child cannot figure it out. Another favorite is having to talk to the parent about any per-employment processing (like scheduling a drug screen). I'm sorry, but at 20 years of age one should be capable of managing both areas. 

I think many are over involved and don't give their child enough room to manage their own life....

Derdriu
by Gold Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Ugh, I would have died if one of my parents contacted my profs on behalf.  

In answer to the question though, it's a struggle.  SS take pride in his work and his ability to complete his assignments without help.  He lets DH and I check his work, gets annoyed when items are wrong, but is very quick to fix it with minimal help.  SD, on the other hand, gives up easily.  She expects everything to be easy and simply shuts down when she's frustrated, so it's always been a battle trying to break things down and get her to think.  If she gets the concept, she's good to go.  If she doesn't get it, she only wants to know what to do, not why. 

The struggle is that by leaving more independent SS to figure things out, I know we're making him more independent.  But by helping SD, we risk facilitating her dependence.  It's difficult finding that balance to help her without enabling her.  Overall, her grades aren't bad (B student).  She's definitely capable of better, but she's not interested in making that effort.  I will say I've seen her studying more often since our last chit chat about her grades being for her and opening doors for herself, not her parents or me.  There's hope!

CodeBlue
by on Feb. 27, 2013 at 5:38 PM
I cannot answer the parenting aspect of this, but I will say that as a nursing student (senior after this semester!!) I *see* what you're saying on a daily basis. There are some students in my class that I think "Oh geez, I would never wanna work with you" because they are SO used to their parents doing everything for them, and being very involved.

I understand that there is a fine line to balance as a parent, between pushing your child and doing things for your child. It must be difficult. BUT the after-effects of that extreme type of helicopter parenting are ugly.

I for one love talking to the professors. And I would be incredibly embarrassed if my parents called about my schooling, or a potential job. It really makes me wonder what they're thinking. I'd love to know what's going on in their head. Ha!
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MommySabs
by Gold Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 6:46 PM
1 mom liked this
I think there is a lot of over parenting happening, leaving kids unable to cope.
My dad did help me to a degree with job applications until I was in college, but it was an issue of my anxiety problems not bc he wanted to walk behind his daughter so she could work up the courage to apply for a job. :)
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MomGoingCrazy78
by Lindy Lou on Feb. 27, 2013 at 7:29 PM

My opinion is that once a kid is in MS or HS, they should start being responsible for their own schooling. As a parent, I will always check the online site to make sure their homework was turned in or whatnot, but they have to learn their own study habits.

Polkadotted
by Gold Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 7:56 PM

I absolutely agree.  But I'd take it a step further.  I think parents are also solving too many problems for their preschoolers.  We need to start letting kids be independent much earlier. http://growingleaders.com/blog/3-mistakes-we-make-leading-kids/

Polkadotted
by Gold Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 7:57 PM

Not really independent, but allowed to take risks on their own and learn to make choices and be responsible for their things.

Quoting Polkadotted:

I absolutely agree.  But I'd take it a step further.  I think parents are also solving too many problems for their preschoolers.  We need to start letting kids be independent much earlier. http://growingleaders.com/blog/3-mistakes-we-make-leading-kids/


Polkadotted
by Gold Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 8:01 PM

I think it is one thing to use your resources and have people look over a resume or paper before it's turned in.  It's another to have the parent hunt down applications, fill them out and turn them in.

Quoting MommySabs:

I think there is a lot of over parenting happening, leaving kids unable to cope.
My dad did help me to a degree with job applications until I was in college, but it was an issue of my anxiety problems not bc he wanted to walk behind his daughter so she could work up the courage to apply for a job. :)


LittleMama2012
by on Feb. 27, 2013 at 8:15 PM
Bm is this way with SD. SD won't do her homework or will make an excuse. Bm goes to school to talk to the teacher every time. Then bm is making excuses for SD. For instance, SD had a group project. She waited until the last minute to do her poster board. Then she blamed it on someone else in the group and said that person stole "her" information. SD gets in trouble for talking during a test. Tells bm that she was helping someone. Teacher says there was no talking during the test. Bm says it is not fair because the other kid asked for help. They both got in trouble. I feel it was completely fair.

The other thing is the retaking of tests. If they score a c or below, they get to retake it. So SD will not do well on purpose and say,"oh well, I get to retake it." I just don't feel that is teaching them anything. I am in college myself, and as a mom and wife, there are no retakes in life. Bm will say the same. She has said it doesn't matter because she gets to retake it. Well of course it matters! When SD was in 4th grade, halfway through the year the teacher made vocab tests open book. This was because kids were not doing well. These kids had the words for at least a week. Every night they had a short homework assignment or were told to study them. SD stopped failing hers when I made her write them 5 times each.

I completely agree that there are way too many excuses made for kids today and way too much overparenting. Kids have to learn consequences of not doing homework and such now. It helps them learn to be responsible later on.
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pdxmum
by Ruby Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 8:17 PM


What industry?  In my 25 years in HR, I have never had a parent contact me.  I have had angry spouses contact me, and I have had parents work connections to get little Timmy an internship, but I have never been approached by a parent about process stuff.

My mommy got me a job in HS.  And I got my daughter a job last summer.  Does that count as over-involved?  Or just taking advantage of who you know...


Quoting jlg12678:


I work in HR. I cannot tell you how many parents call trying to apply for jobs because their college student child cannot figure it out. Another favorite is having to talk to the parent about any per-employment processing (like scheduling a drug screen). I'm sorry, but at 20 years of age one should be capable of managing both areas. 

I think many are over involved and don't give their child enough room to manage their own life....



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