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Helicopter Parents – At It Again

November 9, 2006

An AP story focused on helicopter parents surfaced on CNN.com a few days ago. Although the phenomenon of hovering parents is not a new one, novel manifestations continue. Now it is parents extending their coddling into their offsprings’ job-seeking years. Here are some lowlights from the CNN piece:

– “Some parents are writing their college-age kids’ resumes. Others are acting as their children’s “representatives,” hounding college career counselors, showing up at job fairs and sometimes going as far as calling employers to ask why their son or daughter didn’t get a job.”
– “‘It has now reached epidemic proportions,’ says Michael Ellis, director of career and life education at Delaware Valley College, a small, private school in Doylestown, Pa. At the school’s annual job fair last year, he says, one father accompanied his daughter, handed out her resume and answered most of the questions the recruiters were asking the young woman. Even more often, he receives calls from parents, only to find out later that their soon-to-be college grad was sitting next to the parent, quietly listening.”
– “Jobs counselors at universities across the country say experiences like those are now commonplace.”
– “She says parents sometimes worry that today’s young people aren’t as motivated to work as previous generations, so they feel inclined to do some nudging.”
– “A few [human resources professionals note] that parents are now calling to discuss their kids’ first performance reviews.”

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Why can’t parents see the damage this causes? But what is this damage, you might be ask? Helicopter parents foster:

1. An inability to negotiate;
2. A lack of independent thinking;
3. A lack courage;
4. A lack of confidence;
5. A lack of initiative;
. . . etc.

This generation – known variously as ‘Echo Boomers,’ ‘Generation Y,’ and ‘Millennials’ – is not going to know how to stand on their own two feet. Plus, have these parents, mostly Baby Boomers, given thought to the resentment their interfering ways may bring down the road? – TL

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