Helicopter Parents, Flown By Students

We all know what ‘helicopter parents’ are right?  The parents who constantly call their children, proof read their childs paper, e-mail the professor directly when their son/daughter calls upset about an exam, and are constantly giving advice on what to do, who to talk to, where to go, how to address problems, and are somehow right next to their child at college even when they are sitting home hundreds of miles away.  We blame the parents for this, we give advice on how to let their child fly away from the nest and gain responsibility BUT the problem isn’t the parents.  Yes, I’ll say it…. the problem is the student who’s sitting in the cockpit of the helicopter!

Students – when do you become an adult? 

The answer – you become an adult when YOU CHOOSE to become an adult.

How many of you call your parents in between classes?  Tell your parents all about your professor?  Share your grades with your parents?  Call crying when you fail an exam and complain about how ‘the professor is so unfair’ and then allow your parents to send an e-mail to the professor?  How many of you call mom and dad for advice when you’re having a hard time getting an internship?  When you need advice on how to run for student government?  Students, you are allowing your parents to be helicopter parents.  GET OUT OF THE COCKPIT.  If you want independence, you need to create that independence yourself.  I dare you to set up a meeting with a professor and go meet when him or her on your own – do not call your mom or dad for advice.  It will be hard.  Once you have that conversation and realize that you CAN do fine as you, as just an individual, without the guidance of your parents I promise you that you will leave that conversation feeling better about yourself than you ever have.

Do you see now?  Your parents are helicopter parents because you allow them to do.  Your parents are also helicopter parents because you enable them to be.  So, parents if you realize this is happening take a step back.  Tell your student to go talk to a professor but then give them no advice on what to say or what to ask.  Trust your child.

 Students, like I said before, you become an adult when you choose to become an adult.  Get out of the helicopter cockpit and put on a pair of running shoes.

Big | Day


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