Helicopter Parenting in the Workplace

Avatar for Cmmelissa
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Registered: 11-13-2008
Helicopter Parenting in the Workplace
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Wed, 07-03-2013 - 10:43am

CNN has an article on helicopter parenting in the workplace and how it can negatively affect a person's job prospects and employment: 

Aaron Cooper, a clinical psychologist at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, says mollycoddling mothers and doting dads can become a child's crutch.

Cooper says children, for the most part, often experience too many advantages of their omnipresent parents by the time they reach their teen years, so they're not particularly inclined to tell mom and dad to back off.

"They're more inclined to welcome the help because they are also seeing it as a cheerleader on their team pushing forward toward victory and success," Cooper said.

But "it's almost like a soft disability in their lives," he added, meaning that children become super reliant on their parents and unable to stand on their own.

Cooper attributes the growing phenomenon of over-parenting to a variety of factors. The first commonality is feelings of guilt that parents may have short-changed their children.

This is particularly potent when the parents have had full-time careers and may feel that they never really spent enough time with the children as they grew up. Cooper says it's the "I'm-going-to-make-up-for-it mentality."

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/02/living/cnn-parents-helicopter-parenting-job-search/index.html?hpt=hp_c4

If you were the employer, how would you handle a situation like those presented in the article?  What do you think about that correlation between WOH and being a helicopter parent?

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Avatar for rollmops2009
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Registered: 02-24-2009
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 11:15am

Obviously, for an employer, people like that are not attractive. I think both WOH and SAH parents do this. Dd had a friend in HS who did not know how to take a taxi or bus, and the first time they had to go somewhere using public transportation, it became a huge drama in the friend's family, parents checking in on her all the way etc. The kids were 16 or 17. I do agree with the observation that if you do not foster independence early, kids may become too laid back to seek it themselves. Of course, I had to wade through 200-300 posts chastizing me for my parenting choices, lol, but that's cool.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 11:28am

I think if an employee's mother called me, I'd say very politely (even though I am an aspiring crone, I can be very pleasant): "Oh, I'm so sorry, but that's between me and the adult who works for me."

Helicoptering is so rampant that it has almost become the norm and people expect it. We just received a parent handbook from the college DD will attend in the fall and learned that there will be parent seminars (on what, I wonder?) on move-in day. We had told DD we were just planning to help her haul her boxes to her room and then kiss her goodbye, but now I feel like I have to call the school and ask if the seminars are, um, required.

What I don't get is the type of kid who'd put up with this. I don't think mine are any more independent than anyone else's, but if I start to hover, they tell me to back off. And they no longer ask if they have permission to do something, they just announce their intentions to do it, which I think is appropriate. If I don't like it (for example, no, you can't take my car all day or take over my kitchen for a baking marathon!), then I tell them.

 What kids let their parents do stuff like call their boss? Mine didn't even want me talking to their teachers after, oh, 6th grade, unless it was for the scheduled conferences.

Avatar for rollmops2009
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Registered: 02-24-2009
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 11:46am

"What I don't get is the type of kid who'd put up with this. I don't think mine are any more independent than anyone else's, but if I start to hover, they tell me to back off. And they no longer ask if they have permission to do something, they just announce their intentions to do it, which I think is appropriate. If I don't like it (for example, no, you can't take my car all day or take over my kitchen for a baking marathon!), then I tell them."

I hear you, lol. DD was completely aghast that her father thought he would accompany her to college. She made very clear that she would manage by herself, thankyouverymuch (no boxes involved and she had to fly in anyway).

However, I think that when parents hover and coddle, it can actually kill the natural instinct to be self-sufficient. 

As for the parent seminar, I think colleges came up with this to keep the helicopter parents occupied and thus leave the kids free to do their moving in thing and the meet and greet stuff on their own.

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Registered: 12-07-2003
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 12:11pm

ashmama wrote:
We had told DD we were just planning to help her haul her boxes to her room and then kiss her goodbye, but now I feel like I have to call the school and ask if the seminars are, um, required.

As someone who works at a university, it's my understanding that those kinds of parenting seminars are usually designed to keep the parents out of the hair of the students and the university staff.  I would still call, but they will probably be relieved to hear that they can expect one less hovering parent.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2003
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 12:14pm

rollmops2009 wrote:
As for the parent seminar, I think colleges came up with this to keep the helicopter parents occupied and thus leave the kids free to do their moving in thing and the meet and greet stuff on their own.

Oops, should have read this before posting.

Avatar for rollmops2009
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Registered: 02-24-2009
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 12:28pm
"I still wanted to SAH then for all the reasons that implies." ---------- Wanting to SAH does not actually imply any particular reasons.
Avatar for jamblessedthree
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Registered: 10-23-2001
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 12:29pm

This just proves helicopter parenting isn't specific to work status, A report like this doesn't surprise me.  I think we do the best we can with the tools we have, I may find a pretty fixed work schedule next school year and if I get it the timing couldn't be better b/c of my kids ages.  I have become more stand off-ish the older my kids have gotten and I feel pretty ok leaving them for periods of time that may have to fit a work schedule myself, There are still a couple things standing in the way, one specifically has to do with the diabetes my middle kid has been recently dx with and securing a routine or supervision if necessary for her.   But these thoughts, general would have never been mine five or so years ago, I still wanted to SAH then for all the reasons that implies. 

ETA disclosure that this job I am considering has been simmering all school year, DD's recent diagnosis could be a set back only if it's offered. 

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 12:29pm

<<If you were the employer, how would you handle a situation like those presented in the article?  What do you think about that correlation between WOH and being a helicopter parent?>>

I would handle them in pretty much the same way.  Parents shouldn't be involved in the their children's work must past the age of 15, except to drive and possibly to bounce ideas off.  A parent should not call the place of employment on behalf of their child unless there is some type of emergency.

IME, helicopter parents are parents who make the family a child centered family, where everything is about the child and not the family as a whole.  I have seen both sah and woh families who had helicopter parents.  


PumpkinAngel

Avatar for jamblessedthree
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Registered: 10-23-2001
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 12:31pm
"I still wanted to SAH then for all the reasons that implies." ---------- Wanting to SAH does not actually imply any particular reasons.

 

Actually, a lot of SAH friends share common convinctions in why they chose to stay at home. 

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 12:50pm

jamblessedthree wrote:
<div><em>"I still wanted to SAH then for all the reasons that implies." ---------- Wanting to SAH does not actually imply any particular reasons.</em></div><p> </p><p>Actually, a lot of SAH friends share common convinctions in why they chose to stay at home. </p>

What are those convinctions?

PumpkinAngel

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