Monday, February 9, 2009

Parents as Helicopter Pilots

As any college rep would admit, one of the not-so-great-perks of being an admissions counselor is the ever so zealous helicopter parent. Helicopter parents are not a new phenomenon, but it used to be the exception to the rule. Now, we expect it from just about every student's parents. A helicopter parent is a parent who "hovers" over their child as the child tries to become independent. This eliminates the child's ability to learn to be independent which prolongs maturity. These students become the "Boomerang" generation. After college, many get jobs only to realize that the real world is pretty crazy so they move back home. I have compiled what I consider my Top 5 best Helicopter moments in the office:

5)A mother was upset that her son would have to help clean the bathrooms in the dorm room. Her response was, "he doesn't know how to do that!" (That is why the kid is in college so he can learn a few things about life)

4)I met with a parent and their student in my office. The parent had brought in all the student's transcripts, application and application fee for admission. The sad part was the student was almost 30 and had to rely on parents to keep track of all his academic records. (He still lived at home)

3)We interviewed 10 students for 5 job positions in my office. We chose the 5 students we wanted and then began taking calls from irate parents. One parent told us that we just didn't understand how great their daughter was. We explained that she had a good application like the rest of the students but other students did better in the interview. The parent thought we should reconsider. (Reconsider? I should drop one of my students and hire your kid because her mom things she’s great? Get real)

2)Family Drama. I met with a student and her parents in our conference room. The parents obviously just finished a fantastic divorce. While trying to answer the STUDENT'S questions about housing and classes, Mom and Dad decide to have a Jerry Springer moment over whether or not Susie, their daughter, is going to be living on campus. Dad stormed out of the room and mom was to angry to continue the discussion. The student left mortified.

1)I enjoy the amount of power and authority a Dad will bestow upon me when he finds out how much tuition is.
He will first ask, "Why is it so much?"
That amount is determined by the board of curators and state legislators who grant us state funding.
"Well why don't you guys get more money from the state?"
Apparently I wasn't cute enough when I asked sir.
"Why do you only give this much out in scholarships?"
Scholarships are given by private donors, non-profit organizations and our board of Trustees.
"You need to give out more scholarships if you want people to come here."
You need to pop a tic-tac in that mouth.

Lets face it parents. The child will have to grow up one day. On what moral authority does anyone act on when never allowing their kid to function in the world. How will the kid get ahead in life? Who wants to start learning about life well into their 20's? My advice to students (move to Europe)


Aaron said...

hahahahaha.....that was great.

now i just need to move out so i can justify laughing harder...heh

acastro said...

hahaha, yes bro, move out.

あじ said...

Like this guy? Not a new phenomenon, but sad (and hilarious).