Helicopter Parents: Empathetic or Pathetic? When Best Intentions for Adult Children Go Awry at School and on the Job. By Mary Ann Manos The all-too-familiar scene: parents and child standing at the classroom door, blinking back tears and holding hands, the child fearful of joining classmates for the first day of school and the parents anxious about letting go. Completely understandable — in elementary school. Somewhat justifiable — in middle school. Maybe reasonable freshman year but just plain silly after that — in high school. Defensible to a degree the first semester but largely inappropriate otherwise — in college. Totally ridiculous — when the "kid" enters the workforce. Is it possible to be a seemingly fully functioning, educated adult of 18 or 21 or more years and still be under the daily supervision of parents'? Unfortunately, yes. Commonly known as helicopter parents, some moms and dads try to oversee their children's higher education, forage for professional internships for the "kiddies." and make the rounds at college job fairs on behalf of them. And because of this dysfunctional interdependence, another aptly unsettling term has come about, this one a developmental oxymoron: the adult child. As a result, higher educational institutions and the
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- Fall '08