An Angry Rant, If I May : Helicopter Parents

Dear Parent Whose Child Has Gone to College :

This is a very stressful time in life – your Precious Child is moving out of the house, sometimes out of the state, sometimes even out of the country.  To cope with this, I would like to provide some very valuable advice, starting with …

  • It is time to let go.  You can’t be there for them every minute.  Don’t try.  If anything, they will resent you for it … or become so hopelessly addicted that they will Fail as a functioning human being.
  • You are not your Child’s Friend.  You are not your Child’s BFF.  You are their Parent.  Act like it.
  • Your Child will Fail.  They will make mistakes and pay consequences.  They will have to figure things out for themselves.  This is Good.  This is Important.  This is how one learns to live and adapt in life.
  • Never use the phrase ‘Considering the cost of tuition’ or ‘My tuition pays your salary’.  We have all heard it before.  It doesn’t impress us or make us shake in our boots.  There is no one in academia who is not aware of the importance of students and the tuition they pay.  Do not assume otherwise.
  • Do not Copy the President’s office or the Dean’s office in e-mail when complaining that not everything is perfect for your Child.  Guess what?  They’ve heard it before too.
  • Do not assume you know both sides of the story.  You are often hundreds of miles away.  Your Child’s word is not Gospel.
  • In continuance of the above – Sometimes, your Child’s phone is not broken.  Sometimes their e-mail is working just fine.  Sometimes, just sometimes, they want to be on their own.  Didn’t you?
  • So help me, if you show up at your Child’s Interview or attempt to influence your Child’s Interview, the resume will be dumped in the trash faster than you can blink.  I want to hire someone who is independent and self-motivated.
  • Your Child survived the first day of kindergarten.  They survived the first day of school (repeatedly).  They will survive this.