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How Schools Are Handling An 'Overparenting' Crisis


Replies to: How Schools Are Handling An 'Overparenting' Crisis

  • inspiration12inspiration12 Registered User Posts: 159 Junior Member
    I have never liked the term "overparenting". Now, if the phrase is "overparenting to the extend a kid cannot function well on their own" then that IS a problem. But how many of these kids exist? I'm sure they do in small numbers, but I personally do not know any in my circle of involved parents. Are the schools/colleges seeing substantial numbers? Employers? I'm sure there are parents that go overboard, but does this justify the new term? Books?

    As a previous poster stated, I too, will bring my child lunch if she forgets it on occasion. If I start to notice any helplessness because of this or other things I do, then I will worry.

    I am much more worried about "underparenting" in todays society.

  • nycparent12nycparent12 Registered User Posts: 170 Junior Member
    @TomSrofBoston, isn't this a self-correcting problem? People who bring parents to interviews will not get jobs. Period. Honestly, how often does this happen?

    In my office in NY, I've been interviewing candidates for over ten years, for both internships (students) and full time positions. The young people I've interviewed have almost all been polished and professional -- really, many of these students and young graduates are just as impressive as candidates who have been in the job market for years.

    For the few exceptions, the problem has been being underprepared. Never, ever has my office had an applicant suggest a parent would come along.

    Of course, all kinds of crazy things happen in this crazy world of ours. But in a competitive job market, where we have multiple well qualified applicants for each opening, the jobs will go to the most impressive candidate among many. Not to the person who does something borderline crazy like bringing a parent (or anyone else!!!!) to an interview.

    Unless she is a complete idiot, I think that candidate your son was going to interview will make darn sure her mother doesn't know about the next opportunity.
  • TranquilMindTranquilMind Registered User Posts: 1,102 Senior Member
    Motherof Dragons: Last year I realized that being an uber efficient Sikorsky Attack Helicopter Parent (tm) was not helping my daughters, and I got us all into counseling and eventually learned (and am still learning) to demote myself to research assistant and unconditionally supportive mom.

    I had made the mistake of equating their freaky high test scores with the desire to be a top academic, and had really burned the joy of learning right out of my kids with insanely high expectations.

    Luckily the girls were saddled with only one helicopter parent; my husband has always been of the mindset that they will figure it out eventually, and the right way for them will be inevitably fraught with failures and errors. I still struggle with this even as I recognize it is a much healthier way to raise the kids, rather than making sure everything is as perfect as I can make it and trying to protect them from all the iniquities and unfairness in life.

    As a hyper-critical perfectionist, it has been a HUGE struggle for me to let them be not as perfect as they can possibly be. But it has also taken a lot of pressure off of them that I was unfairly putting on them.

    I still nag, but if it doesn't get done, hey, that's their choice, and they will end up where they're supposed to be, rather than an artificial accomplishment that feels alien and unearned to them because it was their mother paving the way and obliterating all obstacles in their path.

    They know we love them no matter what-that's probably the most important thing I had to learn to communicate to them-that their failure or success at obstacles does not affect our love for them.

    We're still far from having it all figured out, but it feels like we're pointed in a happier direction now.

    MotherofDragons, thanks for the great post! Your honesty is refreshing! ;)
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 15,591 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    @nycparent12 He said it was odd. The applicant was coming out of a top 20 college and it flummoxed everyone. He called HR for advice and they said to send them away. It was extreme but some of the stories I've read about helicoptering at college here on CC are equally bizarre.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 23,003 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    Thirty years ago, my colleague's father called our boss because he got a bad review. It didn't hit the news and no one made a big deal out of it because it was one case of crazy parent.

    The job market is so competitive now, and so is the college process, that young people need to be a lot more prepared. Kids with parents who are able to them do have an edge.

    I do worry more about under-parenting than over-parenting. My father often told my kids that they were luckier than me growing up. I had to learn everything the hard way.

    As long m kids are not on my payroll after college (or law school in D2's case) then I am good.
  • DrGoogleDrGoogle Registered User Posts: 11,047 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    I used to know a husband who called the branch manager at a bank that I've worked at after a bad review. His wife wasn't fired afterward. She either told us or somehow the rumor mill got to us.
  • carolinamom2boyscarolinamom2boys Registered User Posts: 7,113 Senior Member
    @oldfort I totally agree . As long as my son is self sufficient and independent once he graduates college I'm good. I can't tell you how many times I've told him to choose wisely. Just because I have a home with a basement doesn't mean I expect him to live there the rest of his life.
  • SouthFloridaMom9SouthFloridaMom9 Registered User Posts: 3,446 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    In keeping with @PurpleTitan 's generational info, I *do* think parenting styles tend to cycle in trends which ebb and flow.

    I, for one, would have liked a little more parental involvement in the college search process. My parents paid for me to go out-of-state (God bless them for that) and we visited a couple of schools, but other than that I did everything from signing up for the SAT to filling out applications. In the pre-internet age, I - a flaming liberal arts student - somehow ended up at an engineering school. Huh? Luckily I had a good experience. But was that really the best use of my college time? Probably not.

    We Gen-Xers tend to be a little more helicopter-ish with our millenial kids, though some of us take it a bit too far. Nevertheless, I'd rather overdo it than under-do it.

    We also have the "free range" movement going on, which is probably a direct reaction to helicopter-parenting.

    PS: I would never, ever, get directly involved with my kids' job search/interviewing process, other than to be a sounding board to them. ETA: If I had a job lead or saw/heard about one then I would pass it along.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    When my kids were looking for jobs, my husband mentioned it to every single patient of his who was in some kind of field related to what they wanted to do. They both got leads that way. What's wrong with that?
  • carolinamom2boyscarolinamom2boys Registered User Posts: 7,113 Senior Member
    Not a thing @Pizzagirl , not a thing . Pretty smart if you ask me.
  • inspiration12inspiration12 Registered User Posts: 159 Junior Member
    Do people think helping your child with contacts you know to network for a job is over-parenting? I don't
  • DiffMomDiffMom Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    edited August 2015
    While a graduate assistant years ago, I had an angry parent call asking why his DD received a failing grade in the class I taught. He provided the name and I checked attendance. D had been to class 4 times during the semester. The parent apparently did not have all the information.

    And please don't go there re: graduate assistants doing the teaching. It was a class that was similar to one most students had in middle or high school. General requirement.
  • DrGoogleDrGoogle Registered User Posts: 11,047 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    I want my kids to learn how to network and not me. Hopefully they turn out better than my husband and I, in the networking part anyway.
This discussion has been closed.