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"COPTER QUIZ"...are you a Helicopter Parent?


Replies to: "COPTER QUIZ"...are you a Helicopter Parent?

  • Papa ChickenPapa Chicken Registered User Posts: 2,841 Senior Member
    I think any parent who bothers to set up a C.C account and has >10 posts here is helicoptering.

    I'll buy into that theory, at least that we have a helicopter heart....the trick for our kids' sakes may be in containing our helicopter passion....hard to do.

    So, vicarious, by your rule of thumb, I am admittedly a "3rd order" copter parent!
  • Lori1122Lori1122 Registered User Posts: 1,090 Member
    ^^^ as agree by the people above me ^^^

    i think if you're on CC as a parent, it's a preconception that you are a "copter"

    side note: you all scare me.. i just have this bad imitation of an Asian mom coming up to me and yelling at me for screwing my a partner project with their kid...

    heads up - i am asian, i can say that. :-D
  • windywindy User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 157 Junior Member
    Guilty with an explanation. One at Williams one at UVA Honors. Both educations paid for. Bad parent I quess. Been called many things worse than a helicopter.
  • shawbridgeshawbridge Registered User Posts: 5,697 Senior Member
    1. Do you search college websites for your child? Not yet. My son is very dyslexic and probably will not want to read all of the catalogs/websites. He is also extremely bright and finding schools that will be intellectually challenging enough and provide freedom to construct a curriculum that will work for him could be a challenge. I have hired someone to help us identify schools that would be a good fit, but think it is likely I'll look at some websites.
    2. Do you have a strong influence over the courses your child takes? No. He came to me and asked to be home-schooled and we partially homeschool him (though this typically does not involve his parents but Harvard grad students, etc.) I do, however, participate in his Special Ed team meeting where we discuss his courses and have helped negotiate the appropriate modifications of some courses. But, we haven't tried to influence course selection or have been unsuccessful if we tried to do so.
    3. Do you play the lead role in planning your child's activities? Definitely Not. He marches to his own drummer.
    4. Are you planning to prepare your child for campus interviews? I have hired someone who probably will do this.
    5. Do you plan on directly contacting faculty or coaches? No, except at campuses where I know either a professor or an officer. I may encourage him to contact professors in fields of interest.
    6. Do you review the publications colleges send to your child? Scan them to see if there is anything worth my son's attention.
    7. Are you planning to write your child's application essays? Definitely not. Will be available for discussion and advice.
    8. Do you meet with the high school counselor without your child present? No. His guidance counselor is not very experienced and I may send her talking points for the letter she is going to write on his behalf. She does send out a questionnaire asking for information about the child, but I may frame the information a bit.
    9. Have you helped your child find a job? No, but under the right circumstances, I would ask friends in good places to see that a child has an opportunity to be considered.
  • sbergmansbergman Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    Checking websites and reading the materials shouldn't be considered helicoptering - unless the child is planning to foot the tuition bill. This is a serious investment and all serious investments should involve serious research.
  • ChristcorpChristcorp - Posts: 1,177 Senior Member
    Surveys like this who classify a parent as a "Helicopter" view the world as extremists. They fail to realize that each kid is different. Each school they are applying for is different. Each family's financial situation is different. Each family relationship between the kids and parents is different. Each town and state in the country is different because of different sets of morals, values, beliefs, etc... The bottom line is that such surveys are totally inaccurate. Any person who has taken any stats or psych classes will tell you the same thing.

    Now, are there "Helicopter" parents? Of course there are. What then is the definition of a "Helicopter" parent. In the socially accepted terms over the years, the common trait was always being an "Extremist" in any one or more areas of your child's life. Of course, the word extremist can also be debated. But, to steal a little away from "Jeff Foxworthy"; maybe starting a serious list would help.

    You Might Be "Helicopter" parent if;

    1. If you decide on the LIST of viable schools and your kid has to pick from that; then you might be a "Helicopter" parent.
    2. If you choose all or most of your kid's classes or activities; then you might be a "Helicopter" parent.
    3. If you don't let your kid express what they "Want" and give it serious consideration when making decisions; then you might be a "Helicopter" parent.
    4. If you use definitive words with your kids such as "Can't", "Will", "Won't", "Always", "Never", when discussing their future instead of words like; "Should", "Might", "Possibly", "Sometimes", etc... then you might be a "Helicopter" parent.
    5. If you talk AT your kids instead of TO your kids; then you might be a "Helicopter" parent.
    6. If you don't trust your kid to make good choices; then you might be a "Helicopter" parent.
    7. If you automatically assume that because you are older and are the adult and parent, that you automatically know more than your kid about all situations in their lives; then you might be a "Helicopter" parent. (Actually, you probably ARE a "Helicopter" parent in this case).
    8. If your first thought through your mind with college is; I'm paying for it, therefor I have final say; instead of what's best for the kid's future; then you are rationalizing and; then you might be a "Helicopter" parent.

    Feel free to add to the list. Remember however, there are no extremes. As a parent who might be paying for their kid's college, that doesn't mean you can't have a say so in the kid's college plans. Of course you should. But that doesn't mean your kid shouldn't have a say so just because they AREN'T paying for it. Basically, in my opinion, a "Helicopter" parent is an extremist in one or more areas of their child's life. Educationally, socially, and privately.
  • LinzoyLinzoy Registered User Posts: 166 Junior Member
    How about these?

    1. Do you call your child up in the middle of the night to ask how she's doing?
    2. Do you visit your child unannounced several times per month?
    3. Do you introduce your child's hallmates to your child FOR HER?
    4. Did you construct a bookcase specifically to fit your child's dorm? (Actually, that was pretty cool... but a bit excessive, don't you think?)
    5. Do you cry about how you're a "failure as a parent" when your kid screws up, instead of crying about how your kid is obviously a failure as a student?
    6. Do you demand to write your child's essays for her even though she hates your help?
    7. Did you unpack all of your child's things during move in day even though she told you to go away?

    Ugh. I can't continue any more.
  • WashDadWashDad Registered User Posts: 2,695 Senior Member
    Four out of nine -- but now that he's in college it's down to zero or two.

    He called and asked for my help planning his class schedule for spring semester. I suspect it will be the last time, but I was flattered.

    WashMom and I both intend to help him land interviews at our employers. I guess that's slight helicoptering, but I'd rather see him do something technical than flipping burgers, and it will be hard for him to line up opportunities here in Washington from his school 2000 miles away.
  • lealdragonlealdragon Registered User Posts: 3,204 Member
    Whew, I am SOOOO relieved! I thought I was a helicopter parent, but after reading the atrocious things some parents do, in posts #52 & 53, I am NOTHING like that! What a relief!

    In the original quiz, what in the world is wrong with 'helping' your kid with anything? We all help our kids. It's the degree that matters - as our kids get older we naturally help them less and less, as they get empowered more and more. Is someone a helicopter parent because they 'help' their kid get a job by giving some tips & advice on what to wear to the interview? No, that's just being a normal caring parent! Now, if they write the whole script, go in with the kid and introduce them to the prospective employer...that's whacked. Big difference.

    So the quiz itself is very flawed. Too open-ended.

    I agree about the 'writing the essays for her' - ugh. You mean some parents actually do that??? How do they expect their kids to make it in college if they haven't learned to do things for themselves?

    I'm just soooo relieved to learn I'm not a helicopter parent after all! I'm an INVOLVED parent (as is everyone on this forum, to varying degrees). And proud of it.

    There. Let's start a movement for Involved Parents Pride. ;)
  • astrophysicsmomastrophysicsmom Registered User Posts: 4,326 Senior Member
    somehow I breezed over this thread all this time....Nope, guess I'm safe -- only #1 and #6!!! Haha, although I admit that I do feel free to give my humble opinion on college course selections, whether she asks for it or not!! For 1st semester, D chose an honors seminar for a humanities requirement....History of the Medieval World. Having tried to help younger D survive world history a couple of years ago (we both barely lived to tell about it), both I and sis exclamed, "Are you out of your freakin' mind?????!!!!!" (mind you, this is a science/math geek we're talking about here). Anyway, it was not until she perused the book list required for the course (something like 15 books with some of the most ludicrous titles one could imagine) that she snapped to her senses!!! With classes for second semester including the likes of "Introductory Astrophysics II" -- an oxymoron if I ever heard one -- my days of input on college course selection are WAY past me. Guess I don't need to build that helicopter pad in the back yard, after all.
  • binxbinx Registered User Posts: 4,318 Senior Member
    Does it count as helicoptering if my kids never listen to my brilliant advice?
  • astrophysicsmomastrophysicsmom Registered User Posts: 4,326 Senior Member
    Nope, it just makes you and yours normal.
  • dtex50dtex50 Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    Maybe I will change my member name to Huey or Blackhawk.
    #1 Do I search college websites. Yes, early as D's 8th grade year. Knowing that she would probably do something art-related (history art-ed, etc), I picked a range of colleges/universities that MIGHT appeal to HER, IF her interest continued. Why? I wanted to know the admissions requirements with respect to coursework. I didn't want her to hit junior year and realize that she was all but excluded from Wassamatta U. because she was not on track to take that fourth lab science (or whatever) as a senior because of course selections in earlier years.

    #3 Do you play the lead role in planning your child's activities? In a few cases, yes. Those cases have been limited to scouting for summer programs and then informing her of these opportunities. Whether or not she participates is up to her.

    When she was much younger and learning to ride a bicycle, I would run along beside her to minimize the spills, cuts, and scrapes. She eventually learned to ride on her own. I will park the copter in a couple of years, but not just yet.
This discussion has been closed.