Research ∕ Learning

Helicopter parents

Lorcan 1 min read

A recent story in The Guardian about helicopter parents points to a earlier fuller discussion of the topic.

The five types of helicopter parent, identified by Paul Redmond in the Guardian involve themselves not only in the application to university, but in every aspect onwards – open days, choice of course, halls of residence (buying a house for the helicoptered student and friends to rent is the top of the range, Cherie Blair option). [Helicopter parents take over every aspect of children’s future | Education |]

Redmond describes them thus:

The term first appeared in the 1990s to describe a new category of 40-something baby boomers who have a close – in some cases intense – involvement in their child’s development. What defines them is a tendency to ‘hover’ over their offspring, booking their appointments, chaperoning them to events, and swooping down like a personal Swat team whenever the need arises. [Pushy parents involved in graduate careers | Education | Education Guardian]

And notes ….

In response, several universities have recently appointed ‘family liaison officers’ to help new parents ‘settle in’. Others have produced ‘parents’ packs’ to be distributed prior to the start of term. It seems that the day of the ‘helicopter parent’ has finally arrived. [Pushy parents involved in graduate careers | Education | Education Guardian]

He talks about the influence of parents as consumers on this trend, and also talks about the cellphone as “surely the longest umbilical chord in history”.
I was reminded of some interesting comments by Susan Gibbons in her book on net gen students where she talks about the benefits of working with parents to create more awareness of library resources, as students will often turn to them for help. She also has quite a bit to say about the influence of the cellphone.
Redmond finishes by outlining five types of helicopter parent: the agent, the banker, the white knight, the bodyguard, the black hawk.
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