“When ‘looking after’ becomes ‘hovering over’”
According to Prof. Castle, a common problem in the lives of today's college students is the so-called "helicopter" and "snowplow” parenting. She is absolutely right when she says that this type of upbringing has a negative effect on the development of the independence of students.
Parental involvement is important, but parents also need to consider to back off sometimes to avert becoming a “helicopter” parent. This modern-day phenomenon of parents being constantly in control over their child and watching every step he/she takes, is a problem that can affect their child’s whole further life. Students need to be able to make their own decisions nów, otherwise, how are they going to solve their own problems when, in a few years, they live on their own?
Wanting the best for your child is normal, but is it really necessary, as Prof. Castle has experienced herself, to call the student’s tutors and beg them for a second chance on an assignment? This type of involvement can have a very negative effect on student’s self-confidence. They get the idea that it is never good enough, while in reality they are probably well-competent students. And parents, be honest, does having a B- instead of an A+ really means the end of the world?
“Helicopter” parenting does not only have a negative effect on students, but also on the parents themselves. Leading two lives (their own life and that of their child) can be very stressful. When a parent comes home after a long day at work, the last they need to do is worry whether their child has got enough capabilities to become the next David Cameron or JK Rowling. Parents need to let their children discover what they want in life themselves, instead of planning their lives for them.
It is important for parents to look after their child, but they need to know where to draw the line. Maybe it is time for parents to let their inner helicopters come down...