Hovering helicopter parents need a reality check

By Elizabeth Scopelliti
October 10, 2010

In a world where education is the primary factor that determines a child’s future potential and reality, there are those dominant figures that can alter their experiences and forever obliterate their lives. Who are these people? The “helicopter parents.”

These manipulative and controlling caretakers are the push-and-pull factors that have the procurable competency to damage their child’s ability to live a life that consists of achievements and failures.

“As children progress, there should be less parent involvement,” Dr. Bryde, head of the education department, said. “Parents should allow students to do their own work, to empower them.”

Whether they are doing their child’s homework, arguing with teachers and/or their child’s peers, or abusing their rights to protect their child, they are sadly unaware that they are not benefiting their child whatsoever.

“What you want to do is help the parents understand that they are not helping their child. By controlling what their child is doing, the message they are sending is ‘they can’t do it, let me do it for you,'” Bryde said.

Because there are so many incidents of over-protective parents, Bryde explains that teachers need be educated on how to deal with these types of issues, as well as being the educators to parents.

It must be noted that the intentions of these parents are not negative. Their motives are honorable but their plans-of-action are less than satisfactory.

“It’s all in good faith,” Bryde said. “i think they want the best for their child. ”

These hovering parents go beyond the classroom. Many are found to be on athletic fields.

“My one friend wasn’t getting enough playing time,” Jacky McDermott, junior elementary education major, said. “She told her mom and then her mom spoke up to the coach. My friend and I ended up getting screwed over.”

Not only do parents overstep their boundaries, there are coaches who instigate potential arguments amongst parents and fans. There are unspoken yet inappropriate gestures that are prevalent amongst many teams.

“On my high school team, whoever parents donated the most money to our team or whoever kissed the coaches ass got to play,” Laura Caron, junior elementary and special education major, said. “Sports is like politics, basically. It was unprofessional.”

Regardless of skill level, inside the classroom or on the playing field, all students need to tackle their issues head on. Although there is an unclear dividing line for when parents need to step in, there are obvious situations where parents need to back down and let their child handle problems.

“Parents need to let their children deal with their own problems like adults,” McDermott said. “Otherwise, they’ll never learn anything.”

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Elizabeth Scopelliti

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