Helicopter Parents: Time to Take-Off the Helipad

How parents interfering can further deter a college student off the right path.

  1. As I watch Jake Demarais, 22, now an academic Junior at North Country Community College, frantically type away at his laptop as he works on an essay for one of his classes, there is this look of pure determination in his eyes. Jake used to be a student at the College of Brockport, before he got pulled out by his mother. "I really don't think it was fair to be honest, I did poorly in one really tough class and she didn't think the school was right for me, so she said I'm coming back home to get my GPA back up."
  2. This is where "helicopter-parenting" has gone a bit overboard. For those who aren't familiar with the term, helicopter parenting is what it's called when parents hover around everything their child is doing, trying to dictate what's going on in their life from afar or up close. This has become somewhat of a new norm for incoming college freshmen and many students in high school.
  3. While it's never good to see a bad grade for a class, that's also part of college, learning from mistakes. How is somebody like Jake supposed to learn if his mother is there watching his every move? "To be honest the pressure from her to do well my last semester at Brockport really got to me, part of me thinks that stressed me out to where I couldn't properly focus on school, so here I am at NCCC again."
  4. Mr. Demarais raises a good point. It's already tough enough for kids who go away to school, Brockport is a five hour trip from his home, it's easy enough to get homesick. His parents constantly on his case can't be doing him much good. He is missing a valuable part of the experience by being stuck at home now, he isn't learning to properly live on his own.
  5. "When my mom made the call to pull me out of Brockport I was devastated, I had to leave my friends, I had just finally found a spot where I thought I belonged, and all because of one Anatomy class, which I still got degree credits for. My mom definitely went over my head and made a decision I didn't agree with."
  6. It seems this is the college environment most incoming freshmen and even transfers are becoming more and more used to. Their parents refuse to let their children go into the world on their own, which is definitely not easy to do, even though it is essential to their growth into adulthood. Parents need to take a step back as it seems in some cases, such as Mr. Demarais, the parents end up causing more harm with the amount of pressure they inflict on their children then they do good. So parents, it's not the end of the world if your child gets a C in the class, they won't fail in life if they don't get along with their suitemates right away, everything will work out for them in the end and they will emerge stronger and become something you will be so, so, proud of.
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