its rave time. Just a warning.
with helicopter parents, I really do. I was one. I reluctantly
stopped hovering once my kids left the nest. I knew that
the sovereignty of The Spawn was more important than my
own desire to continue colonial rule. Trust me, weve
ALL benefited from my abdication.
Did I hound my
offspring to do their homework when they were kids? You betcha.
Did I have meetings with their high school guidance counselors to
voice concerns without The Spawn present? Guilty. Was I closely
involved with their choices of college? Yup.
AND just to
be fair, I’ll admit to SOME of my post-nest-leaving helicoptering:
We did their
taxes while in they were in college. Weve also discussed
with them (in depth) health insurance options offered at their
workplaces, helped negotiate a purchase of a car and lugged a
bigger-than-an-elevator-sized sofa up eight flights of stairs.
something Ive never done. Ive never GONE TO A JOB
INTERVIEW WITH MY ADULT KID!
really happen? Oh yeah.
posted this (“Are
Parents Killing Their Kids’ Careers?” Tara Weiss):
year I had a parent sit in the lobby and wait the entire four
hours during the job interview, says Audrey Abron, an executive
recruiter for Belk Department Stores in Charlotte, N.C. The
girl introduced us to her mother, and there was no embarrassment.
She felt it was acceptable behavior. What do you say? Some things
should be understood. Things like, you don’t bring your mommy
or daddy to a job interview.’
Can you imagine?
Im flabbergasted. Would you hire this umbilical cord dragging
applicant? I closed my eyes and tried to imagine under what circumstances
this would be appropriate behavior. I drew a big fat blank.
The article continues:
As an executive recruiter for healthcare
consultancy Stockamp and Associates, Kate Carson is used to talking
to plenty of job applicants. What shes not used to is talking
to their parents. But that’s exactly what shes doing more
of these days. Recently she received a call from the mother of
a 24-year-old graduate student who wanted to know why her daughter
didn’t receive a job offer with the Oregon-based company. I
was a little taken aback, says Carson.
Oh come ON!
Seriously? 24 years old and Mommy’s still nipping at the heels?
Who is Mom doing this for?
I thought possibly I had a skewed perspective on this, so I called
my daughter, The Piglet, to see if this was a common practice among her
peers. The Piglet is a very diplomatic person — she’s always willing
to see all sides of an issue. In order to state my case properly,
I first got my ducks in a row. I compiled my findings and rang
her up with my computer at the ready.
Here’s the ensuing conversation:
Me: Hey baby, I need your input on something. I’m working on an
article about parents who go along with their adult kids to job
The Piglet: WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?
That really happens?
Okay. Got it.
Oh, but it
gets worse. From USA Today comes these examples
parents hover when kids job hunt” Stephanie Armour):
parents have gone as far as contacting the company after their
child gets a job offer. They want to talk about their son’s or
daughter’s salary, relocation packages and scholarship programs.
Shandwick, a global public relations firm, a father recently called
the company to inquire about how his son could apply for its Atlanta
internship program. I was very surprised. I answered my
phone, and he said he had a son interested in internships,
says Jennifer Seymour, who runs the intern program. She says helicopter
parents create a negative view.”
Jeez people. We’ve GOT to let our kids grow up.
I should do some more research. Maybe employers benefit from overparenting.
Is there some secret formula I’m missing? Something like:
E(mployee)+ P(sychoParent) – T(ime spent on the phone with Mommy
bragging on Spawn’s exploits) = S(uperEmployee)? Hmmm…
So does parental hovering hurt employers?
CareerBuilder.com had this to say (“Helicopter
Parents on the Job Search” Patrick Erwin):
Eileen Habelow is a regional vice president and director
for the staffing firm Randstad USA. She’s also had some eye-opening
experiences with the parents of young job seekers. Habelow remembers
one candidate who seemed ideal in many ways — except one.
“During the interview process, the candidate continuously
referenced her parents, their roles in her search, their support
in evaluating us as an employer and a financially stable company,
and their advice on how she should negotiate the employment deal,
level of parental involvement raised some red flags. She
was a very sharp candidate: polished, smart, well-educated and
confident. However, the constant reference to mom and dad was
a definite turnoff, Habelow states. The company hired
the candidate, but Habelow soon regretted that decision. After
three months she let us know that her parents agreed that maybe
this was not the best fit after all. I will trust my instincts
I bet she
will. Ms. Habelow and her company just wasted HOW much time and
money on this infantile employee? This sharp, polished, smart,
well-educated and confident young lady would probably be an excellent
candidate — once Mom and Dad stop knocking the legs out from
Armours report for USA Today she found that
Too much parental involvement can backfire: Employers may
shy away from job candidates because they don’t want to deal with
parents. Psychologically, it’s somewhat eroding. When an
employer is hiring someone, they’re hiring an adult for an adult
job, and then they have to deal with a parent, says Charles
Wardell in New York, the managing director and head of the northeast
region at Korn/Ferry. There comes a time when you’ve prepared
children, and you need to let go.”
Weiss from Forbes learned that
“Parents have been very involved in managing their son or
daughter’s lives,” says Melanie Parker, executive director
of career services at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
They’re the most managed generation in history. Parents
think they’re helping their son or daughter but there are consequences.
At some point they’ll have to be more independent, but that breakaway
will occur later than in past generations. Parker received
several requests from parents to get their own university ID cards
so they can have easy access to the career center to take
care of their child’s business. Parker denies all of those
a Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania, writes (“The
Dangers of Letting Someone Else Decide“):
The more we protect individuals from making decisions (good
or bad), the less willing they will be to invest in decisionmaking
capacities. A few years ago, I was bemused when I spoke at an
orientation session for new law students, finding that a third
of the room was filled with their parents. This feeling eventually
turned to despair when I discovered this is a fairly ubiquitous
phenomenon. By coddling their children, it seems, todays
helicopter parents have actually stunted their childrens
development. You may think I am exaggerating the costs of this,
but there is at least some evidence of this coddling leading to
negative long term consequences.
gem from Forbes:
“That’s exactly how Carmen (R) feels about
her daughter. A junior at Gonzaga University in Washington State,
(her daughter) is in the middle of an internship hunt and is getting
plenty of help from her mom, who’s developed an Excel spreadsheet
to track contacts, is ready to accompany her on job interviews
and write follow-up letters. Says (Ms. R), ‘I’m monitoring my
Put a fork in me, I’m done.
YOUR TURN: You’ve heard my thoughts on the subject, what are yours? Do you have any stories to share?