The twenty-first century term “helicopter parent” refers to a person who pays extremely close attention to his or her children, especially within the realm of educational institutions. They rush to prevent any harm or failure from befalling their children. They prevent their children from learning from their own mistakes, sometimes even contrary to the children’s own wishes. They are so named because, like a helicopter, they hover closely overhead, rarely out of reach — whether their children need them or not. An extension of the term, “Black Hawks” has been coined for those parents who cross the line from a mere excess of zeal to unethical behavior, including writing their children’s college admission essays.
20 Questions to Ask Yourself to Decide If You’re a Helicopter Parent
1. Do all of your conversations with your child involve the college admissions process?
2. Do conversations that begin about something entirely different end up with college admissions as a focal point?
3. Do you listen to your child when you have conversations with them about college admissions?
4. Have you abandoned reading your usual novels and replaced them with college guides and books on how to gain admission?
5. Do you worry incessantly that your child will not be accepted to the college of his or her choice, or worse, the college of your choice?
6. Do you lose sleep because you’re concerned that your child is not doing enough to make himself / herself stand out in his / her class?
7. Do you have family meetings to brainstorm ways to make your child unique?
8. Do you speak with your friends about colleges?
9. Do you call or email admissions offices asking for information?
10. Do you schedule visits to colleges and make appointments for your child to meet with admissions counselors or other college representatives?
11. Are you concerned about what your child will write in their college essays?
12. Do you keep an ongoing list of your child’s extracurricular activities?
13. Do you continually ask your child to join more clubs or become more involved in activities?
14. Through your friends and colleagues at work, do you arrange internships for your child?
15. Do you think that you know more than your child’s school counselor?
16. Do you communicate with your child’s teachers when you’re not happy with a grade your child has received?
17. Do you push your child to take more rigorous classes even if these classes may not be appropriate?
18. Are you making a list of colleges for your child without his / her input?
19. Would you be happy if your child was accepted and decided to attend a school that was not on your list?
20. With regard to the college admissions process and your child’s everyday educational and extracurricular pursuits, might your child say that you are way too involved?
If you have answered yes to 10 or more of these questions, then you are indeed a “helicopter parent” and you need help! Let an expert, Ivy Coach, assist you and your child in the highly selective college admissions process and at the same time help you maintain family harmony. Contact us today and we’ll be in touch.
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