A 21st Century term “helicopter parent” refers to a person who pays extremely close attention to his or her child or children, particularly at educational institutions. They rush to prevent any harm or failure from befalling them or letting them learn from their own mistakes, sometimes even contrary to the children’s 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 who cross the line from a mere excess of zeal to unethical behavior such as writing their children’s college admission essays.
Below are 20 questions for you to answer and find out if you are a helicopter parent with regard to the college admissions process.
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 regarding 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 at 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 talk with your friends about colleges?
9. Do you call or e-mail 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 for personal statements and 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 communicate too often with your child’s guidance counselor and think that you know more than your child’s 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. In 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 college admissions process and at the same time help maintain family harmony. Contact us today.
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