Pop Quiz for Helicopter Parents

Here's an interview I gave recently about helicopter parents to the Atlanta Journal Constitution ("Boomer Parents Hover over Careers of Offspring").

Great anecdotes in the article:

Shortly after one Emory University student was rejected for an internship at a prestigious Wall Street firm, the student's mother called Emory's career center: Could someone there get the firm to reconsider?

Never mind that the student had missed a sitdown session and canceled a phone interview with the company.

"Her mother got into full swing," said Tariq Shakoor, director of the career center. "She felt we should do more to get her daughter this internship."

A recent Georgia State University breakfast for MBA candidates drew 200 people, including two dozen parents who asked most of the questions, said Diane Fennig, GSU's director of graduate student services at the Robinson College of Business.

"I wouldn't have expected it at the graduate school level, but they're here."

I've heard similar stories, which I've written about here.

Here's a quiz to determine whether you've crossed the line into helicopter parenting:

You are a helicopter parent if you ...

  • Drive your son to a job interview, then try to sit in on it.
  • Call your daughter's prospective employer to find out the status of the job offer, reschedule or set up interviews, inquire about benefits, or follow up on why she didn't get the job.
  • Show up at any of your son's student- or job-related events.
  • Camp out in your daughter's dorm room during student orientation week.
  • Accompany your son to the registrar's office and select his classes.
  • Argue with the registrar about why your daughter can't take an 8 a.m. class.