From the Trenches

Aiming for the middle ground.

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"A room without books is like a body without a soul."— Marcus Tullius Cicero

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Posts tagged "helicopter parents"

I am in Florida, which the article mentions, and students regularly use Florida Virtual School (FVS) for credit recovery their senior year so they can graduate.  I hear, on a regular basis, how many kids brag about their mom taking care of their assignments for them.  I’m all for parent involvement, but it’s, again, an example of how much parents are screwing their kids over under the guise of “helping them out”. 

I agree with this post only if she is speaking about high school.  Once a student gets to college, they ARE expected to educate themselves.  In college, students are expected to be self-motivated and exploratory, and be able to bring up suggestions in class when they see a gap in the professor’s thinking.  I have issue, not with the topic this post deals with, because she is absolutely correct, but with the level she is pointing it to.  I’m not going to make assumptions about her daughter, because if the topic of rape is so disturbing to her, then obviously there is some other issue at hand that needs to be dealt with on a personal level that I am certainly not going to judge on. 

However, in college, just like so-called “real life”, students need to be self-advocating.  No one is going to be careful of their feelings or troubles unless they happen to be a nice person.  So if something a professor says in discussion or lecture comes up with holes, like here where their wasn’t any sort of rape victim advocacy, then it is up to the student to bring it up at that time.  

Now, it sounds to me like in this particular situation, it was the student who emailed the professor, to which I applaud, but there are SO MANY parents out there who are still hovering over their students in college the way they hovered in high school.  Remember that Alexander the Great wasn’t even 20 when he began one of the greatest military campaigns in history.  If we start to treat our teenagers as adults, they will begin to act to act like them.  A parent’s job (I’m saying this as a teacher) is to bring a child up to be a successful adult in society and give them the tools they will need to DO IT BY THEMSELVES.  By college, unless there is some overwhelming issue, parents should not be involving themselves in their child’s academic affairs…they should be dealing with it by themselves.  

One more example, before I step off my soapbox, I have a friend who didn’t know she was supposed to file for income tax because her parents always did it for her without telling her about it.  So she turns 18 and moves out, and two years later, she gets a notice from the IRS saying she will have wages garnished and faces heavy fines for not filing.  She never knew she had to do anything.  THAT, my friends, is irresponsible parenting under the guise of good parents “just helping their kid out”.  

Just saying.  </soapbox>


it’s a poor idea to leave it to the students to figure them out and react to it as they will, with no guidance. New and complex issues should be dealt with as thoroughly as possible both in the context of the literature at hand as well as that of the students’ experiences, society, and sometimes…