Thursday, August 28, 2008

Helicopter Moms

Helicopter Moms are basically moms who closely monitor the progress of their college/university children and give feedback to the administration if they feel they are not receiving value for the tuition they are paying.

Society understands hyper-vigilance when it comes to investing in the stocks or housing market or running a business. Maybe you totally trust your broker and your real estate agent and your manager but one still protects one's investment by measuring performance against expectations.

I put my money into the education of my family. Twenty-eight years ago when I was putting hubby through, it was customary for the spouses to attend the Wednesday Eucharist Service and have lunch in the theology center. I knew all of my husband's classmates, their spouses and children and his professors. Most of the spouses proofread assignments and had a grasp of what was covered in the textbooks and discussed in the classroom.

Twenty-some years later, the women who put hubby through are now putting children through. A helicopter mom is usually giving the identical educational support to her unmarried children as a married student would receive from a spouse. This is a multi-cultural world and I doubt that I am any more involved than a Jewish mom, or a Greek mom or an Italian mom or an Islamic mom or a Chinese mom or a Japanese mom, etc., etc., etc. I doubt that I have a greater vested interest in the ultimate goal of my children getting jobs that support a comfortable lifestyle than the spouses with children investing in their futures. Most helicopter moms want their adult children to qualify for jobs that pay enough that they won't be a cash drain after graduation.

Successful people tend to have mentors and clerical support and people who free up their time so they can concentrate on what will best further their goals. The administrators who write about the lack of self-sufficiency in today's students are probably not that self sufficient themselves. I suspect that not only does the university hire support staff for them, they also hire or delegate out household and personal chores so they can churn out the papers that build their careers.

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