Friday, November 09, 2007

Helicopter parents

40% hover!
These are US for parents who hover constantly above their kids and intervene to help them solve problems. A survey of first
year University students in the US showed that 40% of students had parents who directly intervened when there was a problem in their first year. About 13% of students said such intervention was frequent. Rather than being a break away from parental influence and control today’s kids seem to remain under their control for longer.

This also seems to be true of kids at school, where staff are finding and increased and often intense interest by many parents in their children’s day to day activity in school.

At first sight this may seem worrying, yet the survey exposes other findings:

Electronic communication fuels the interest

Well-educated parents aren't more likely to be helicopter parents

Helicopter parents are not just wealthier parents

Their children are more engaged in college life, happier and reporting getting more from the experience

However, those students do get lower grades!

On an entirely different note, students are spending the same amount of time studying as they reported in 2001, about 13-14 hours per week. That's about half the time faculty say they should be studying. What’s new!

Boomerang kids
An interesting corollary, and perhaps consequence of this interest, is ‘boomerang kids’, who keep returning home for accommodation and financial support.

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