Radiating Sunshine: 10 Ways to Tell if You're a Helicopter Parent

Friday, June 17, 2016

10 Ways to Tell if You're a Helicopter Parent

I just finished my first week of Orientation and one of the biggest things we train our Orientation Leaders on is how to monitor and provide information to "helicopter parents." I have loved working at the Hospitality Desk, because I have been able to interact with this group of parents so many times and I can practically predict their questions before they even ask them! (I know a very marketable trait). Anyways, today I'll be discussing the 10 easy ways to tell if you are in fact a helicopter parent. Now, before I begin, I will put a little disclaimer in here that this post is merely to add humor to the world of Student Affairs. I am by no means a helicopter parent expert and or an expert on the different generations of folks on and off college campuses!






1. If you start off the conversation with, "I'm not a helicopter parent, BUT" chances are you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


2. If you are walking around (a few steps behind your student) and you notice a buzzing noise (arguably from your helicopter wings), you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


3. If you go to every service center and pick up a brochure from every single table (with the intent of reading, sticky noting, creating a reading quiz for your student, and or highlighting), you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


4. If you stand outside session rooms during Orientation (that are student only) waiting for your student to leave the session room, you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


5. If you refuse to leave your student at the student registration line and go into the parent registration line, you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


6. If you walk up to the Academic Dean of your student's major and provide them with your email address, cell phone, home phone, and work extension, you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


7. If you try to convince your student to sign the third-party-communication-agreement, you might be in fact a helicopter parent. (and if this gave you an idea to do in the future, you might also be a helicopter parent)!


8. If you try to meet other new students in the hopes of finding a suitable roommate for your student, you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


9. If you have prepared a list of questions to lead a debrief discussion with your student on the ride home from Orientation, you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


10. If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


If you are in fact a helicopter parent, please do not feel at all embarrassed by this post. In fact, feel free to write it on your name tag when attending Orientation so that way Orientation Leaders and staff members can safely identify you and answer any and or all questions that you have! If I could give you all one piece of advice, it is okay to be a helicopter parent. However, please remember that college is an opportunity for your emerging adult to learn and grow in a variety of different ways. Please, give them the tools and support needed for this transition and remember to walk at least 30 steps behind your student at all times.

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