Tag Archives: helicopter parenting

Is Helicopter Parenting Causing School Shootings?

angry kidLet me start by saying that we clearly have a gun problem in our society.  But running with the knee-jerk reaction of banning them and protecting people is only a Band-Aid solution.  It’s what got us here in the first place.

Has anyone else noticed that mass school shootings started with the Millennials?  No, I’m not saying that Millennials are the problem.  It’s the adults who raised them.  That’s all of us—parents, teachers, lawmakers, and so on.  We’re the ones who disempowered a whole generation of children and we’re continuing to disempower the next generation too.  The Z Generation are the victims of the Florida shooting and the shooting every three days since the year started.

Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man to Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.  –Chinese Proverb

We live in a dangerous world with lots of dangerous things.  Shielding kids from the dangers of the world only makes them at higher risk of being hurt by them.  Eventually, they will venture—or sneak—out on their own when you’re not there to protect them and they are more likely to get hurt if they don’t know what they’re doing.  Teaching kids how to protect themselves from danger and why it is important to their well-being allows them to develop judgment which will serve them throughout life.

Sticks and stones may break my bones

But names will never harm me.  –Nursery Rhyme

By protecting and mandating good behavior we’ve set up a situation where there is no tolerance for imperfection.  Kids at school have to sit still, get good grades, and be nice to each other at all times.  Even though competition is fierce, children have to be inclusive and never express a negative sentiment.  Teachers too.  If you slip up even once, you’re out.

Think about the pressure this creates.  Imagine a steam engine with no vents.  If you keep adding pressure with no outlets, eventually you’ll have an explosion.  People are the same way.  Research shows that bottling up emotions can make people more aggressive and that diffusing them may help avoid lethal violence.

Kids need to be able to express their anger and aggression.  They need to be able to fight, to call each other names, to yell at each other, and to cry, feel pain, and get back up again.  This is how they develop a healthy constitution.  Prohibiting kids from feeling any pain and expressing all aggression is what’s leading to unhealthy eruptions.  Boys shoot and kill others.  Girls cut and kill themselves.  Both of these problems are at an all-time high.

Kids are remarkably resilient if we let them be.  When we shield them and protect them and do things for them we are creating little monsters.  Look at Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for classic examples of kids gone awry from misdirected parents.

What our country needs right now is less control and more empowerment.  We don’t need to ban free speech and guns.  We need to teach people how and when to use them appropriately.  Stop helicoptering and start empowering.

Letting Your Babies Fly the Nest: Reducing the Temptation of Helicopter Parenting

Helicopter-affinite magIn the spring, baby birds are born. Within a couple of weeks, they grow feathers and fly the nest. People raise babies to grow up and be able to fly the nest too. At least they used to. Due to the rise in “helicopter parenting,” many of today’s grown children stay tethered to the nest, move back home as adults, or never leave at all.

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Are you hiring the job candidate or their parent?

parent-at-interviewIncreasingly, parents are getting involved in the job hiring process.  This presents a challenge for employers because you don’t know how much of the candidate you’re getting vs. their parents.

Things parents do for their adult children today:

  • Go to job fairs and open houses.
  • Write resumes and cover letters.
  • Fill out job applications and send them in.
  • Call employers to set up interviews and follow up.
  • Attend lunches and interviews.
  • Negotiate salaries with employers.
  • Decide which job to take.

Too much parental involvement in the job hiring process is detrimental to both the candidate and the employer.  The employer needs to assess whether the candidate is qualified and is a good fit for the job.  The applicant needs to assess whether the organization and job are a good fit for them.  When parents take over, neither side gets an accurate picture of the other.

What can employers do to move parents to the sidelines?

  • Make it a policy not to talk to parents during the hiring process.
  • Discourage candidates from involving their parents.
  • Politely but firmly refuse to speak to parents when they call or show up.
  • Put your no-parents-during-hiring policy on the website for all to read.

A bad hire is detrimental to both the employer and the employee.  Too many times I’ve heard employers complain that the person they hired “looked great on paper” and had “all the right things to say” in the interview, but wasn’t able to perform once hired.  This is a bad situation for the employer but an awful situation to be in for an employee.  Failing at your job, especially your first job, has long lasting effects on self-esteem.  It’s better for everyone involved—including parents—if the employee is hired for a job they can and want to do.

How can employers tell parents to back off?

Pushing parents away can be touchy for both the parents and the candidates.  How do you do it without losing good candidates?  Here are some suggestions from College Recruiter: How Employers Should Deal with Helicopter Parents.  One of the suggestions is mine.

 

The Quarter Life Crisis

puppy-2-1379050I saw the play Tiger Style! last night.  The story is about two seemingly successful 20-something Harvard grads who are actually falling apart inside.  As a doctor and a computer programmer, they both have achieved success in their parents’ and society’s eyes, but they are in crisis because they don’t know who they are.

They blame their parents for promising them success and assuming happiness came along with it if they dedicated their lives to achievement.  But when they are finally in these high-status, well-paid jobs, they realize they never stopped to figure out if this is what they wanted along the way.  Indeed, these empty careers mean nothing to them.

Who am I?  Where does love fit in?  Where’s the fun?  What’s this all for?  These are the questions of the “quarter life crisis.” 

The quarter life crisis is a newly coined phenomenon, an accelerated form of the midlife crisis.  Why is it happening?  Why are so many 25-year-olds having identity crises that there’s a new name for it?  Because this generation of kids was never allowed to explore their identities during adolescence.  Instead, they were directed (and often pushed) into the singular path of going to the best college they could get into.

The fallacy of the college dream is that it assumes this path leads to happiness and success in life.  Sadly, it’s taken a generation of 20-somethings in crisis to show us the error in our thinking.

College is one path to success and happiness in life.  It is not the path.  There is no one-size-fits-all solution to success and happiness in life.  Each person has to figure it out along the way.

Probably one of the biggest disappointments in life is when your child wants to do something different from what you want them to do.  Face it: there is a good chance that will happen to you, no matter how much your force your dreams down their throat.  They are their own people and they have to figure it out for themselves.

Finding Happiness in your Career

Rhodes to Success with Jessica Rhodes

On this episode of Rhodes to Success, Jessica interviews Dr. Joanie Connell. During the show, Jessica and Joanie discuss helicopter parenting, generational differences in the workplace, what makes a great leader, how to help employees be resilient, and how to find a career that excites you.

Main Questions Asked:

  • What are the pros and cons of helicopter parenting?
  • Talk about millennial and generational challenges in the work place.
  • Comment on how different generations figure out how to be happy in their career.
  • Do you think the transition from employee to contractor jobs help people find a work/life balance?
  • What does it take to be a successful leader?
  • How do you teach employees to take on leadership roles?
  • What can we do to help our employees be more resilient?
  • How can people find a career that excites them?