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Thread: "Helicopter" parenting

  1. #1
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    "Helicopter" parenting

    Today I witnessed for the first time serious "helicopter parenting" and was pretty dismayed. I was waiting for my take-out at a restaurant chain. I always order in person, so usually wait 10-15 minutes. As I sat to wait, I saw to my left two women in shorts and flip flops sitting filling out what looked like applications. Then they came over to the counter, and the daughter (closer, I realized it was mother and daughter) asked for the manager. The mother stood with her. When the manager cam over, and took the application, he asked the daughter, "Do you have a few minutes now?" She said yes, and so the mother said, "I'll wait over here."

    The manager proceeded to an empty part of the restaurant with the daughter, but then the part that surprised me, was the mother then started asking all sorts of questions of the take-out cashier. She said, "Don't worry, we practically hire everyone, we're pretty desperate ..." but the mother proceeded to tell her what a good person her daughter is, her age, her high school, about what good, successful people her older sibling are, the colleges they went to, where her daughter intends to go, and she's sure her daughter will be a success in life, too, and going on and on about what a good person her kid is. For at least 15 minutes! With other employees, who clearly had no interest or influence in the hiring decision. And who had other responsibilities - as in actual customers - they could have been helping!

    It isn't the kid's fault, I am sure she will be hired anyway (the cashier basically implied if she wasn't an ax-murderer, she's be hired), but how annoying!

    Would you ever go into an interview with your child? Or coach your kid when filling out an application, to the extent of filling it out with him or her?

    If you were a hiring manager, what would you think?

    Opinions?
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  2. #2
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    When I applied for my first few jobs, my parent DID go with me, but they made me ask about it and everything. They would NEVER go into an interview with me and I would never with a child of mine. That's just really odd behavior to me. My dad has helped me make my resume and apply online for jobs, but he wouldn't help me fill out and entire application with him.

    As a hiring manager, I would be turned off by how much involvement that parent had. It would make me believe the girl was immature or didn't want the job and her parents were making her apply.
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  3. #3
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    My mom is a very "do it yourself" kind of parent. The most she would do is say "so-and-so is hiring, you should drop by there". That being said, I believe I would be the same way. When a parent tags a long with their child on a job hunt or anything of the sort I would question the applicant on if s/he is independent enough to do a job well without the constant support of a parent. Or, like Alyssa said, that the kid wasn't that interested in actually having a job.

    Now, I have helped a friend fill out an application because he is very dyslexic and has problems reading, but other than that, if the person is fully capable of reading and comprehending an application, then they can do it on their own.
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  4. #4
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    The only exception may be a minor. 16 year olds may work part time in Massachusetts. Once you're of age you should be able to stand on your own two feet. Moral support before and after is absolutely OK, though.
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  5. #5
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    I would certainly help my child fill out an application. For his first job, for a college application, for scholarship, etc. Why wouldn't I? I am an adult, with two college degrees, and have had people help me with my resume. No different. I will give my child every competitive advantage that I can. The way I was raised. I will check his homework, make him re-do it, go through his phone (when he gets one), check out his friends, his haunts, etc. I will inspect his FB page (when he gets one), and check his internet history (when it goes beyond Minecraft). I will make him attend prep classes for standardized tests, get him a tutor if necessary, and probably iron and wash his clothes until he leaves home.

    Who knows what that child has going on inside. Maybe she suffers from anxiety. Maybe the mother just lost her job, and this is more important than it might seem? Maybe she is a ridiculously proud parent that can't help bragging about her children? Frankly, if she has older children, that have attended/graduated college and are "successful" people, she can't be doing it all wrong.

    I think the much larger problem in today's society is parents that check out, not over parent.

    Edited to add: if I was the hiring manager, I would be pretty psyched to see a parent along for the ride, knowing upfront most kids won't be driving themselves to the job. So, if a parent is committed, attendance goes up 75%.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Karen View Post

    It isn't the kid's fault, I am sure she will be hired anyway (the cashier basically implied if she wasn't an ax-murderer, she's be hired), but how annoying!

    Would you ever go into an interview with your child? Or coach your kid when filling out an application, to the extent of filling it out with him or her?

    If you were a hiring manager, what would you think?

    Opinions?
    As the hiring manager? I'd hire the child sometime after satan learned to ski. If the parent is that involved with hiring, it's not going to end when the person is working at the restaurant.


    I might give tips prior, would most likely go over what went right/wrong after the fact, but I would NEVER go with one of the kids to an interview.

    16 is the age when a teen can work in Massachusetts, but I rode my bike to interviews and fill out job apps, and rode the bike to work most of the time as well until I got a car.

    I see the results of this all too often, science fairs, school projects, etc, where the results of the "child's" work are far above what would be expected for the age group. I assist with homework when they have problems, and review after it's done, but that's it. The work is their own.

    The most extreme example of this I've seen was actually in the Army, when we had the parents of a trainee up at Ft Drum write the base commander to make sure the training wasn't too rough on little jonny.....

    As far as ironing and washing? They have hands, they have feet, and they can reach the washer and dryer.
    Last edited by Lady's Human; 09-11-2013 at 11:11 AM.
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  7. #7
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    I don't see anything wrong with the parent going with the child to the place. But talking up the child to just another employee..........seemed a little desperate. And maybe there is more to the story that we don't know.

    My parents never went with me to interviews (of course they worked full time plus some themselves). And I wouldn't have wanted my dad to go...........no way! He probably would have done what this mother did and they would NOT have hired me! LOL
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  8. #8
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    My mom told me when I was 17 that when I turned 18, I had to get a job because I would no longer be covered under my parents insurance.

    I got a 2 month temporary job that ended 30 years later.

  9. #9
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    I'm with you Karen. In this case, too much involvement.
    My mother went with me for my first job interview. She had to as I had no driver's license.
    But, she ordered a cup of coffee and sat on the other side of the restaurant while I interviewed.
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  10. #10
    I don't see the big deal. It's not like the parent sat IN on the interview. So she talked to some employees. It's not like she pulled the manager aside and talked her up to him or again... sat IN the interview. I don't really see anything wrong with what she did. My mom helped me with my very first application to a job because I asked for her help. I'd never filled out an application before. She (or my dad) also drove me to my interviews if she could because I didn't drive... I didn't even go for my license until I was 28 years old. I used public transportation to get to and from my jobs (or walked) but usually for my first visit to an establishment my mom would drive me and wait for me.

    Actually, I remember one time when I was interviewing for a job doing singing telegrams, my mom drove me and when the owner came out to tell me she was ready to interview me she said to my mom "Are you mom? come on in and sit with us. it won't take long". it was a very informal interview and the three of us (my future boss, myself and my mom) ended up sitting and chatting together for a while after the interview. My future boss seemed very pleased that I had an ACTIVE parent in my life and wasn't like "Oh man... MOMS here... how passť"

    I can remember times interviewing at fast food places as a teen and my dad would drive me and the manager would have the interview right out in the middle of the restaurant. My dad never sat in on an interview but he was sitting in the restaurant somewhere waiting for me or usually he was up chatting with the employees because he is a TALKER... big time lol. He's a chatty guy and pretty much everywhere I worked Everyone always knew my dad by name lol. When I worked at a coffee shop they would have a coffee ready for him when he came in lol.

    I agree with Cataholic, we have more trouble with parents who just want to check out completely and do NOTHING with their kids or to help them out that I think THIS should be refreshing. This is not helicopter parenting. I've seen helicopter parenting and this isn't it lol. I've seen parents actively engage managers and run the interview for their child.

    I don't know that as a manager that I would be looking for a young teen who is completely independent over a teen who has a support system and parents who are going to care about the child doing the job they were hired for.




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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuhio98 View Post
    I'm with you Karen. In this case, too much involvement.
    My mother went with me for my first job interview. She had to as I had no driver's license.
    But, she ordered a cup of coffee and sat on the other side of the restaurant while I interviewed.
    Yeah, that's fine, I don't think diving the kid there is the problem, or checking the kid's application ... but actively filling out portions of it, and then all the chatting up of the other employees ...
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparks19 View Post
    I agree with Cataholic, we have more trouble with parents who just want to check out completely and do NOTHING with their kids or to help them out that I think THIS should be refreshing. This is not helicopter parenting. I've seen helicopter parenting and this isn't it lol. I've seen parents actively engage managers and run the interview for their child.

    I don't know that as a manager that I would be looking for a young teen who is completely independent over a teen who has a support system and parents who are going to care about the child doing the job they were hired for.
    Of course, I agree with you, as you agree with me. He he he.

    My son goes to an inner city school (Cincinnati Public). There are plenty of kids there- in his actual classroom, without active parents, that apparently have had their kids do their own laundry starting with pre-k, pack their own lunches, and essentially walk to school both ways, up hill. I guess I say to those parents, "Bravo. Good luck with all that, I have my fingers crossed for your child". I prefer to actively parent. Lead by example, help out, assist, make life easier for my child. I still make my 9 year old's bed. And remind him to brush his teeth. I know what junior high and high school I want him to go to, and I am putting things in place now to make that happen. There is no doubt in my mind I will send out requests for college applications and fill out the FAFSA for him. I have very high expectations for him, and he works very hard to achieve *my* expectations. I won't leave things to chance. He has plenty of time to fail as an adult, and we all know plenty of failing adults. LOL.

    This was how my 7 siblings and I had it growing up. I didn't have to work from the time I was 10, I got an allowance (aka, free money). I played sports and was supported by my parents 100%. My 'job' was to do well in school. Oddly enough, we all turned out (largely paid for by my parents)college educated (and then some), home owning, job holding, law-abiding, laundry-doing citizens. We volunteer, support charities, help out, have close relationships, and oddly, parent our children the same way. We must be the anomoly. Come to think of it. All my friends and peers had it the same way. The school of hard knocks has plenty of time to happen...

    As to chatting up an employee about how great a child the child is? Goodness...I consider that my honor, duty and right as a parent. How sad to think that some consider that helicopter parenting.

  13. #13
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    My mother didn't have enough time to do anything for me ( she was a chronic house cleaner) & I was basically was on my own when it came to getting a ride to the unemployment office to apply for my first job. It was not a safe ride either. Russell a hood from Chicago who was living up the street with a family was good enough to drive me up to St. Paul to the employment office. I took a bunch of tests while he waited for me & then he drove me back home & he skipped out of town because the police wanted to talk to him. I ended up going to my first job interview by myself (took the city bus this time) & got the job. I was a whole 18 years old then.

    Anyhow it can go either way in my book. You can do everything for a child & they may not learn a darn thing, or you can do nothing & hopefully they will learn something.
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  14. #14
    It's not your scholarship app, FAFSA, or college application, it's HIS.

    I get tired of seeing science fair projects done by parents (oops, projects with parents assisting.......) when kids who did their own research and experimentation get low scores because their presentation was at grade level instead of being done on daddy's workstation.

    You ARE a helicopter parent, of course you don't see any issues with it.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  15. #15
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    I absolutely DO consider myself an overly involved parent. And, my child will reap the benefits of that.

    I will give my child every single advantage that I can. And, if you decide to NOT do that for your child, that is OK. But, it is an incredibly competitive world out there. In sports, school, employment, etc. To pretend otherwise is done so at your child's peril. The choices are to join the world as it currently exists, or bemoan the point, and stay stuck in the 1980s (my best guess as to when you might have graduated high school).

    If EVERY (or most) kid's science projects are done at daddy's workshop, and they score high, and your kid doesn't- you have a choice there. I know what MY choice would be. Just like in sports. If I *stink* at basketball (and I do), and I want my child to play BB at a higher level, I can continue to work with him and hinder his ability to succeed, OR, I can get him with the right people and have him excel. To suggest I let him flounder, because some other person might call me a HP is simply inane. I care about one thing- MY child's success. If Johnny next door has a parent that wants the school of hard knocks to teach him? Great. Better opportunity for my child to succeed.

    I force my child to brush his teeth, to get physical exercise, I pick out his clothes if I deem him dressed inappropriately. I tell him when to go to sleep, to read more, to do math facts, etc. I don't believe in just halting these things, and as life gets MORE difficult, with MORE important decisions, choices, I absolutely will be there.

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