Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s mother, Anna, was a helicopter parent. She was influential in getting her son his first job after law school, although he was an indifferent law student. Roosevelt practiced law at Carter Ledyard, a Wall Street firm which still exists today, for four years, before pursing his true love, politics. He was elected to the New York State Senate twice, also with his mother’s help, until Woodrow Wilson appointed him to be Assistant Secretary of the Navy.
Of course most parents, no matter their circumstances, will not wind up raising their son or daughter to become President of the United States. But most parents want the best from their child, so s/he will hopefully have a good life–by their terms or their child’s–in college and beyond. I’ve heard enough of the bad stories about helicopter parents trying to push professors, student affairs professionals, career counselors and recruiters attempting to fill internships or full-time jobs. But I visit a lot of schools and take a lot of tours and see roles where parents should become more helpful, where their children are less likely to investigate.
Being known as a helicopter parent is not easy. You can make “enemies” with people on campus and make your relationship with your child more difficult. But sometimes parents must be involved in the college experience to their child’s benefit.
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