Dear Helicopter Parents of College Students:
Your kid is raised. Stop raising him. If he’s still an immature weenie, let life hand him/her some consequences. It’s about time somebody did.
Love, Professor MeanJane
P.S. Your kid is nineteen years old and still can’t remember to bring a pencil to school. And no, he can’t borrow mine. There are no soul-sucking “community school supplies” at this level. If he wants a grade on a test, he can go down to the bookstore and invest in a two-dollar collegiate-licensed pencil. Yes, they are too expensive and yes, it’s ridiculous. At Target he can get a whole package for a dollar, but then he’d have to remember to bring one to class.
You are not allowing your kid to grow up, and he doesn’t have what it takes to do so himself. This is your fault. Back off. Let him struggle and fail, and then perhaps he will struggle and succeed. No, this is NOT being cruel. Cruelty is keeping your kid a kid too long, and doing all the work for him. Step back and don’t give in when he comes crying to you about how hard life is.
This is one of many reasons why I am a firm believer in mixed-age classes. At this level, I’ll have students from 17 to 80 in one room, and each has something invaluable to give to the other. I think every kid needs at least one adult who is not responsible for raising him/her, and I think every adult needs to be around kids for whom they are not responsible for raising.
Something else that’s wonderful? We don’t really have many discipline problems at this level, and if we do, the student is escorted out of the building immediately. As such students should be at ALL levels, so our nice hardworking kids might be able to climb higher and see farther and accomplish much more, without being constantly albatrossed by discipline problems that are allowed to get worse each year by spineless administrators and parents who can’t see beyond their own child.
Remember Helen Keller, who had to be removed from her doting parents’ home in order to be educated properly, because her parents were so sorry for her that they gave in to her every whim and turned her into a smelly obnoxious beast who demanded her own way and got it in every situation. Poor little Helen, let her have it; she’s been denied so much! Annie Sullivan, however, knew better. Why can’t modern parents and administrators see it?
(Helen Keller has been in the top five of my top ten “most admired people” list since I was a small child. )
I am a firm believer in playing my best with the hand I’m dealt, but that only works when there are 52 cards to be dealt. Add “just a few more,” and the rules are changed, and it becomes a different game.
Life is good. Dig it.
And when life isn’t good, dig it anyway. If you keep digging, you’ll strike gold eventually.