Helicopter Parents at Work

helicopter parents at workHelicopter parents at work-fight or submit?

I ran across this interesting NPR article the other day about helicopter parents in the workplace. Every time I run across a news story or magazine article about these outrageous behaviors, I have to shake my head. I don’t know where the bright idea comes from for parents to continuously weaken their children, but it’s not having the effect they’d hoped.

When you support a muscle or tendon for a long period of time and never let it perform its intended function, it will atrophy. The same applies with children (and yes, for this discussion I’m talking about 18-22 year old children!). When parents continue to make decisions, intercede on their behalf with college professors and employers, and fight their battles for them, the students will never learn the critical behaviors required to function without parental support.

Some employers are closing the parents off, and rightly so. If you can’t interview without a parent backing you up, there’s no way you will be able to handle a stressful  job without calling them for help every half hour.

Others are welcoming the contact. They are using a thought process similar to mine detailed in recruiting a candidate’s family, hoping that if the family is intrigued, they will push the candidate to take the position.

The point where their thought process and mine diverge is that I think it applies only after the person has been interviewed and selected for the position. Some employers are allowing parents into interviews and salary negotiations, which seems ridiculous to me.

Anyone else having to deal with helicopter parents at work? I’d love to hear some of the crazy stories…