Local News

Some Parents Have Problems Letting Go Of College-Bound Students

Posted October 4, 2005 9:12 a.m. EDT

— College students expect help from their parents from time to time, but some college administrators said that help can go too far.

Some administrators have a name for it, "helicopter parents," because they hover.

"It really describes this generation of college parents who are fairly overreaching in their involvement," said Ann Gleason, Dean of Students at Meredith College.

Gleason said she often fields constant calls from parents.

"Ranging from the temperature in a student's residence hall room to a roommate conflict to a grade in a course," Gleason said.

Parent Kaye Rains said she knows it happens. She talks to her daughter often.

"Pretty much every day. I don't think that's uncommon," she said.

Administrators at college campuses say "helicopter parents" need to stop. Otherwise, they worry children will not learn to be self-sufficient.

"You need a good balance of support and challenge to be able to reach the next level of development," Gleason said. "For students, there is some reluctance, sometimes, to take on these challenges and for parents, there's some fear that their student will be able to handle that."

"You really want to give your children wings," Rains said.

Administrators said cell phones have made hovering easier. The days of the pay phone in the hallway has given way to instant and constant communication.