The term ‘helicopter parenting‘ is not new. In fact, for those in the field of student affairs, this term is part of daily life. However, the term is often used in conjunction with the closely affiliated term ‘millennial generation‘. While the terms represent popular phenomenon, they are by no means universal. The qualities associated with parents that hover, and their children – the millennial generation – are also closely associated with the socioeconomic class of the families that these parents and children are part of.
In her new book, Parenting Out of Control: Anxious Parents in Uncertain Times (New York University Press), Margaret K. Nelson explores the roots of helicopter parenting, or “parenting out of control,” finding a strong correlation between parental involvement and social class.
An interesting interview with the author can be found on the Inside Higher Ed blog. I am also very curious to find out what advantages, if any, do first-generation students have in terms of learning and development because of the absence of helicopter parents. This is something I will try to explore to some extent in my study of the Community College Transfer Initiative at Bucknell University.