Hover Much? | Education | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

News » Education

Hover Much?

A pop quiz for parents


Published August 22, 2012 at 8:40 a.m.


Illustration by Matt Mignanelli

Are you a helicopter parent? The term, coined in the 1990s, refers to the increasing number of moms and dads who hover closely behind their offspring, ready to provide guidance and support — and extraction from challenging situations, if necessary.

This week and next, hundreds of helicopter parents will be descending on Vermont, escorting their college-student children to campus. And faculty and staff are steeling themselves for a barrage of interfering questions. The University of Vermont has even hired “parent bouncers” in the past to keep the ’copters from following their students around during orientation.

That’s because all this overparenting can keep kids from developing into well-adjusted, self-sufficient adults. Studies have shown that the children of helicopter parents are more likely to become neurotic and anxious.

Psychologist Madeline Levine gave parents some pointers recently in a New York Times op-ed titled “Raising Successful Children.” “Your job,” she wrote, “is to know your child well enough to make a good call about whether he can manage a particular situation. Will you stay up worrying? Probably, but the child’s job is to grow, yours is to control your anxiety so it doesn’t get in the way of his reasonable moves toward autonomy.”

It’s easy to spot a helicopter parent — unless you are one. Here, then, is a (totally nonscientific) quiz to help you determine if you are hovering. Keep track of your answers and add up your score at the end to find out if you’re properly grounded.

Are you a helicopter parent? » Create A Quiz @ProProfs

Speaking of...



Comments are closed.

From 2014-2020, Seven Days allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we've appreciated the suggestions and insights, right now Seven Days is prioritizing our core mission — producing high-quality, responsible local journalism — over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.