Mar. 4th, 2014

fengi: (Mr. Augh II)
I could write at length about how this winter is getting to me, but at this point I only have energy to repost this animated gif.

fengi: (Mr. Mellie)
These days when I read "helicopter parent" I think:

1. Show me the studies proving that parents are pushier today than they were in the past. Only have trend pieces with interesting anecdotes and quotes? Well, I love those as well and will write entire essays based on pure speculation, but at one time such reporting indicated women were incapable of voting.

2. When Chicago shut down around 50 schools, mostly in minority neighborhoods, some pundits actually blamed the locals for not being engaged enough until it was too late. It seems that whatever parents choose to do, there's a narrative which explains why it's wrong, usually in service of some force avoiding responsibility.

3. When I read some prof whining about helicopter parents, I wonder if they realize they work for large institutions running on teenagers and/or their parents going thousands of dollars into debt. Which kind of seems like a used car salesmen getting upset when a first time buyer bring along a relative to help them with the purchase. Just what the fuck do you care if a kid welcomes outside help when making life altering choices?

4. During gym at my Junior High, the coach sat in an office with huge windows that opened into the locker room. He read the paper as junior varisty football players dragged a screaming kid into the bathroom and almost drowned him with dirty swirlies. A "helicopter parent" might have gotten him fired and sued the football team out of existence.

5. I can think of multiple events involving abuse and large institutions which might lead a parent to be actively distrustful and protective. We've also had several decades of powerful people saying, "government won't help you, lean on the family" - if people are overly reliant on the one semi-dependable unit of society around, are you really going to give them shit about it?

6. Spoiled brats and annoying parents are real and are intensely irritating. A big impression, however, doesn't mean a growing trend. It's also much easier for everyone to shar their rants about these overindulged kids (I know I do) and discuss them until every story has generation defining status. It's likely the number of helicopter types is not increasing as much as our ability to notice and resent their presence.