Some moms are taking helicopter parenting to a whole new level.
A new report in New York magazine describes how some moms arrange playdates for their college kids on social media apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
It’s a trend that’s an outgrowth of groups created for parents of students at various universities: “Some groups are schoolwide, while others are specific to a cohort — graduating class, dorm, fraternity or sorority, team sport,” the magazine reported.
While much of the online banter is basic questions and helpful tips, some moms fret for their kids: “People will ask, ‘My kid is in X class. Does anyone know what the curve is going to be?’ Or ‘Has anyone’s kid taken calculus? Is it hard?’ And then there will be questions like ‘Where should my kid get their hair cut?’ This is a kid you sent off to live on their own. Could they ask an RA or do a Google search?”
Then some moms take it a step further:
“Some parents also use these sites to send out the Bat-Signal for their children. “There were definitely a lot of posts that said, ‘My child has no friends,’ and of course that’s heartbreaking,” says Ali, a Manhattan mom of twins. Dozens of parents responded to one such post, offering up their own kids for a playdate or suggesting that the lonely kid join a club. One shared an idea that worked for their daughter: “She organized a listening party to the Taylor Swift album drop in the fall and she brought back a game or two with the idea of throwing a game night??”
The news comes as the current generation of parents stand accused of being so-called “helicopter” moms and dads. As a result, universities today teach students “how to adult,” as well as offer classes on how to fail.
As The College Fix has frequently reported over the years, campus counseling centers are also overwhelmed by distraught students seeking help. Depression and anxiety rates among young people are also high right now.
The moms interviewed for the piece were reportedly “trying to find the line between helpful and harmful.”
But the article also lists several examples of parents trying to solve other basic problems for their kids on the groups. For example, one parent wanted help figuring out how to ask her daughter’s roommate for more space in their shared mini-fridge.
Laurence Steinberg, a psychology professor at Temple University and the author of “You and Your Adult Child,” told New York magazine he understands why moms would be so hyper-involved in their adult children’s lives.
“This generation has been very, very involved in their kids’ lives from the get-go. I think it’s hard to stop behaving that way,” he said. “Many simply don’t know what their kids’ abilities are because they don’t have a lot of evidence one way or the other.”
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