16 June 2010

Armored car parents

Helicopter parents” refers to adults who hover relentlessly around their kids at times when the kids should probably be trying to do things for themselves.

I propose there is a more advanced stage of this syndrome.

Armored car parents n. Parents who attempt to transport their children from one secure point to another throughout life, abandoning any pretense of the offspring moving through life independently.

I arrive at this definition from this quote (from here), which disappoints me on so many levels.

(M)any evangelical parents seem to ask, “Is there someone in the virtual sphere where I can send my child where they can transition directly from a home-schooled environment into a collegiate environment and never leave the home?”

One of the undervalued aspects of schools, both grade schools and universities, is that they usually force you to meet people who are different than you. Who have different backgrounds, different ideas, different experiences, and who may (gasp!) actively disagree with you. For some people, school may be the only time in their lives they are actively challenged to articulate and justify their positions.

And some parents aren’t comfortable with that and want to take it away. Talk about living in a bubble.

Taking that experience away will leave those kids much duller and less prepared for that inescapable reality: There is more than one kind of person out there. And you’d better make some effort to get along with them.

Photo by safoocat on Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

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