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Colleges don't like dealing with control-freak parents.

They're called "helicopter parents," for their habit of hovering -- hyper-involved -- over their children's lives. Here at Colgate University, as elsewhere, they have become increasingly bold in recent years, telephoning administrators to complain about their children's housing assignments, roommates and grades.

Recently, one parent demanded to know what Colgate planned to do about the sub-par plumbing her daughter encountered on a study-abroad trip to China.

"That's just part of how this generation has been raised," said Mark Thompson, head of Colgate's counseling services. "You add a $40,000 price tag for a school like Colgate, and you have high expectations for what you get."

What a uniquely American problem. And I mean that in the most vile, repugnant sense of the word. Is it any wonder China and India and, well, the rest of the world, are kicking our a**es academically?

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I know my parents cared about me...but back when I went to college I think there were boundaries that normal parents just didn't cross. (That was way back in the 1970's for you young 'uns.) I think our families saw college as a time to start learning to live on our own and develop some maturity in a semi-sheltered environment.

Guess my kids are lucky...since I have too many of them and not enough money to devote to hovering... :)

There's a fine line. Yeah, this article mentions "hovering" parents in regard to stupid stuff.

But what about the parents who spend literally tens of thousands of dollars to send their kid to a highly visible and prestigious "Catholic" school? Shouldn't they have some say if it turns out the school is doing stuff that actually undermines the faith?

I guess the answer is that the parents should have done their homework before sending the kid there, but due diligence isn't always going to prevent such things.


The issue of Catholic identity at Catholic schools is separate from this one. I do agree that parents (especially those flipping the bill) have a right to speak up in the case you mentioned. On the other hand, we are talking about 18 year olds here, and if the parents have prepared them adequately, they should be equipped to stand up for their faith themselves.


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This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on August 30, 2005 9:16 AM.

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