By Alexandria Prox
Most of the time, college is the first time young adults get true freedom from their parents. Parents are forced to let go of their little children and make a big change in their life. Many parents of millennials have a hard time letting go and letting their children have total control of their lives. Our parents have developed a new form of parenting called the “helicopter parent”. Helicopter parents feel the need to control every aspect of their child’s life, even after they are completely independent. They have to approve of all of the bank transactions made and even pick out every piece of clothing that is purchased by the child.
Parents need to start letting go. There is a major difference between helping a child and telling a young adult what to do. Once children reach a certain age, they need to learn how to take care of themselves, or they will remain dependent for the rest of their lives. The dependency on parents forever creates adults that cannot fend for themselves in an ever-changing world. When parents “baby” their children, it creates kids that need an award for just showing up to an event.
The way a person is taught while they are young will affect the way they view the world when they grow up. However, as millennials who are “babied” all of their lives grow up and move on into the “real world,” they will have a hard time competing with those that were raised in a way that they understand the core concepts of adulthood— especially those from other countries, where little to no children are treated as such, and are raised as adults throughout their entire lives.
Giving false hope to children, and treating them like children when they should be learning the core concepts of adulthood is killing the education system. The United States is 14th in the world for education since parents will no longer push their children because they don’t want to ‘hurt their feelings.’ Helicopter parents are so involved in the life of their growing child that they may even go on school trips just to make sure their “baby” is okay. Growing and becoming independent is part of developing into an adult. There is no way to expect a child to become a successful adult if they are unable to pick out their own underwear. First-year college students (most times) will go through a rebellious phase because they were never able to have any freedoms at home.
However, not having any structure in a child’s life is just as bad, if not worse. There needs to be both structure and freedom in a child’s life in order for them to completely understand how they should act in order to thrive as adults. If a parent is unable to allow their children to have even the most basic freedoms, then college will become a culture shock to them. Responsibility needs to be taught before children become young adults, and parents being “helicopter parents” creates adults that are dependent, not responsible.