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‘Helicopter Parents’ Stunt Student Growth Unless Steered Properly


Aired 4/19/09

Tom Fudge: When you're a parent, you care about your kids and you help them out as best you can. This is something all parents have to do when they're kids little. But there comes a point when parents have to let their kids fend for themselves, make their own decisions and, in short, become adults.

Letting go of the old parenting habits is probably hard for any good Mom or Dad. But some people have an especially hard time. They continue to watch over their kids, hover, if you will, even after they've gone to college and beyond. The expression we've developed for these parents is "helicopter parents."

Some people say there are more helicopter parents now than ever before. And they've created a headache for some of our nation's colleges. Professors and admissions people are fielding more calls from irate parents, who wonder why Johnny got a C on his exam. Never mind that Johnny is 21 years old and should ask the question himself.


  • Dr. Pat Somers, education professor at the University of Texas. She has been conducting a year-long study on "helicopter parents.” 
  • Janet Castro, director of New Student and Parent Programs at San Diego State University.

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