The professor who wrote this was responding to a fictional (albeit realistic) scenario: how would you respond to a student who asked for a grade change on a project because she “worked so hard on it?” The idea that you could work hard on something and not succeed is frustrating, especially to those with parents who ensure there is little disappointment for their kids.
As children in this environment grow, here’s a preview of how they might react when they are faced with the harsh reality of life:- They might ask their parents to get involved with their challenges at college (e.g., having parents ask professors to change grades or calling admissions offices).- Instead of becoming mature adults, they may delay adulthood. One author examined how perpetual adolescence is somewhat celebrated in our culture today, particularly in the entertainment realm.- They fail to begin the basics in financial management, from planning to saving for retirement.
In a recent study, researchers found that college students of helicopter parents may have fewer competencies required for success on the job. As summarized in the Washington Post:
The study showed that those college students with ‘helicopter parents’ had a hard time believing in their own ability to accomplish goals. They were more dependent on others, had poor coping
strategies and didn’t have soft skills, like responsibility and conscientiousness throughout college, the authors found.
We cannot learn from mistakes if we never make any, cannot learn to deal with disappointment if we do not experience it, and cannot learn to adapt if our circumstances remain the same.
I’ll be discussing how learning tough lessons can impact the ability to accept responsibility for financial outcomes in the next post.
Now, how to tell my kids that doing their best isn’t enough…maybe we’ll tackle that tomorrow.