Helicopter Parenting in the Workplace

 

Too often these days we are experiencing helicopter parenting in the workplace, and this is not good. It’s a big problem, not only for Managers and Business Owners but for the young people with the said helicopter parents.

According to Wikipedia; A helicopter parent is a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child’s or children’s experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions. Helicopter parents are so named because, like helicopters, they “hover overhead”, overseeing every aspect of their child’s life constantly. 

Well unfortunately these parents are now extending their interests into Australian workplaces, in the form of ringing employers to request parent / employer conferences if their child is unhappy about their Manager, pay, performance management or even feedback!

I might add that these “children” are not really children, I’m actually talking about young adults between the ages of 22 to 30. And I’m not even joking. I wish I was.

Too often we receive calls from parents wanting feedback when their “child” or should we say “man child” Henry does not get selected for the job.

Last week we had a Mum ring up and ask if she could come to her daughters Orientation with an Aged Care facility. Her daughter was 24 years old!

And it does not stop there, we have had multiple requests from parents to meet with a Manager, or HR to discuss a Performance Warning their child had received.

We are all asking where does this end? I was speaking to someone recently who had attended Orientation Week with their son for University! I was shocked and appalled!

And the reason this is shocking, appalling and unacceptable is because these parents are robbing their children of the very life experiences that will help them to grow, learn and experience all the things required for them to grow up.

We have all seen the statistics regarding how many young adults or Millennials actually still live at home, and how many young people are being supported by their parents whilst at University or even after they have finished Uni.

The impact on these young people is that they lack the resilience to cope and manage in a fast paced and stressful workplace or job. This leads to young people feeling disempowered, overwhelmed and ill equipped to cope when things don’t go to plan.

So, what’s my advice! All you parents out there, maybe its time you started being parents, and allow your children to experience life instead of expecting Managers to parent your kids because you haven’t done the groundwork. And no – you cannot request to meet with HR about your 28 year old child’s performance review. It’s not cool.

My hot tip for parents is to encourage their kids to get a job as early as possible! Like 14 and 9 months. Teach them about working hard, and how important it is to get your hands dirty, start at the bottom and do the hours. A bit of hard work never hurt anyone and many young people lack work life experience when they enter the workforce and they seriously struggle to adjust. Getting a job early will serve them well, not just in their studies but later in life also!

Written by Head Guru Emily Jaksch

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