‘Helicopter parents’ use Facebook groups to organize play dates for college kids
Parents are using Facebook and WhatsApp groups to keep tabs on their children who are away at college, sometimes arranging “playdates” and haircuts on their behalf.
In an article from The Cut, moms revealed some of the most touching posts on various message boards, including a parent asking how their daughter can ask for more space in her mini-fridge and another ask for the best places to get their college student. haircut
One parent named Jennifer considered leaving the Facebook group she joined for parents of first-year students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison when she looked for information on what to pack her son for the his new dorm experience.
“Make sure you put a pool noodle in the gap between the wall and the bed,” suggested one member.
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“As soon as you tell me to buy pool noodles so my son’s precious phone won’t fall on the floor if he drops it, I’m out,” Jennifer told the service.
Most Facebook groups for parents of college students are often organized school-wide, while others refer to a specific graduating class, dorm, or extracurricular activity.
Marketing agency Ellison Ellery said parents often run the groups themselves, while university staff are central. This hierarchy can drive revenue by increasing student enrollment and maintaining high retention rates.
Parents reportedly described the groups to The Cut as “landing pads for helicopter parents low on fuel who want to organize their children’s lives at the very moment they are about to become independent.”
“People would ask where their child should do the bailiff or who should do their son’s laundry. Or people would say, ‘Can you believe it? We paid this much of money and my child can’t get into the class he wants.’ That’s how it goes. You didn’t register soon enough,” said Mary, whose daughter graduated from Syracuse University.
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According to a statement, one parent complained that the school had not cleared snow paths because students were attending classes.
“This is Syracuse – it snows 100 inches every winter. Do they really expect the roads to be cleared 24/7?” Mary said.
Amanda, who lives in Miami and has two children away at college, said she is “disturbed” by the online parenting groups because they often produce “crazy content “.
“People will ask, ‘My child is in class X. Does anyone know what the curve will be?’ Or ‘Did any child take calculus? Is it difficult?’ And then there are questions like, ‘Where should my child get their hair cut?’ This is a child you sent to live alone. Could they ask RA or do a Google search?” she said.
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Manhattan mom Ali revealed that dozens of parents in her online group offered their children a “playdate” while others complained that their child had no friends.
One of them shared an idea that worked for their child: “She threw a listening party for Taylor Swift’s fall album and brought back a couple of games with the idea of throwing a game night? ?”
Ali also revealed that after learning that her son had been served non-vegan food at the University of Chicago dining hall, she provided contact information for senior faculty he could contact.
Temple University psychology professor Laurence Steinberg told The Cut that the current generation has been heavily involved in their children’s lives “since the past” and may hard to stop behaving in an excessive way.
“A lot of people just don’t know what their children’s abilities are because they don’t have a lot of evidence one way or the other,” Steinberg said.
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He said that Facebook parent groups can be helpful as long as parents provide the information to their children rather than working independently for them.