Helicopter parents reach college; expert offers tips

As parents, it's important to help your children shape a healthy body image. (Thinkstock)
How not to help your kids with college

Rachel Nania | November 15, 2014 7:56 pm

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WASHINGTON — It’s common to spot helicopter parents hovering around toddlers on the playground, or even middle school students on the soccer field. But those over-parenting propellers are increasingly extending into a new scene: college campuses.

Recent research published in the journal Education + Training reveals that helicopter parenting is more of an issue than ever at colleges, and the implications pack a punch.

Over-parenting of college students causes them to feel inadequate to complete tasks and reach goals — a problem that can affect future job positions and work performance, the research reports.

But before the problems get that far, parenting expert Leslie Morgan Steiner says, the time to step back and give your student some independence is during the college application process.

Steiner, a blogger for modernmom.com, has a 17-year-old high school senior who’s just beginning to apply to colleges. She admits it’s harder than she ever imagined not to micromanage his application process.

“I think that standing back and letting our kids apply to college on their own actually feels like parental neglect,” says Steiner, who says she sometimes even hears of parents who set up email accounts in their kids’ names to send in their applications or write admission essays for their children.

“And I have to always say to myself,

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