The headlines "Social Media! Helicopter Parents!" caught my eye on the airline magazine the other day and since I'm intrigued by both these phenomena, I decided to take a peek, finding a long, interesting article about the new generation of job seekers in our country - the millenials.
Apparently I'm completely out of the loop because I thought we were still doing "Generation insert letter of the alphabet" and didn't realize that there's a term for the people many of us are raising.
And while I'm pretty sure by the time my kids get to the work force they will be referred to by an entirely different moniker, I still found myself aligned with what had been found about how the parenting of these kids had influenced how they approached job seeking and existing in society.
I braced myself for a strong criticism of what has been coined as helicopter parenting, with the parents hovering over their child's every move often driven by fear, anxiety, and a desire to make sure their life pathways were paved in padded, non-slip eco-friendly materials.
But instead, they highlighted how these products of hovering parents actually offered a slew of positives to their potential employers.
That's not to say that helicopter parenting can have negative effects, although one could argue that any type of parenting is going to have some negative effect on children. No one is perfect, after all, and our imperfections will undoubtedly manifest in one way or another in how we raise our kids.
It seems like much of our job as parents is to ensure that our kids have a fresh, new life experience that's not tainted by our own failings and shortcomings - rather informed and made better by them. Or at least, that's what I hope will happen.
And I'm the first to admit that I could easily be accused of helicoptering, more frequently perhaps than I'd like I'm sure, but I chalk it up to the world being a completely different environment than it was when I was a kid - in many cases, a not so safe environment. I also think that parenting has changed and kids get away with a lot more shit than they used to, which only means that I need to keep a better eye on my own children.
But for all the knocking of the helicopter parenting that goes on, even still with my own generation of parenting colleagues, I was pleased to see that there are some positive benefits to hovering - in my case balanced with a hearty injection of free range parenting when it's appropriate.
And so, as a result of their upbringing, millenials happen to be more collaborative with their colleagues, as well as their bosses, and seek out opportunities to work together with them as opposed to working for them or on the flip side, telling them what to do.
They also strive to find meaning in their work and passion for what they are doing, which can be a challenge during hard economic and financial times, but overall will provide them with more job and life satisfaction.
Now I don't think this means that we all run out and install video cameras around our house so we can keep an eye on our children. Nor does it mean that we make our kids "our bffs."
But it appears that a little parental over involvement isn't such a bad thing after all.