Helicopter parenting a toddler isn’t odd, but hovering over your 20-something child is. It seems that for some Millennials, helicopter parents don’t go away once they go off to college and attempt to make it on their own. Business owners are seeing an increasing number of parents in job interviews and even in the workplace. (You can hear more about that in the WSJ video above.) Yes, some young professionals are bringing their moms to job interviews. If your reaction to this statement is anything like mine, you’re shaking your head in amazement right now.
Michael Van Grinsven is a field-growth and developmental director at Northwestern Mutual, one company that is embracing the new parental involvement trend. Van Grinsven discussed the topic with The Wall Street Journal:
"It's become best practice," Mr. Van Grinsven says, noting that parents can influence their children's career decisions. Some Northwestern Mutual managers call or send notes to parents when interns achieve their sales goals and let parents come along to interviews and hear details of job offers. They may even visit parents at home.
Yes, some managers send progress reports to their interns’ parents. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. My oldest is in seventh grade, and I receive a weekly progress report from his algebra teacher and periodic reports from other teachers. He’s 12, though. If he were a 19-year-old intern, I’d love to hear how his job was going and what he thought about the company — but I wouldn’t want to hear from his manager. That’s just weird.
I’m not speaking from atop an ivory tower, either. As the mom of two children on the autism spectrum, I have fallen into the practice of helicopter parenting from time to time. Helicopter parents hover over their children’s every move, ensuring their safety, providing guidance and in the end, hindering their ability to grow and discover.
I make an effort to give my children age-appropriate freedoms so that they can learn from their mistakes. One day, I want them to move out of the house and live as independent and self-supporting adults. I don’t expect them to ask me along on a job interview, and I wouldn’t go even if they did. Sure, I have life experiences that could help in a salary negotiation meeting, but I gained that knowledge through personal experience, not because I saw my mom negotiate with my prospective employer.
Would you bring your mom to a job interview? If you are a parent, would you accompany your adult child to an interview?