Monday, June 19, 2006

Here it comes...

"...across the nation, college administrators are struggling with what they say is a growing phenomenon, a product of the unique relationship between many boomer parents and their millennial-generation children.

Administrators say they know these parents mean well. But their frequent phone calls and unreasonable demands stunt student development and test the patience of college officials."

This phenomena didn't start with these millenials it started when people started to conceive of a university as a business (bidness) rather than an institute of higher education. When people start labeling the university as a bidness they get this mentality, as does administration, that the student is a consumer and as a consumer they are always right even when they are wrong.
So it isn't just "overprivileged brats" its the business mentality.

Case in point:

But Boyle, of College Parents of America, thinks concerns about helicopter parents are "overblown."

"It's better than the alternative, them not being involved at all," he says. "In every generation of parents, there are those that get too involved. I think it's a small percentage of parents who do things like try to personally intervene in a roommate dispute."

He says "smart schools" accept that parental involvement is higher with the millennial generation and respond by "catering to the parents."

"They are paying a large part of the tuition bill, and it's just good customer service," he says.

GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE? Sorry Boyle this is not a business this is higher education.

A lesson in poor reporting

The article went on to report:

"They saw their youngsters as "special," and they sheltered them. Parents outfitted their cars with Baby on Board stickers. They insisted their children wear bicycle helmets, knee pads and elbow guards. They scheduled children's every hour with organized extracurricular activities. They led the PTA and developed best-friend-like relationships with their children, says Mastrodicasa, co-author of a book on millennials."

This assumes that all parents of children who go to college have the means and time to do all those activities. I have news for the news reporter that not all students who get to college have parents who do all those things and yet they can be just as over protective perhaps more. At one university I taught, most of the students were first generation university students. Their parents were just as protective because they were "spending their hard earned cash to send their kid to the 'school'". Many of those people both parents worked jobs and didn't necessarily force their kids to wear helmets or organize extracurricular activities, how could they they were too busy putting food on the table (or as Bush would say "putting food on their family"). So when the reporter talks about how those people are the overprotective types they are overgeneralizing and being a bit culturally insensitive.

Though I agree that parents are overly cautious with their kids today I wouldn't say I totally agree with the articles title.

Mommy, tell my professor he's not nice!

That's what rate my professor is for.



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