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This is a question Helicopter Parents

Back when young ScaryDuck worked in the Dole office rather than simply queuing in it, he had to deal with a claimant brought in by his mum. She did all the talking. He was 40 years old.

Have you had to deal with over-protective parents? Get your Dad to tell us all about it.

(, Thu 10 Sep 2009, 15:13)
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My mother the control freak
My mother tries to manage everybody's life that she comes into contact with. My fathers, my sister's, mine, her friends', my friends', the window cleaner, the shop assistant in Sainsburys.... you get the idea.

When I was 17 I had no idea what I wanted to study at university. Truth be told, I just wanted to put off getting a job for 3 years. I was thinking of Geography, because I found it easy, and it was the least boring of the things I did at school. I decided straight away that Oxford/Cambridge weren't for me. I still went to the open days to satisfy my mother and my school, but snuck off and went shopping instead. Apparently, Geography is a worthless subject, Geography graduates never get jobs and I'd end up penniless living in a gutter (in the words of my mother).

In the end all my teachers were on my side but my mother insisted on talking to all of them and trying to get them to persuade me not to do Geography and to do something prestigious like Economics or Classics (I studied both for A level but struggled with them and knew I'd never be able to do them at degree level). My teachers just accepted that my mother was a bit unhinged, I think they were used to parents like that - I went to private school. We never really settled the disagreement but ultimately, I filled in the form for myself, went to the open days myself, and studied for the exams myself. I got 3 As and went to the (more modern but still good) university I wanted and studied Geography. I graduated a couple of months ago and currently have a job in an area that I am interested in, that I got for myself despite my mother not thinking it is worthwhile (doesn't pay enough). I'm unfortunately still living with my parents, but am hoping to move out soon, not to live in the gutter.

My mother's helicopter parenting has been something I have rebelled against for many years, with the result that it has made me much more independent and determined to succeed once I've fought to be able to do the things I want. When her nagging and criticising of my life gets too much, I politely remind her that I could be shooting up heroin in a squat somewhere and robbing old ladies to pay for my next fix.

I found out last year that sixth formers can now tick a box on the UCAS form which allows their parents to handle the entire application process for them. Unbelievable... what next? Parents going to lectures for their children and sitting the exams? A degree is something you have to be very committed to and I don't believe that anybody should be forced into studying something they're not happy with.
(, Sun 13 Sep 2009, 18:45, Reply)

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