KTM User Pages
14 Jul 2006 - 16:38
Is it possible to murder a meme? This is my question. I've just emailed the College Board, and I hope you will, too:
I would like to request that you remove your advice to "helicopter parents" from the website. The expression "helicopter parent" is a pejorative term for parents created by school personnel and popularized by the media. It is a stereotype. In my own experience with K-12 education, the term is typically used to ward off parent demands for accountability. I find the term offensive, as does every parent I know. Moreover, parents are now coopting the term by identifying themselves as helicopter parents, wearing helicopter parent t-shirts, and so on. I assume the college board doesn't use negative stereotypes to characterize students, professors, or college personnel. It's time to recognize the hostile intent behind the creation of "helicopter parent" and remove it from your webpage. Thank you.
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My favorite aspect of "helicopter parents" is the idea that we should pay the bills and ask no questions. Just send money! -- CatherineJohnson - 14 Jul 2006
The problem is that "helicopter parents" is a vague term which implies that parents are doing too much to protect their kids. A lot depends on the definitions of "too much" and "protect". I would argue that it is more than just doing "too much" for kids, as in spoiling them. The key ingredient is "protect". Of course, all parents protect their kids. If used only for extreme cases, then there is no problem with the term. But when it's used in a pejorative way to support one's position, it's often a tool for keeping parents in their place. -- SteveH - 14 Jul 2006
I've never, ever, seen the term used positively. "Helicopter parent" is classic blame-the-mother stuff with the gender taken out. Which raises another question: how often do you see the term "helicopter parent" applied to a father? -- CatherineJohnson - 15 Jul 2006
The other aspect I object to is the judgment of spoiling being made by people whose job is to teach these children. It's a form of misdirection. It deflects attention away from the schools & their failings back onto the parents. I would get rid of it altogether. -- CatherineJohnson - 15 Jul 2006
Certainly the College Board shouldn't be posting entire pages of advice to parents telling them, in effect, "Just send money." Unless they've also got pages of advice to professors and administrators, there should not be a page of advice to parents. sigh The entire educational realm is the one place where customers are routinely berated and advised. -- CatherineJohnson - 15 Jul 2006
I should have homeschooled. -- CatherineJohnson - 15 Jul 2006