Helicopter Mom: Are You Hindering Your Child’s Career?
By Paula Santonocito
Here are a few other don’ts:
– Don’t choose your child’s career.
You can still offer appropriate advice. If your child has a degree in history, for example, and wants to talk about whether she should teach or take a job at the Smithsonian, help her weigh the pros and cons. This is very different from advising against a career in a field of interest.
– Don’t go on job interviews with your adult child.
Your presence will not help your child’s career; in fact, the opposite is true. Do not, under any circumstances, go near the place of business—and no waiting in the lobby or parking lot either. Stay home. Better yet, go to work and concentrate on your own career.
– Don’t follow up on your child’s job interviews.
You are not seeking a job; your child is. It is the job seeker’s responsibility to follow up, if he or she chooses to do so.
– Don’t contact your child’s boss or coworkers about a work-related situation.
When your child is in the workplace, it’s his or her place to handle career issues. Again, you can offer advice (preferably wait until asked), but under no circumstances should you act as mediator.
It can be very difficult for parents to let go, and single moms especially may feel compelled to cling. Love, fear, guilt, and a range of other emotions often combine to create a compulsion, and it seems necessary to keep shepherding children through their life experiences.
Nevertheless, it’s essential to realize that once an adult child enters the workforce a big part of your job as a parent is done. Indeed, your child is now ready to take on job responsibilities.
Trust that your child, the smart, capable young adult you raised, can succeed.
With this in mind, park your helicopter. It’s got no place in the workplace. Besides, you and your superstar employee don’t need it.
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