Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 28, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY


Helicopter parents should keep their distance

According to Brian Scholten, director of the Office of the Registrar, the college is starting an online service for parents of Ithaca College students to check on their child’s academic progress.

Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, students are guaranteed some amount of confidentiality regarding academic records. Because each institution can create its own policies in regard to FERPA, the college is allowed to release students’ academic records to their parents if they are considered dependents on financial aid documents to their parents.

Some parents may consider monitoring their child’s progress or daily lives as caring, but some experts consider it “helicopter parenting.” According to a study conducted by the University of New Hampshire, authoritarian parents are more likely to produce delinquent children who are disrespectful and withdrawn. Another study in the Journal of Child and Family Studies found children raised by helicopter parents are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

There is a fine line between caring and controlling. Although the college encourages parent involvement beyond high school years and some students approve, parents should accept that college is a time for autonomy. They should not hover over their child’s every move, especially if they want them to become self-reliant adults.