Wry Exchange

Helicopter Parents
02-01-08, 3:04 pm
Filed under: Culture, Exchange Students, Outbounds Outbounds | Tags: ,

Clueless Mom: Do you know which city in Portugal Precious Snowflake will be placed yet?
Volunteer: No, not yet. 
CM: I’m so excited!  I’m going to subscribe to their local paper so I can keep up with the news in that city.
Volunteer: The papers are all in Portuguese.  They don’t have any papers in English.  I was just in that area a few months ago.
CM:  (pissy) Well, why not?!?
Volunteer:  Uh, it’s not the USA?
 CM  is doing all most of the work for the student.   She answers the emails and she rewrote Snowflake’s application essays.  This happens annually.   She has asked for her own notebook, and copies of all training materials.  She wants to know the host family’s email address so she can write to them about her special child.  
We made a conscious decision a few years ago NOT to include parents on any emails to the students.  Our reasoning is the student is going away for a year.  If the kid can’t follow simple directions in English, Snowflake has no business being an exchange student.   We’ve had parents at training sessions taking notes while their children pay no attention at all.  Parents have called to see if mandatory really is mandatory because Snowflake is in a play, has a dance, has a karate tournament, a track meet, etc.  We only have 6 meetings for the students, one a month.  The kids know the schedule in November when they apply.   
I want to tell the helicopter parents:  We’re trying to prepare your son to go away for a year.  We’re trying to teach him responsibility.    You won’t be next to your daughter next year.  She has to learn how to take care of herself.  You aren’t helping her by doing her research or correspondence for her.  
Oh, and Snowflake ain’t that special!  

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