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#21 - A Baby Boomer Real Story Series about Helicopter Parents -------- by Nancy Geiger

March 7th, 2009
I’ve come to the realization that when kids go off to college the parental duties take on more of a consultant role.


Parenting Takes on a
Consulting Role
by Nancy Geiger

I’ve come to the realization that when kids go off to college the parental duties take on more of a consultant role.

When they are babies moms don’t call themselves “the chief cook and bottle washer” for nothing! We do everything for them, most of it not even noticed. As they grow, we take on the jobs of: babysitter, maid, nurse, Sunday school teacher, conscience, playmate and chauffer.
 
As Brittany entered high school my role shifted to Life Coach. When she would debate trying out for something I would tell her, “You’ll never know if you don’t try!” or “Go for it!” At other times, when she really just wanted to dump, I was the psychiatrist: “Well, how does that make you feel?”
 
Now in her sophomore year in college, she is staying at school this month for her spring break because she is changing jobs from Subway to working at a hotel in Sylva. She figured she could finish out her two-week notice at Subway and get trained at the hotel all at once if she didn’t have to work around classes. Between the two places she will have worked 85 hours in 8 days!
 
She is also staying with the hope that when she isn’t working she can catch up on her homework. (I’m not sure how she figured she would do that - in the car maybe driving from one job to the other?)
 
It would be nice if she could actually get ahead with her homework because she has also gotten herself involved on the Greek Leadership Advisory Council. She has to evaluate all the Greek organizations on their grades, housing, campus involvement, etc. during the month of March and fill out forms about each one.
 
AND, she is changing her major. She has wanted to be an elementary school teacher since she was 4 years old, but has been minoring in communications since freshman year and now realizes that’s the field she wants to work in. Luckily most of her electives have been in communications so this shouldn’t set her back, but there is a lot of paperwork involved and it does require getting a new advisor. So all in all she is trying to cram a lot into the week all of her friends are lying on a beach somewhere.
 
So how does this make me her consultant? Because she had pretty much decided this all for herself before she called me. She ran it by me to see if I could see any pros or cons she had missed and I asked some questions, which it turns out she had already thought of and had the answers to. She read me the drafts of the emails she had to send regarding her major change and I couldn’t even find any grammar to correct.
 
Before she hung up she read me one more thing. An invitation she received to a banquet where she will be honored as a nominee for the “Women who Inspire Hope and Possibility Award” at Western.
 
I have to admit, that in every one of my mom roles so far, she’s always inspired me!

Other Real Story Series about Helicopter Parents by Nancy Geiger

Nancy Geiger and her husband are Baby Boomer empty nesters with their daughter Brittany (their only child) now a junior at college. When she left home Nancy started writing a monthly column for their local weekly paper about parenting a college student long distance. After 17 years as a travel agent for American Express, Nancy decided to commit herself to freelance writing and starting an online store, 2 blogs, a website and LOTS of volunteering! She even just published a cookbook called A Brides Cookbook or surviving the First Year. http://abridescookbook.com

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