“Helicopter Parents” and Cross-Cultural Expectations

As an international teacher, it’s interesting to see how parental involvement in education plays out in different cultural contexts.

I came across this graphic about “Helicopter Parents” from OnlineCollege.org which is written about an American cultural context.

In my experience, it seems Asian parents tend to be more involved with their children’s career choices that typical American parents. A true anecdote: I asked my 7th graders to write short essays about what they wanted to do when they grew up. One girl wrote something along the lines of this: “I don’t know what I will do. My mom said she will tell me next year.”

Of course though, even among my Vietnamese students there seems to be tremendous variation at how much parents are involved in education and career choice. It can be common in Asia for students and parents to request grade changes or re-scoring of tests.

Families often live as joint families, even after children are married, and are therefore more involved in their careers. I wonder how much of this “increase” in “helicopter parenting” is simply representative of a cultural shift in mainstream America due to a rising Asian American population.

The graphic also states that “40% of today’s adult in their 20s have moved back in with their parents” without any reference to the drastic change in economic conditions and career opportunities for new graduates. My husband and I both moved back in with our parents temporarily during our 20s. For many college grads, this is often the only economic choice that makes sense.

What do you think of the graphic below?

Hovering Parents in the Workplace Infographic

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