Helicopter parenting in workplace

(36 Posts)
Chyelabinsk Sat 16-Feb-13 09:03:08

Following on from the thread about parents expecting school rules to be bent for the DCs, I currently have a situation & wondered how you would all handle it?

My workplace has a work experience student, however his mother is very interfering. She rings up to discuss things, rather than letting the student organise themselves. This hasn't left a very good impression & I am considering giving the student some feedback on life after school. I am concerned the young man's mother will continue to interfere at University & full time work.

Would you say anything to the student & if so, how would you go about it?

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 16-Feb-13 22:48:48

I am in an industry which is very popular for work experience and very competitive for entry to courses. I have a very clear rule all of the leg work must be done by the student we will not speak to parents on the phone. Failure of the student themselves to do the contact results in withdrawal of placement. If the kids can't make the contact themselves they don't have enough commitment to make it into the industry.

bumperella Sat 16-Feb-13 22:33:07

I would be having a word. If she calls again, I'd explain to her that you have made arrangements directly with her DS as it's him who is being given the work experience. Point out that part of the work experience is to cut the apron strings and be treated as an independent adult.
Then explain to the son what you've done and why. Her son, at 16, can't really be expected to control his mother.

atthewelles Sat 16-Feb-13 13:54:46

A friend of mine used to have a job co-ordinating Government funded work experience schemes. She was amazed at the number of mothers ringing up on behalf of grown up sons to try and get them placements. Some of these men were well into their 20s. I think it would be kind to have a word with this teenager or he may well end up like that.

MiaowTheCat Sat 16-Feb-13 13:45:43

If they're a relatively "sorted" child (sounds like they are) - they probably know their mother's tendencies and are cringing at them... my mum has such tendencies and it's gradually meant I withhold more and more of my life from her to make sure she has to keep her nose out.

happilyconfused Sat 16-Feb-13 13:24:02

Maybe fill in those online questionnaires. They could attend the annual performance review. Go to the disciplinary meetings. Complain about the uniform rules. Complain about parking. Take them 'out of work' so they can attend an important family event/holiday

WilsonFrickett Sat 16-Feb-13 13:17:14

'if your application is sent by your mum, forget it!' shock
It would never cross my mind to do this, I am obviously slack!

happilyconfused Sat 16-Feb-13 13:16:04

They will never cope in the future. What happens when they get turned down for promotion? Will these helicopter parents then assume total responsibility for grandchildren as their own dc will be too incompetent to cope.

specialsubject Sat 16-Feb-13 13:14:44

lots of life lessons here. Happens a lot in the outdoor sports/watersports industry too, where most of the staff are only just 18 - the companies sometimes put up notes saying 'if your application is sent by your mum, forget it!'

so let him know as he needs to get this stopped.

Rowanhart Sat 16-Feb-13 13:06:02

I worked Saturdays from 13 and started work experience with the company who would go on to give me my first 'proper' job at 16.

The idea my mother would have called either of these employers is ridiculous and would probably have ruined my chances of getting a proper job with the latter.

I would put it on feedback form but have a quiet word with him before he leaves.

thebody Sat 16-Feb-13 12:55:27

Uni or work won't discuss anything with the mother if he is 18 as its illegal.

Chat to the kid and if I were you I would refuse to take any calls from mommy unless its an emergency.

I imagine the school are allready fully aware if her tendencies.!!

Sugarice Sat 16-Feb-13 12:52:53

Wow, she is one interfering Mum isn't she?

When my two ds's did their work experience they would have been mortified if I'd attempted to interfere.

Chyelabinsk Sat 16-Feb-13 12:47:54

ruledbyheart your DP's situation is exactly why I was trying to give the student the benefit of the doubt. However, unlike your DP's case, this student seems to have handed responsibility over to his DM.

ENormaSnob Sat 16-Feb-13 12:36:31

shock this definitely needs broaching.

I would be cross that he's given your personal work number to his mum in the first place tbh.

ruledbyheart Sat 16-Feb-13 12:16:59

My DP is 26 and his mum still trys to do this, she phoned up one of his ex employers to see if they would take him on again as he was desperate for work (he wasn't and was currently employed) and also told rang his new boss to see how well dp had got on on his first day hmm he wonders why I don't like her.

Not always the students fault sometimes people have toxic family who can't keep their noses out.

Chyelabinsk Sat 16-Feb-13 12:12:34

clouds don't want to go into detail about what she wanted to organise in case it identifies me but I had it in hand with the student, absolutely no need for her to get involved.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 16-Feb-13 11:48:42

Cross posted!

What on earth does she need to organise? confused

CloudsAndTrees Sat 16-Feb-13 11:47:45

What sort of things is she phoning to discuss?

If her son is a slacker and she's phoning to ask if he arrived on time and if he has caused any problems so that she can give him a hard time if needs be, I'd give her some slack.

If she's phoning to check her little diddums is warm enough or to complain that he's bored, then simply ignore her voicemails or if you do have to speak to her, tell her you will communicate with your student and his school, no one else.

Chyelabinsk Sat 16-Feb-13 11:45:05

Thanks everyone.
I'd prefer to avoid the direct / blunt approach, so will bring up in conversation somehow.
tryharder yes, she rang wanting to "organise things" even though I had already spoken to the student over the phone & gave them my number for them to ring me if they had any more questions.
bruffin - I think I will do that next time we have a work experience student. I didn't think to tell him I don't speak to parents as this has never happened before, all the other students organised things themselves & didn't get their parents involved.

WilsonFrickett Sat 16-Feb-13 11:35:36

Oh that poor boy, what a mortification! I had a Saturday job from age 14 and my mother would never have got involved with my work arrangements - even when I had a problem with wages and really wanted her too!

I think you can reasonably have a word with him about passing on your number. That's not really on but he probably doesn't realise it, IYSWIM.

bruffin Sat 16-Feb-13 11:30:54

My Ds hsh worked p/t from 16. He was told in no uncertain terms that they do not talk to parents unless there are extenuating circumstances. He has to sort out everything himself.

Tryharder Sat 16-Feb-13 11:26:59

His mum is actually ringing his workplace? What does she want to know? I can't believe she would so this. How embarrassing for the student in question.

I would be very direct about this. At 16 he could be out working in the world anyway- will his mum still be ringing up when he has a real job?? Tell him that he is now an adult as far as the world of work goes and you will only discuss his work with him and if required with the school if a report needs to be made to them.
Point out as others have said that when he is at uni or in a real job any uni tutor or employer will be telling his mum where to go and that it reflects badly on his own ability to be responsible for himself.

Footface Sat 16-Feb-13 10:36:05

We had an apprentice my work so even older who phoned to complain that her daughter had been told off. I told her that I was not prepared to disscuss x's work with anyone other than x herself

gasman Sat 16-Feb-13 10:29:49

You have my sympathy. I had a work experience pupil this week who was very hard work. No chat, no interest however I'd have been mortified if their mother had run up!

ChristmasJubilee Sat 16-Feb-13 09:49:00

I would either speak to the school or put it in his feedback. My ds1 has s/n and did a work placement when he was 15. I dropped him off each morning and picked him up at night and that was my input. Any problems (and they were few) were included in his feedback.

I would tell his mother you are unable to discuss her son with her as it would be a breach of his confidentiality and if she has a problem she should contact the school. They will be well used to her.

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