SIS encourages detrimental ‘helicopter parent’ behaviors

The Student Information System, otherwise referred to as SIS, is now up and running across Fairfax County. Unfortunately, these accounts promote drastic levels of parental involvement and leads to the encouragement of helicopter parents.

A helicopter parent is defined as being a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child, and according to a group of researchers at University of Texas law school at Austin, many adults openly associate themselves with the label “helicopter parent.” Their study included hundreds of parents across 150 universities and proved 60 percent of parents with children attending a university admit to having hovered over their child from birth until college.

Whether intended or not, daily access to a child’s grades is a dangerous thing for the ultimate success of that child. In early elementary school years, a parent with a lot of control might be a good thing when it comes to assisting their child in understanding the learning process and their place in it, but that changes as we get older.

As we mature, the adult figures in our lives must learn to release us into a scary freedom, and watch us fail miserably. As odd as it may sound to suggest the allowance of failure, without it we become overly reliant and inexperienced.

By the time high school rolls around, options for transitioning into academic independence are limited. Parents still holding tight can either let go of the reigns at a costly time when grades go on a vital transcript, or risk holding on until they have to be peeled away.

A study conducted by Dr. Jesse Viner and Matt Zajechowski of the Yellowbrick Psychology and Young Adult Treatment Program concluded that 95 percent of college counseling centers across the nation reported concern over the increasing amount students’ psychological issues stemming from helicopter parenting. SIS accounts allow parents to not only closely monitor the everyday behavior of their child’s academic pursuits, but also allows them to deny their child the opportunity to make mistakes. With someone constantly pointing out how to fix poor grades, a student’s bridge into adulthood falters.

The very name of a student information system implies that the information pertains to the student, and therefore should be accessed only by the student. After elementary school, it should be the child’s decision whether or not to share their daily progress, as this option would allow for a healthier relationship between parents and their children.

The opposing view is that parents have the right to access this information, and without their assistance, their child will unknowingly tank their grades. However, it takes a great failure to realize the realities of work ethic, standards and progress, and we deserve to make that journey of victory and defeat on our own.