Indulgent mama kitteh from I Can Has Cheezburger?
There's humoring one's children. There's hovering. And then there's outright helicoptering.
So this morning, I get an email from the mother of a student who's enrolled in one of my classes winter quarter. She wants to know the names of the books for the course so she can buy them for him. The email concludes by saying I should "feel free" to contact her via email or phone.
Now, I realize that the money for my students' textbooks normally flows from their parents. That is, if they're lucky enough to have parents who are both solvent and supportive. But geez, there's a world of difference between paying for your kid's books and actually buying them for him.
This is not the first time I've had a mother contact me about book purchases. (And yes, so far it's always been mothers, not fathers.) When I spoke with the bookstore manager this morning, he said there's been a real uptick in mothers buying their kids' books.
What's more, some of the parents pay with their credit card but have the kid actually go to the bookstore. However, according to the manager, they don't trust the kid enough to give him or her the card or the number. The cashier then has to speak to the parents on the phone - usually with lines of other customers snaking out the door - to complete the sale.
Yes, I'm totally judging. As the store manager said: "Who dresses these kids in the morning?"
Of course, it's not just the parents coddling the kids. We professors coddle the parents. After speaking with the bookstore manager this morning, I fired off an email to mother with a list of the books and information on where to buy them. So yes, I'm an enabler.
Then again, with all the budgetary pressures my university faces, we can't afford to piss off parents. So coddle we must.