I realized on the bus ride home yesterday (yes, I was still mulling over the final Sopranos episode, because I apparently have no intellectual life) that Tony and Carmella are the most fearsome breed of helicopter parents: Blackhawks.
That, I learned from (of all places) The New York Post, is what we call Baby Boomer parents who not only hover incessantly over their Gen Y offspring but meddle to an uncommon and even harmful degree. My colleague Deirdre had handed me a copy of The Post and its very good weekly @Work section, which featured a photo of a 20-ish guy in business attire being spoonfed by his mommy. The lead article, titled “The Parent Trap,” led with a tale of a young woman whose father tried to storm her office to complain to her boss about her boring assignments. She’d been employed all of three days.
My recent post, “Gen Y Workers Are ‘Spoiled But Smart,’” ignited some debate about the youngest generation of workers–their values, their attitudes, their abilities. I know, I know, it’s not fair to lump. But as my friend Gerry pointed out in the comments, my own Gen X suffered a slacker stereotype for years before we became old enough to write our own generational trend pieces (just you wait till you lose your death grip on the media, Boomers…payback is a female pitbull).
Back to the Soprano household. Granted, Anthony needs more handholding than your average college-age kid. He’s not a fair example of his generation. And as a parent, I can only imagine the heartbreak of watching your child struggle with suicidal depression. And given the state of the world right now, I can see why his folks would scramble for another option when Anthony announces his intention to join the Army. But to finance a movie with the sole purpose of landing their utterly spoiled son a job fetching producers’ coffee? Imagine if poor Anthony came home sniveling one day because a producer yelled at him for falling asleep on the job. You know who’d pay.
Blackhawk helicopter parents. Not all of them have guns, but they’re still a dangerous breed.