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Dr Spouse

Instructions for parents

When your child is applying to university do not:

a) Hang around your children's possible future department asking far more questions than your child, and making your child look bad and unkeen/unprepared.

b) Ring up your children's tutors to find out whether they have a place/tell them your children's grades/lie about your children's grades.

Once they have started studying do not:

c) Ring up or write to your children's tutors to find out why they have not seen them yet/given them an extra easy assignment/marked their assignment/given them an A.

d) Persuade your child that they cannot come to see their tutor unless you give them a lift (an hour's train ride alone being beyond your child), and then expect to sit in on the meeting with the tutor.

The only circumstances in which communication from a parent to a university department is acceptable is when your child has broken their leg and can't get to the phone/lost their voice/been caught in the tsunami/been admitted to hospital.

Otherwise your child is an adult, and not treating them as such will not endear your child to their tutors, nor will it improve their chances of getting good marks.

I have one student whose mother has been doing c) and d) and I am afraid to say that although her dissertation is not due in till next February, I cannot foresee a good mark for her unless she seriously gets her act together.
Figgy Pudding

Helicopter parents

Luckily, the university where I work as a lecturer has a no-third party communication rule so parents can't call up and ask about little Johnny or Susie's marks or course work.

On the other hand, we do have students who disappear for weeks at a time to visit family in Bangladesh or to accompany elderly grandparents on hajj.
Dr Spouse

Figgy Pudding, does your no-third-party rule extend to admissions?  I would love to have a rule like that so wonder if we could introduce one.

Thankfully I'm not doing admissions any more after this year (am on sabbatical and waiting to see what horrors I'm assigned on my return!)
Figgy Pudding

no third parties

Hi Dr Spouse

Yes, the third party rule extends to admissions, too. We're lucky in that the Head of School absolutely supports us in this so we don't find that parents play us off against senior management.

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