A fundamental part of the college experience is recognizing that everyone you meet comes from a different background and upbringing, and that no two people will ever think about things in the exact same way. This constant conflict manifests itself on the unofficial Miami University parents’ Facebook pages, where different types of parents clash with each other on everything from parenting styles to politics.
We've compiled a few of the most common types of parents — on and offline — to help simplify things for you.
The ‘never grow up’
Have you ever wandered into your residence hall’s laundry room, only to see a 50-year-old woman folding laundry that clearly does not belong to her? Meet the “never grow up.”
Typically the parent of a first-year, this parent cannot come to terms with the fact that their beloved baby is now legally an adult. They’re commonly spotted grocery shopping at Kroger or trying to orchestrate play dates with other peoples’ children in the Facebook groups.
The classic “helicopter” parent — guaranteed to have both Life360 and Find My Friends installed on their child’s phone — tracking their every move. They want to know who their child ate their meals with, what building and room their classes are in and exactly how much sleep they’re getting each night. If their child missed a phone call, the “helicopter” parent will likely have their RA on the phone with orders to hunt them down within 30 seconds.
Bonus: The ‘helicopter (WITH DRONES!)’
Does the “helicopter” parent sound obsessive, but not obsessive enough to describe your parents? Meet the “helicopter (WITH DRONES!)”!
This parent not only follows their child’s every move, but has two drones hovering around their child at all times to get extra video feed angles on their life. They probably have their child’s roommate in their Life360 circle and access to their child’s Canvas account to make sure their assignments are turned in, and you can find them regularly Zooming with their child’s professors to check in on their performance.
The ‘other type of helicopter parent’
Miami is often not-so-lovingly referred to as “J. Crew U” for a reason, and that reason is the “other type of helicopter parent.” Instead of hovering above their child like a helicopter, this parent flies their child in for first-year move-in on a multi-million dollar helo (a rich person’s slang for helicopter).
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They’re probably from out-of-state (more specifically, a suburb of Chicago) and had to rent a move-in van like Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde” to get all of their child’s things to Oxford. Keep an eye out for Lululemon care packages at the package center or a Cartier ring on your floormate’s finger — these are surefire signs of this type of parent.
The ‘free range’
Think of the “helicopter (WITH DRONES!)” parent, then think of their exact antithesis. Congratulations, you now have the “free range” parent.
Their child could skip all of their classes and stay out at the bars all night long, and they wouldn’t notice (or care)! This doesn’t make them neglectful, per se — the “free range” parent just wants their child to get the full college experience and learn life’s lessons the hard way. The “free range” parent thinks that their relaxed style of parenting to be the best kind, and they’ll make sure you know, too, by constantly fighting with the “helicopter” parents on the Facebook page and telling them to “loosen up.”
The ‘PROUD honors student parent’
Just like the “free range” parent, this parent feels the need to constantly boast about their own parenting on the Facebook pages by letting everyone know that their child got accepted into the honors college. Did another parent ask a question about how their child can register for classes? This parent will write a thousand-word essay about the registration process and mention their child’s enrollment in the honors college 54 separate times. They’ll also post their child’s grades down to the percentage point, just to make other parents feel bad about their failing first-year.
With this next parent, there’s always something to be bothered by. Meet the “complainer” parent. This parent can be found making passive-aggressive posts on Facebook about other students that don’t take their laundry out at the right time or sharing photos of all the litter spread around campus. They claim it’s for “child safety,” but really they just want to not-so-subtly boast about how well-behaved and responsible their sweet, perfect child is all over the internet. If you ever think your child excels at anything, you won’t for long, because their child is immediately better at it.
This parent is obsessed with reliving their “glory days” and letting everyone know how they and their kid are more like siblings than a parent and a child (in a fleeting attempt to cling onto their youth). The “bestie” can be found Uptown on any random Saturday night, but especially during parents weekend. They’ll insist that they’ve “still got it” and try to ask a student with sharpie Xs on their hands for their Snapchat. Much like the helicopter parents, “bestie” parents want to know everything too, but nothing important — just the college gossip.
In the wise words of Mrs. George from “Mean Girls,” they aren’t “regular moms, they’re cool moms!”
Did you know that a ghost roams around Peabody Hall? Or that Pulley Diner is actually home to the famous Tuffy’s Toasted Roll that was part of the restaurant Tuffey’s Place that closed in Miami in 1973? Well don’t worry, because if you didn’t know, this next parent will be sure to tell you about what Oxford was like “back in their day.”
Meet the “alumni” parents. This parent attended Miami way back before cell phones were even invented and they cannot let go of the fact Miami can change or move on in any way. They can be found complaining in the comments of Miami University’s Facebook page about new construction, begging them not to “ruin” their memories of campus. Mention anything about Ohio University, though, and it was nice knowing you … they take the “rivalry” more seriously than even the athletes.
We hate to break it to you, but if your future children attend Miami in the future, this will be you one day.