Is it possible that “helicopter parents” are just responding to incredibly needy and dependent children? (Is it possible that some children shouldn’t be sent away to college, but continue to live at home while they study?)
Mobile phones and the erasure of long-distance charges has enabled this kind of codependence, or whatever you want to call it. I also completely understand the urge to answer the phone when a child is calling. When I was in college, it never dawned on me to call my parents with every question or concern that popped into my head, and not just because it cost more money than it does now. I was happy to be away from home and my parents–even if it meant screwing up or not taking care of myself as I probably should have.
I’ve heard that children can get helicopter parents off their backs if the child agrees to check in by phone once or twice a week on a regular schedule. Maybe some children need to be told to call only once a week on a schedule, unless it’s a real emergency.