Bring in Your Parents Day 2015: The Year of the Lighthouse Parent

October 8, 2015

You’ve heard of tiger moms. Free-range parents. Helicopter dads. But there’s more to parenting than the extremes—and our latest research discovered that many young adults want more involvement than they’re getting when it comes to their career.

As LinkedIn’s Bring in Your Parents Day approaches, I’ve found myself thinking about all the ways in which my parents supported me growing up. I was lucky that they provided me with countless words of wisdom as I journeyed through education, but that advice tailed off once I started my first job. Looking back, there have been clear moments and milestones in my career when their help would have been useful but I didn’t ask, and they didn’t offer.

Whilst it would be useful to talk through certain problems or issues I face in my working life, I don’t want them to become over-involved and our global research shows I’m not alone:

  • For 69% of employees, career advice stops when they get their first job
  • 66% wished their parents had offered up much needed guidance on a specific career issues
  • 45% of parents often find themselves with an opinion to offer, but refrain from sharing
  • 55% of parents admit to not being very familiar with what their child does for a living



The Lighthouse Parent, as coined by our partner Dr. Alexandra Beauregard, defines this parenting style as “remaining available for consultation without being overbearing.” She’s examined different parenting styles based on how engaged parents were in their child’s professional life, the types of decisions they helped to influence and how these affected kids that have flown the nest. The Lighthouse Parent joins other parenting styles you might be familiar with: Free Range, Well-wishers, Concierge and Helicopter Parenting.

Curious to learn more about these style and which ones you or your parents are? Grab a pen and take the quiz:



Dr. Beauregard commented, “Regardless of style, all parents can take steps to open up a conversation with their adult children about the world of work. The research shows parents know they have advice to offer but hold back from giving it. Emotional support is such a key factor in a child’s success, even after they have flown the nest. By asking targeted questions that require children to explain the work they do, both parties can benefit from hearing different perspectives. The more parents learn about their children's jobs, the more they can ask informed questions and have relevant ideas to contribute to the discussion, without critiquing children's actions or offering unsolicited advice.”

Parents are a commonly overlooked network when it comes to building a career. We all know they’ve been there and done that, but they’ve also learned valuable lessons along the way and young adults are hungry for their advice. This research shows there is still a gap in understanding between parents and their kids when it comes to the world of work and there’s an easy way to start: Bring In Your Parents Day.

November 5th marks the third year of LinkedIn’s Bring In Your Parents day and we’re asking everyone to get involved. Invite them to your office for the day, call them up and talk about work, or share what you’ve learned from your parents on social using #BIYP. Visit for more information on how to get involved.