Usually, parents know the best way to raise their children. Over the years, various parenting styles have been used including authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved. However due to the increased use of technology, a new parenting strategy has emerged; helicopter parenting.
What Is Helicopter Parenting?
The term ‘helicopter parent’ was first referenced in the 1969 book Between Parent & Teenager by Dr. Haim Ginott. The term refers to parents who are extremely focused on what their children are up to. Simply put, it is when parents are overly controlling and protective of their child’s life. Other common terms used for helicopter parenting are “cosseting parent”, “bulldoze parenting”, and “lawnmower parenting.”
Helicopter Parenting Examples
- A mom who always does their child’s homework to ensure they get a good grade.
- A dad who is attached at the hip with his daughter to the point his daughter cannot be independent.
- Parents who shield their son from enjoying the smaller things in life, such as; hanging out with friends, using a cell phone, being on social media, and socializing in general.
5 Signs You Have Helicopter Parents
They Organize Things For You
Part of childhood is learning how to take care of yourself and organize your own things. Your backpack, room, closet, toys, etc. However, helicopter parents take care of organizing responsibilities for their children. They could be doing this because they don’t want to burden their child with this responsibility or they want things organized the way they want it.
They Resolve Conflicts For You
Usually, children try to resolve friend or school conflicts on their own and only involve a parent when it’s necessary. However, over-controlling parents will feel the need to resolve their child’s conflicts for them.
They Do Your Schoolwork
There are parents who insist on doing their child’s homework for them. And this isn’t just during elementary school. Hovering parents will often try to do their child’s homework throughout high school and even college.
They Try To Be With Your Child 24/7
Are your parents always trying to be with you 24/7? Constantly texting you at school, going to the mall with you, or insisting on doing activities together after dinner? If your parents are making an effort to be with you all the time and are not giving you space, they are definitely over-parenting.
They Take Care Of Your Responsibilities
Growing up, children often learn the lesson of taking responsibility for things from chores to walking the dog. However, hovering parents will often feel the need to do everything for their children. This even includes simple things like tying their shoes or helping them get dressed.
Negative Effects of Helicopter Parenting
Children of helicopter parents often develop a sense of entitlement, where they feel like they deserve certain privileges. This is due to parents doing everything for them, and children develop the sense that that is how things always are even in the real world.
Sometimes, parents take it too far when trying to do things for their children. When this occurs, children will often act out or misbehave because they want to do things on their own and be independent.
Lack of Problem Solving Skills
When parents do everything for their child, especially at a young age, they aren’t able to develop the necessary problem solving skills. How to resolve conflict or how to fix an object are just two problem solving examples. These skills are necessary later in life when they go into the workforce.
Dependence is fine during childhood until a certain point. Eventually, children must learn to do things for themselves and not rely on their parents. However, when children grow up with parents doing everything for them, there’s no way for them to learn what it means to be self-sufficient.
Negatively Impacts The Parent-Child Relationship
Hovering parents are constantly in their child’s business, sometimes to the point that they’re nagging, annoying, and overbearing. When this occurs, children will often rebel and stop speaking with their parents.
Why Do Parents Hover Over Their Children?
Parent Peer Pressure
Believe it or not, a parent’s parenting style is often influenced by other parents. If they see other parents over-parenting, they will likely do the same. If they want their child to succeed like other children, they will do what they can for their child.
Fear of Consequences
Fear of failure, fear of being unsuccessful, fear of unhappiness. This is what drives parents to over-parent. By being by their side and doing things for their children, parents can protect their child from feeling these fears. Even if they have good intentions, kids need to understand the concept of fear and learn how to overcome it.
All parents have some anxiety over their children’s feelings, lifestyle, and future. But sometimes, this anxiety overwhelms parents to the point they want to protect their child and control their life.
So, do you have helicopter parents? If you do, try to set boundaries with them, communicate with them, and don’t overreact to their actions.
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