All parents are different and so are their parenting styles. Some parents are lenient and easy on their kids and want their kids to learn life lessons by trying different things, while others like to take a safer route.
Some let them free and have them discover their path, while others are overly protective and want to make the best decisions for their kids.
Well, whatever the parenting style is, all parents want their children to be happy and do well for themselves.
In today’s article, we will discuss a form of parenting that is increasingly becoming the most common and chosen form. And you know the best part, the majority of the parents practicing this parenting style swore to never choose it.
Yes, we are talking about helicopter parenting. So, let’s begin by understanding what is Helicopter Parenting.
What is Helicopter Parenting?
In its simplest form, helicopter parenting is a form of parenting where the parents pay extremely close attention to their activities and are hyper-involved in their child’s life. Just as a helicopter hovers around, these parents hover around their children to keep them under their radar and would never miss any opportunity to make their child’s life easier.
Their actions are based on their fears and worries are always directed towards the physical and wellbeing of their child. Although, this may come at a cost of repressing their child’s wishes.
They are different or just opposite of free-range parents who are the advocates of raising children with a sense of self-reliance.
Pros of being a Helicopter Parent
Well, in most cases helicopter parenting is used in a negative connotation. However, if you look at it from a wider view there are some positive aspects of helicopter parenting too. Here are a few –
- Helicopter parents are always around their children and they put in all the effort to ensure that their kids are always arrive on time, or complete their homework on time (mostly in front of parents themselves) and be prepared for their class activities
- Since such parents are mostly (read always) keeping a track of their child’s whereabouts, they are more likely to know where their kids are going and who are they going with. This is an important security consideration and helicopter parents gain this advantage.
- They are proactive to find out the reasons for their child’s disappointments whether it’s the dropping grades or if someone is bullying them. This is again a positive as they can take a responsive action before its late.
Cons of being a Helicopter Parent
Regardless of some pros of this parenting style, there are actually some cons too. Let’s check them out.
Children of Helicopter parents lack problem-solving skill
If a child thinks and finds a solution to his problems, only then can he gradually start to build problem-solving skills. So, if you keep your child away from these problems and rush to find solutions yourself, your child would never imbibe the qualities required to solve or face any problems
This leads to excessive dependence on parents
After a while when the children are too comfortable living in the shadow of their parents, it becomes excessively difficult to come out of it. One main objective of parenting should be to help kids learn how to survive without any dependence on their parents. The concept of helicopter parenting can defeat this purpose.
Hinders social development
As these parents micro-manage children’s activities, children sometimes can’t tolerate this and start to feel suffocated. This terribly affects their social development.
Low self-esteem and confidence
Sooner or later the children of helicopter parents begin to believe that they need their parents to solve all the big or small problems in their life. They lose trust in themselves and think they are not capable of handling matters independently.
Underdeveloped life skills
Failing in life or facing adversities is sometimes required to learn skills needed to cope up in life. If these parents keep their children away from any adverse life experiences, their children would lack life-facing skills when they grow adults.
But Why do Helicopter Parents Hover?
Helicopter parenting is a style of parenting that is originally born out of sheer love and concern for their child. Here are a few reasons why helicopter parents hover around their children –
They fear terrible outcomes
These parents are constantly worried about their child’s possible failures in any activity they decide to do. They fear that any failure in their child’s life can disappoint their child and hence decide to take charge and not let any such displeasures come their way.
Compensating for their childhood
It is a common observation that the parents who had grown with minimal means during their own childhood, want to provide more than enough to their children. Likewise, parents who were themselves neglected or ignored during their childhood, try to be over careful so that their children do not feel the same way.
They get easily influenced by other people
When the colleagues, peers, or friends of such parents talk about the failures of their own children and how difficult it was for these kids to deal with the situation, these over-caring parents get worried even more.
Their anxiety about the world
Another trait of these parents is that they believe that the world, the economy, and everything, in general, is not in good shape and take it as a responsibility to protect their kids from just about everything.
Are you a Helicopter Parent? Examples to illustrate you might be a Helicopter Parent
- If your child gets into a conflict, you are the first one to jump in and resolve it before letting your child handle it.
- You stay awake and write their homework
- You are usually not happy with your child’s trainers . So you subtly try to give your comments to improve their training style
- You make every possible attempt to let your child escape from any situation which can disappoint them
- More often than not, you stick with your child, even if it’s a short walk
- You usually don’t let your child take their own decisions and try to impose your decisions on them
- Most of the times, you don’t let your child take any responsibility of doing even the simplest house chores
- You look for all the boys and girls in the neighborhood and decide who should your child friends with.
How to avoid being a helicopter parent | How to Hover Less?
Let them grow with experiences
Please understand that your kids should not just grow old, they must grow with experience. Keep in mind that everything they do, helps them become wise. They learn from their surroundings; they learn from their wins and from their defeats as well.
Don’t stop your child from doing things because of your fear
Many helicopter parents very conveniently tell their kids that they can’t do certain things because they are not that strong or capable of doing them. The fact is, they simply want to refrain their kids from doing those things because they themselves fear the end results. Every time they tell their child that they are incapable of doing this, they are sending a message to their child which he or she will soon begin to believe.
Evaluate and see if there is any severe harm associated with the thing your kid is jumping into. If there isn’t any, just let your kid do it and decide for themselves.
I will quote a dialog between Marlin (a clownfish) and Dory (a Royal Blue Tang fish) from the movie Finding Nemo. This is just to make a point.
Marlin (an overprotective father): “I promised I’d never let anything happen to him (Nemo, his son)
Dory: “Hmm. That’s a funny thing to promise. Well, you can’t never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him!”
A Few Words from CityMom
All parents love their children and always wish the best for their children. Based on their nature, temperament, and learnings from their surroundings, different parents adopt different parenting styles. While some parents like to hover around their children, others welcome the free-range parenting style.
Well whatever type of parenting style you embrace, always think of the person you want your child to become when they grow up.