Helicopter parents are parents that closely monitor their children’s activities and academics to not only protect them from harm and disappointment but also to assist them in succeeding. Parents that hover over their children and become too involved in their lives are known as helicopter parents. Meanwhile, the term “helicopter parent” is used in the media to describe parents who are overprotective of their children.
HELICOPTER PARENTING: A BROAD TERM
Overprotective attitudes are what most people associate with helicopter parenting. However, this definition can be overly restrictive at times. These parents are always on top of things but to an unhealthy degree.
Helicopter parents are highly concerned about their children’s life from infancy to college, to the extent where their activities and interests take a back seat. As a result, the family budget centres around the needs of the children.
They may even put their objectives and career ambitions on hold to provide for their children.
Overall, helicopter parents are happy with their involvement in their children’s lives and often see no flaws in their parenting. They consider their acts as a means of ensuring their child’s safety while also assisting them in achieving success in life.
THE GOOD SIDE OF HELICOPTER PARENTING
Though usually helicopter parenting is regarded as a bad thing or mostly the term is used in a negative sense. But there are some positive things also if you look at the wider interpretation of the term.
- Younger children and teenagers with helicopter parents are more likely to know where their children are at all times, which is a crucial safety factor.
- Similarly, helicopter parents are hyper-aware of who their children are hanging out with and how they are doing in school. And, if their child is having difficulty in school or is losing ground, they will do everything they can to help them.
- When it comes to sickness, bullying, or even mental health challenges, the same is true. Helicopter parents will work nonstop to ensure that these problems are resolved.
- Helicopter parents are also more engaged parents who are the first to volunteer for school events. As a result, the amount of time, energy, and money invested in making the school, the classroom, or the squad the best it can be can benefit schools, teachers, and coaches.
THE BAD SIDE OF HELICOPTER PARENTING
However, getting excessively involved in the lives of children can be damaging. Suffocation and apathy can develop in children. They may also struggle with independence and autonomy.
Some of the potential pitfalls of helicopter parenting are as follows:
- Prevents the growth of problem-solving abilities: Problem-solving abilities are necessary for children of all ages. Whether it’s a 5-year-old who needs to learn how to sound out words or a 25-year-old who is unemployed, children must be able to handle their problems. Hovering parents, on the other hand, frequently intervene at the first indication of trouble, preventing children from developing important problem-solving abilities.
- Helicopter parenting prevents children from learning to speak for themselves: Instead of training their children to advocate for themselves, helicopter parents frequently advocate for them. 4 It’s critical for children to be able to ask questions, get answers, and speak up when they require assistance. These youngsters won’t have Mom or Dad to help them deal with a difficult supervisor or workplace policy when they enter the career.
- Protects children from the effects of nature: In life, children must confront some inevitable consequences. After all, if parents do not intervene, children will suffer the consequences if they fail. Despite this, most helicopter parents closely monitor their children’s actions to avoid any unwanted outcomes.
- Interferes with parent-child relationship: A helicopter parent’s actions may also interfere with the parent-child relationship. Constantly pushing your child to finish their homework or following their every step is unlikely to make them want to communicate with you more. Instead, it may alienate your child.
- Dependence on parents: Helicopter parents provide so much for their children that they can become reliant on them. If a mother wakes up her 19-year-old every morning to make sure they get to class on time, they will never learn how to do it on their own. Parents should assist their children in learning how to live without them.
There is no one right or best way to parent a child, just as there is no one right or the best way to do anything else in life. Similarly, helicopter parenting isn’t always a negative thing—or a good thing. Furthermore, different components of various parenting styles will work better for different families and children than others. Essentially, parents should weigh the pros and disadvantages of various parenting styles before implementing the ones that feel appropriate to them.
Also published on Medium.