If you know a parent whose own child is in a fight with another child who immediately calls the parents of that child, that’s a helicopter parent. They are so focused on their children’s achievements that they insist on helping even their college kid write articles. These overprotective parents constantly circle around their children like a helicopter and try to control their movements.
What is helicopter parenting and how do you know if you are?
The term ‘helicopter parenting’ is the result of Dr. It was introduced by Haim Ginott in 1969. This term is used to describe overly protective parents who try to control every aspect of their children’s lives. According to experts, helicopter parenting is a popular parenting style today, and one of the reasons for this is that parents want to eliminate all possible sources of frustration in their children’s lives. These parents are very active in protecting their children from all possible threats and limit their children’s freedom to act on their own, make their own decisions and learn from their own mistakes.
Helicopter parenting can occur in different ways. Here are some signs to help you tell if you are a helicopter parent:
- You go with him wherever he goes, from his friends’ birthday parties to their school, as if there was an unbreakable rope between you and your child.
- When someone asks a question to your child, you answer instead.
- Instead of letting your child solve their problems on their own (with the necessary amount of help), you are trying to do everything on your own. If your child has a conflict with their classmates, you will immediately call the teacher or the other child’s parent instead of teaching him how to behave in these situations.
- You cannot let your child fail. You want your child to be successful and that’s why you get so involved in school life that you don’t just call the teacher every now and then. You go further: instead, you write your homework, do your projects.
- You make life very safe for them. No matter how old your child is, you believe that their bike should have training wheels, or you are worried about having a heart attack when taking a trip with your class. Overprotective parents cannot relax and continue to see everyone and everything as a harmful threat to their children.
If you ask overprotective parents why they chose this strategy to raise their children, they will likely tell you that they do it because they love their children and want to make their lives happier. But in fact, this approach to parenting leads to a situation where children do not know how to deal with the failures and frustrations of their adult lives. Studies have shown that it can lead to school-related burnout in college students who are helicopter parents. Another study observed that helicopter parenting may cause problems such as depression and not enjoying life in the future. These parents have no chance for their children to learn from their mistakes and cannot make important decisions on their own in adult life. In addition, helicopter parenting signals children that their parents don’t believe they can do something, which can later result in low self-esteem.
If you think you are a helicopter parent, we have a few suggestions for you to let go:
- Give your child enough space and time to relax and do what they want. Spending free time without doing anything planned will increase your child’s imagination and help him decide what he really wants to do.
- Trust your child more and give him / her daily tasks and responsibilities appropriate for his or her age.
- Let your child fail occasionally so they can learn to learn from their mistakes. This is an important part of growth and learning that will help your child cope with the failure and frustration in their adult life. This step will also help you as a parent admit your child’s mistakes.
- Let your child learn to back off where and take risks where needed. Learning by doing things will increase your child’s self-confidence. Let him know that you are always there to help when they need you, but don’t interfere with his every decision.
- Know that you can consult a parenting specialist or family psychologist if needed, and don’t be afraid to seek help.