Helicopter Parenting: What it Costs Your Child
Sun, April 18, 2021

Helicopter Parenting: What it Costs Your Child

A parent’s love will always be unconditional. Parents will also do anything to keep their children safe even to the point where they make strict rules for them / Photo by: Kseniya Ivanova via Shutterstock

 

A parent’s love will always be unconditional. Parents will also do anything to keep their children safe even to the point where they make strict rules for them. Thus, it sometimes happens that this love becomes a burden to the child. 

If you’re like many parents out there, most likely that at least once you’ve tried to take control of every activity that your child is involved in. At one point you may have had the urge to check on their internet history or open their social media account. You may have also been guilty of calling and checking up on them when they’re away at a friend’s house just to see if they’re okay or if they’re actually there. 

These things might be well-intentioned, but they are what experts call indicators of helicopter parenting. Life Hack, a website that publishes useful articles to make complicated things easier to understand, mentioned in their article that being concerned for your child’s welfare and safety is important, but putting them under surveillance and controlling their every move is a dangerous thing for your them and for you as a parent as well. 

 

What Is Helicopter Parenting?

As stated by American personal finance website Listen Money Matters, helicopter parenting is when parents tend to pay extremely close attention to their children’s experiences and problems, literally and figuratively hovering over them to make sure that nothing bad comes to them or to be of assistance anytime the child gets into some difficulties. This is usually associated with the child’s education but sometimes it also covers the times when the child is socializing with others. 

Helicopter parenting is rooted in good intentions. Parents believe that they need to smooth things out for their children so that no obstacle will hinder them from achieving success. However, this deprives the kids of building their own character and prevents them from learning on their own, which is important for them to grow up as independent and resourceful individuals, who don’t need to rely on their parents’ safety net every time. 

Some believe that helicopter parenting only manifests in rich families, but experts say it can happen in people from different walks of life. Parents who experienced poverty as a child but achieved middle-class status as adults might overindulge their children because they don’t want them to be deprived of the things that they did not have when they were young. On the other hand, some parents are overachievers and they fear that their child is not going to be capable enough to get through the obstacles in life by themselves. 

Although there is not a lot of research about helicopter parenting until today, the few studies that were actually made showed researchers figuring out how this kind of parental involvement might impact the children. 

Helicopter parenting is rooted in good intentions. Parents believe that they need to smooth things out for their children so that no obstacle will hinder them from achieving success / Photo by: Liderina via Shutterstock

 

Effects of Helicopter Parenting on Children

Children and teens know that there is nothing more annoying than having their parents dictating every step they need to take in their lives. The incessant questioning and probing eyes can push them to the point where they resort to rebellion and sneaking around. It can also bring the following unintended effects:

Confidence killer

Over-parenting might be helpful in building a child’s self-esteem to some extent. On the other hand, it can also be a one-way ticket to rock bottom. When a child grows up having parents who do everything for them, they will be robbed of the chance to have proper decision-making skills, which is a requirement in facing the realities of life. 

Helicopter parents, who prevent their children to make a wrong move, make them incapable of learning the right things. This will result in the child forever doubting their capabilities to solve problems on their own.

Poor self-regulation 

Having a helicopter parent might also result in children having poor self-regulating skills. This means that kids will experience difficulty when it comes to adapting to a new environment like a school or a new friend’s house. It will also make the child have a hard time controlling their emotions and behavior around other people, and they’re more likely to struggle to make friends and also with their academic performance. 

Mental health problems

This kind of parenting style might make a child feel frustrated and alone. Children with helicopter parents tend to succumb to depression, and some of them might resort to self-harm or attempt suicide. According to an article published by Life Hack, college students with helicopter parents were reported to being at a higher risk of depression and less satisfaction in life. 

Over-parenting might be helpful in building a child’s self-esteem to some extent. On the other hand, it can also be a one-way ticket to rock bottom / Photo by: Aaron Amat via Shutterstock

 

Preventing Helicopter Parenting

Listening is a strong foundation in every relationship. When parents listen to their child before making a decision, it allows the kid to express their own point of view. It teaches them to find their own voice and to value their self-expression. Parents should also start asking their children regarding the solution to their problems. They can then coach their children as they try to solve the problem on their own. The hovering and the stalking won’t be helpful in any situation, instead, make them feel that you are confident about their ability to solve problems but, in case they need support, you are always by their side, not literally, of course.