Helicopter Parents: An Overprotective Parenting Style

helicopter parents(Written by Mel Dawson) Some people will dislike the idea that they are over-parenting. However, some moms and dads are so protective of their kids as to deserve being called helicopter parents. Such overprotective parents try to manage every aspect of their children’s lives – from arguing with teachers about unfair treatment to demanding that their son goes to the same alma mater as they attended.

What are helicopter parents like? Basically, it boils down to hour-by-hour involvement in your child’s life. When you are not chatting, skyping, messaging, or talking over the phone with your kid, you are busy organizing their schedule – piano lessons, soccer games, graduation, and more.

Helicopter moms check their children’s grades, student emails, and account balances. Their write school assignments, go to the library for recommended reading, and even draft their kids’ emails.

Helicopter parents put every effort to keep their kids’ life in order. Many children are happy with that and take it as a sign that mom or dad cares. However, such parents are sending the wrong messages. They shoulder the whole responsibility and show the child that he/ she is not capable of handling anything in life.

Helicopter moms end up supporting their children past college, paying their debts, looking after the grandchildren, and having no life of their own. Helicopter moms are no longer a campus phenomenon.

Generation Y has entered the job force. An army of parents keeps calling potential employers as to negotiate salary and other benefits. Some parents even show up at job fairs and accompany their children at interviews. In this awkward situation, some employers have started training managers and recruiters how to deal with these parents.

Some parents go way too far. They prepare resumes, submit them to human resource departments, and even help their children pick the ‘right’ suit for an interview. From a psychological point of view, this doesn’t seem right. Employees seek to hire adults and don’t want to deal with parents. There is a point when you have to stop pampering your child and let her go.

One study, conducted by the team of the psychologist Neil Montgomery, involved three hundred college freshmen. The study aimed to determine the participants’ relationship with their parents. The responses revealed that 10 percent of freshmen had helicopter parents.

And in fact, helicoptering can ruin lives. Those who had overprotective parents were more anxious, dependent, and less open to new activities and ideas. Children who were helicoptered were afraid of taking initiative and risks. Parents may want to allay their children’s fears and anxieties and this comes only natural. However, if they create a safety net and draw it too tight, this might provoke anxiety.

Helicopter parents are in a panic and try to keep their children safe. Yet, children raised by overprotective parents lack self-sufficiency. Some lack basic skills such as sharing, self-reliance, and conflict resolution.

Helicopter parenting makes children unable to experience pride at their own success and accomplishments. Besides, it is impossible to shelter children from all disappointments, grief, unhappiness, and hardship in life. Children who are spoon-fed enter the real world unprepared to cope with the ups and downs ahead.

* Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

Mel Dawson is an experienced writer specializing in the health and nutrition field. She also writes about kids nutrition, behavior, fitness activities, parenting and pregnancy advice.

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