The Problem with Helicopter Parenting
Parents, naturally, want to see their children thrive in a secure and enabling environment. In a world where children and young adults are increasingly exposed to the potential dangers of everyday living, it makes total sense to want to shield and guide them. While access to the internet and the constant advancements in tech can help your parenting effort, this is not always the case. Parents are more informed and better equipped to protect their children, and sometimes this may lead to what is termed as “helicopter parenting.”
Oftentimes the intentions are good, and sometimes children grow up to become successful, well-functioning adults. This is not always the case.
Helicopter parenting may not have the effect for which it is intended. It can interfere with an individual’s ability to function independently as well as their sense of identity. It can lead to anxiety, fear of failure, low self-esteem, and even depression.
It is important to know how much is too much for a parent. Here are signs that you could be a helicopter parent;
- You are always worrying about the safety of a child and hovering around them to make sure nothing bad happens to them.
- You rush to help the child in a task which they could have done on their own
- You are constantly supervising and correcting your child.
- You make decisions for your child without considering their input
- You communicate on behalf of your child without giving them a chance to express themselves.
- Overly immersing yourself in the child’s life, education and relationships.
What Are the Problems Associated with Helicopter Parenting?
As much as this way of parenting is done with all the love and care that a parent can give. The negative outcomes can outweigh the positives. These negative impacts include; constant fear of failure, inability to communicate properly, and difficulty dealing with everyday challenges independently.
Mental health conditions such as anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression can affect children raised by helicopter parents. These children may experience stunted social development and a prolonged transition from childhood to adulthood
So How Does a Parent Break the Helicopter Habit?
Given the dangers in today’s society, it is difficult to let a child or young adult face certain situations on their own. It is, however, important to let children learn and find themselves without intervention. These tips can be useful to avoid smothering your child:
- Allowing them to express themselves without intervention.
- Giving room for mistakes and learning.
- Allowing them to have a voice in decisions that involve them.
- Taking time to learn them, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as what works for them in different situations.
- Teaching them and allowing them to accomplish tasks on their own.
Parenting has never been an easy task, with different children having different needs. It is therefore important to learn and unlearn certain parenting behaviors that may negatively impact a child’s growth and wellbeing.