An individual encounters an approximate of 80,000 people in an average lifetime and each of these people indulge a variety of human nature. Digging deep into human nature and behaviour, it is recognized that, an individual’s upbringing has a major role in framing his/her behavioural traits. Parenting and upbringing a child is a very crucial and delicate procedure. It is that stage where a human is built from the within. If right care or appropriate parenting strategies are not taken at this point, it could permanently damage a human mind. But how do you know whether you are parenting right? How do you know whether you are not being a helicopter parent? and What are the effects of helicopter parenting?
What is Helicopter Parenting?
The word “Helicopter Parent” was discovered when teens reported saying that their parents hover over them like helicopters. Helicopter parenting refers to the behaviour of parents who over-focus on their child’s activities. It is the psychological behaviour of parents when they typically take too much of responsibility for their child’s success or failures. When parents get too involved in their child’s life in a way of being over controlling, overprotecting, and over perfecting them, they become Helicopter Parents. Some other phrases like “cosseting parents”, “hovering parents” or “bulldoze parents” are also used to indicate parents who overprotect their children.
What is Helicopter Mom?
Moms are always meant to be overprotective naturally. They always make sure that their kids are miles away from trouble. But such behaviour mostly ceases the freedom of experience for kids and they do not learn to decide between good and bad on their own.
Helicopter parenting is a kind of behaviour that is seen in parents of teens or high school students who wants their child to be the best in whatever they do. The constant feeling of keeping up in the race of ranking good scores, getting admissions in good universities, or getting a good job, brings about such behaviour in parents. The fear of their child being left out in the crowd or not achieving success in life makes a parent a helicopter parent.
According to Wikipedia Helicopter Parent is defined as. “a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child’s or children’s experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions”.
Numerous research on parental behaviour has come to a conclusion that, parents inherit an overprotective or over concerned nature towards their kids due to their own failures in life. Parents who were neglected or were unloved in their childhood are often noted to turn into helicopter parents. They simply do not want their child to face the same consequences or failures that they have experienced in their own life. However, even though the intentions behind helicopter parenting is good, it doesn’t usually sum up to a good result.
Helicopter Parenting Facts
Helicopter Parenting not only destroys a human mind but also destroys the bonding in the whole family. Such parenting practices are intended to keep children on the right track but instead, helicopter parenting only hurt your children.
How Can Helicopter Parenting Affect Your Child?
A certain test was conducted to analyze children and their parents and how they coordinate with each other in their day to day life. A group of children was initiated to solve a series of puzzles, which symbolized a child’s daily hurdles in life. Parents were allowed to be with their children but however, were not encouraged to help them.
A few parents let their children solve the puzzles by themselves, with guiding them only a little. Whereas some parents were found to take maximum effort to help their children, which even involved them solving it for their kids. Of course, the intention of such parents was only to save their children from the feeling of failure or rejection. But the cause of it is often unnoticed.
Children whose parents are always helping them out, prove to be less confident in life. They tend to become more dependent, more introvert and are mostly incapable of solving any problems by themselves. Such kids grow up to individuals who have less capacity in handling tough situations. They also tend to face more depression and anxiety, as they fear every simple hurdle in life.
Those kids on the other hand who have parents protecting them less turns out into individuals who have the capacity to deal with every situation in life with a positive attitude. Such kids are trained to realize and experience from their own mistakes and failures, and hence they have the knowledge to overcome any harsh situation in future life.
In short, over parenting or helicopter parenting could lead your children to become:
- Over depressed
- Immature in coping with problems
- Low self-esteem and confidence
- Underdeveloped life skills
However, over freedom of children or neglecting your child could also lead to equal miserable consequences. A parent should maintain a balance between guiding and protecting their children in such a way that it is neither a negligence nor a captivation.
How Do You Know Whether You Are Being A Helicopter Parent?
Being a right parent can really be tricky. There may be times when you want to protect your child from the negativities around, but you do not know whether it would be turning you into a helicopter parent or not.
Do you check your child’s grades constantly? Do you mock your child for not being good at something? Well, these are some examples of being a helicopter parent.
Here are some more identifying signs of helicopter parenting. If you are doing any one of these, then you should definitely check your parenting strategies again.
- Being over worried about your kid all the time.
- Fearing and imagining terrible outcomes for your children’s activities.
- Doing your children’s academic activities.
- Assisting your child in every day to day routine.
- Negotiating your child’s conflicts, whether big or small.
- Tackling their problems and shielding them from any failure.
- Making all the decisions for them.
- Not leaving them alone even to the short distance outside the home.
- Not giving them any responsibilities to handle on their own.
- Competing with other parents and pressurizing your child to be the best.
How Can You Stop Being A Helicopter Parent?
- Do not worry about your child so much. It could be really difficult not to worry about your child when you know how cruel the outside world is. But you should realize that your child is an independent individual who has his/her own struggles that they should learn to solve on their own.
- Do not label your child. The habit of labelling your child as a “lazy child” or “Shy child” often increases the pressure and creates anxiety and depression in kids which should be avoided.
- Do not throw your worries at your child. It is normal to get worried about your child, especially when your child is in a complicated situation. But letting your child know that you are worried would only get your child more anxious. Instead, teach them to remain cool in every situation and search for solutions.
- Do not be too emotional with your child. This normally makes your child too sensitive and makes them incapable to deal with any emotional situations in life.
- Do not drop your decisions on your child. Your child’s opinion should matter in every decision taken related to them. They should realize the reasons for making certain decisions and should learn how to make right decisions in future.
How To Raise Kids Without Over Parenting?
If you feel that being over concern or overprotective can lead your child to success, then you are completely wrong. Overparenting, especially your teens, can only destroy their personal growth and make them less responsible. Here are ways you can raise your kids to be successful without helicopter parenting them.
- Make your kids in charge: Give your kids small tasks or responsibilities that they can take charge of. This would make them more responsible and also learn how to take care of things on their own.
- Tell your kids how proud they make you feel: This is something parents just miss out saying which leaves their kids discouraged. Frequent taps on the back would boost their confidence.
- Give your kids chance to help you out: Train your kids to do stuff around the house without being told. Taking up small tasks to help one another would make them more humble and helpful.
How Can You Cope With Helicopter Parenting?
If you have had a helicopter parent and you have been experiencing the helicopter parenting for a long time, then it’s sure that your characteristics and behavioural traits have been affected immensely. It is true that a child is a mold only during his/her young age and once they have grown it is hard for them to bring a change in their character. But with a few careful steps and a lot of hard work, there is nothing that remains impossible.
- Think Independently: Having a helicopter parent around to always take your decisions, it is natural that you are not used to taking them on your own. But it is time that you start analyzing your situations and question yourself, to realize which decision would be right or wrong.
- Trust Yourself: For individuals who have had helicopter parent, are always dependent on their parents for everything. They do not realize their own strengths and often remain timid. Trusting yourself and believing that you have the capacity to solve a situation would be the beginning to cope with your difficulties of having had a helicopter parent.
- Work Hard: It is going to be really tough for someone to change his/her own characteristics after being in it for a long period of time. Several moments of depression and anxiety would flood up to hold back your positivity. But you need to work hard on yourself to bring out the courage and capabilities that you have within.
- Frustration Tolerance: Helicopter parents are also known to discourage their children when they do not receive the expected results. This normally increases pressure leading a child to get into anxiety and depression issues. Even when such children fully grow into adults, they cannot cope with hard situations and easily gets easily depressed. Such individuals must train their minds to stay calm at all moments and deal with the situation instead of reacting to it.
- Responsibility: It is noted that individuals with parents who take responsibility for their kids all the time are less likely to be responsible human beings in the future. Hence, training yourself to take up minor responsibilities and making sure that you have been doing well in it can turn you into a more reliable person.
Benefits Of Cosseting (Positive effects of helicopter parenting)
Although there are millions of reasons to point against helicopter parenting, there are a few benefits of it that are usually unnoticed and ignored. Kids who have parents involved in their lives are mostly known to stick with their families. Here are a few good traits that have been noticed in individuals having helicopter parents.
- Kids feel supported: With parents always around to help, kids indulge a confidence to count on them during troubled times. They learn to trust and feel protected.
- Stay together: Kids who have parents to support them always sticks around to help their parents out when in need. They tend to be more caring.
- They know they are not ignored: With a rush in life there are plenty of kids who are neglected. But kids with parents constantly checking on them know and realize that they are not alone.
- Better career: Kids with helicopter parents are known to make fewer mistakes and wrong choices. Their parents are always thinking five steps ahead and making the best plans for them. Hence these kids usually end up having a prominent and less risky career.
- Good at not their good: Helicopter parents usually indulge their kids into activities that they feel are right for their kids, which might be something outside the comfort zone of the kid or something he/she is not good at. But eventually, the cause of the continuous pressure they end up being good at what they are not.
Sometimes it’s better to avoid helicopter parenting. As they say, good parenting means teaching the children well and letting them lead the way. A good parent should show their child the beauty and courage they possess inside, and this can only be done, only if they are allowed to be free and are grant enough space to grow.