Are you extremely involved in your child's life? Do you really think you can control their behavior? It is time, you might want to re-think that.
With the start of school around the corner, parents everywhere are receiving that anxious pang that comes with dropping their children off at college or university for the first time. But some parents do not stop there and instead hover over their children's lives well into adulthood.
This type of behavior is known as helicopter parenting, and it may be hindering your child's development in several ways.
Elaborating helicopter parenting
The term "helicopter parenting" has become increasingly popularized in recent years. To describe parents who constantly hover over their children, helping them with even the minor tasks that they would otherwise have to learn how to do to succeed as an adult, such as completing homework assignments or cooking simple meals.
It also describes parents who check in on their children incessantly and micromanage every aspect of their lives, from what they eat to what extra-curricular activities they're involved in. Learn how to recognize if you are a helicopter parent so you can help your child learn to take responsibility and reach his or her full potential.
What's more to helicopter parenting?
Helicopter parenting is when parents hover around their children and prevent them from growing independently. It's a type of overparenting, where parents always want to be involved and make all decisions for their kids, even small ones. Overbearing parents are hyper-involved with every part of their child's life, from schoolwork to social activities to extracurriculars. Helicopter parents will often be involved long after their kids have moved out of the house!
8 Reasons Why Helicopter Parenting Is Bad For Your Kids:
- It gives kids an unrealistic view of what it means to be an adult.
- It robs kids of opportunities to learn how to solve problems on their own.
- It creates dependent children who can't function without parental support.
- It teaches kids that they don't have to work hard because someone will always be there for them.
- It causes a lack of trust and respect between parent and child.
- It causes resentment between parent and child.
- It causes anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and anger issues in children
- And finally, it makes you less likely to develop a strong relationship with your child as they grow older.
Signs to identify helicopter parenting
Are you a helicopter parent or an over-controlling, hyper-involved one? If you find yourself micromanaging your child's every move and activity, stressing about his/her accomplishments, then chances are you're a helicopter parent. The problem with helicopter parenting is that it can cause your child to become too dependent on you for everything, and he/she may struggle with growing up. Here are 10 signs to identify helicopter parenting.
- If you're constantly worried about your child's safety and well-being, even when he/she is with friends or at school, then chances are you're a helicopter parent.
- If you get upset over your child's low grades and make him/her retake tests or assignments because you want them to get higher grades, then again, the chances are that you're a helicopter parent.
- If you constantly check up on your child by calling his/her friends and teachers for updates about his/her activities, then yes, you're probably a helicopter parent.
- If you accompany your child to school events such as plays or sports games, even if he/she is an adult, then there's no doubt that you're a helicopter parent.
- If you refuse to let your child make any decision by themselves and micro-manage every aspect of his/her life, you are a helicopter parent.
- If you take over all responsibilities for your children at home and micromanage their lives so much that they can't make any decisions on their own, then again, chances are high that you're a helicopter parent.
- If you've put your child into music or dance classes just because he/she doesn't have anything better to do and not because he/she wants to do it, then yes, you're probably a helicopter parent.
- If you don't allow your children to make any mistakes by themselves and try to rescue them from every situation they are in, then the chances are that you're a helicopter parent.
- If you always believe that there's something wrong with your child even when he/she is doing well, then again, the chances are high that you're a helicopter parent.
- If you feel your child can't do anything right and keep criticizing him/her for every little mistake they make, then yes, you're probably a helicopter parent.
Related: Does parental stress have an impact on children?
Ways to avoid helicopter parenting
A mindful parent has a parent-child relationship centered on mutual trust, unconditional love, and respect. Both parents and children have expectations and responsibilities within their family unit; they are partners with each other. It is essential to know what role your kid plays in your life when dealing with helicopter parents.
If you are a working parent striving for success but are overwhelmed at home, you may be starting to act like a helicopter parent without even realizing it. Here are some ways to avoid being too involved in your child's life:
- Encourage them to be independent by giving them space to make mistakes
- Allow them to work through challenges themselves
- Be patient with them when they struggle
- Offer guidance only when needed
- Praise them for taking risks
- Give them responsibilities around your home and give them a sense of purpose
- And finally, trust that you are raising a capable human being who will thrive on their own someday.
Also check: Positive parenting tips
It is important to have boundaries and to set clear expectations for your children. When dealing with helicopter parents, create a mindfully connected parent-child relationship that focuses on balanced, healthy growth from childhood through adulthood. Parenting is an awesome responsibility. Treat it as such! In creating healthy connections, we can allow our children to be themselves, foster leadership qualities, and develop independent thinking for effective ways to deal with helicopter parents. Having said all that, be careful out there!