Is being a helicopter parent a good thing?
Helicopter parent was a term that is said to be first used by Dr Haim Ginott’s 1969 book Parents & Teenagers by teens which described parents that would hover about them like a helicopter. This term became so popular that in 2011 it made it into the dictionary.
Helicopter parenting more often applies to parents who have teenagers, and they will be trying to “help” them with things that they should be more than capable of doing themselves. Things like calling teaches about poor exam results or trying to organise their child’s life.
Helicopter parents of toddlers will likely be trying to direct the child’s behaviour, not allowing the child to have any alone time. In some extreme cases, a helicopter parent may try to ensure their child gets a particular teacher or helping far too much with school homework. Some describe this kind of parenting as intensive parenting.
Why Do Parents Turn Into Helicopter Parents?
Parents can turn into helicopter parents for several reasons, and here are some common reasons.
Adults who grew up feeling neglected, unloved or ignored can really overcompensate when bringing up their children. They will continuously be trying to do a better job than their parents did, and this can trigger helicopter parenting.
Parents should worry about the future of their children but worrying about low school grades or not being picked from the football team or if they mess up a job interview, especially if the parent feels that they could have done more to help. Helicopter parents tend to try and prevent struggle, unhappiness, or not excelling even though that none of these issues are life-threatening, but to the parent, it feels like they are.
Anxiety can trigger helicopter parenting by having general fears about the world whether it be the state of the job market or the world politics, but this can push parents to try and take control over their child’s life in a bid to protect them.
When parents see other parents getting overly involved with their children, it can trigger the competitive side of human nature, and now you have two sets of helicopter parents as it will put pressure on the parents. Very much like the saying “keeping up with the Jones.”
Most parents start off with having good intentions which are great as helps maker your children realise and know that they love them, but it can escalate, and helicopter parents can lose sight of what their children need.
However, parents that are engaged with their children has a lot of benefits for a child. Such as feeling loved and respected. However, the problems lie when parents start to parent by fear and decisions based on what might happen and when you parent like this, it is hard for children to learn by their own mistake. Children learn a lot by making their own mistakes, and it helps them learn how to handle challenges and failure.
What are the Effects of Helicopter Parenting?
Self Esteem issues – the main problem with Helicopter parenting is that it backfires in a sense that it gives a message to the child that the parent does not trust them to do this on their own. This could lead to a massive lack of confidence.
Lack of Coping Skills – If a helicopter parent is always there to sort out a child’s mess/problems, the child will never learn to cope with disappointment or failure. Helicopter parenting can make a child feel incompetent in dealing with life’s stresses.
Spoilt Brats – Children who have always had every part of their lives adjusted by their parents can become happy still to get their own way and can develop a sense of entitlement.
There are lots more effects that are caused by helicopter parenting.
How to Avoid Helicopter Parenting
So how do you be a great caring parent without being a helicopter parent? Let us be honest you are here reading this on Whoobly to learn how to be better parents, and we all know that parenting is one of the hardest jobs on the planet. We need to keep a keen eye on our children and also an eye on the little adults we are trying to raise. Getting them from childhood to adulthood is going to be a challenge and stressful and not just for us as parents but for the children.
Basically, we need to let out children struggle a bit and allow them to get disappointed every now and again and help them and guide them through these failures. It would help if you let children get on with tasks that they are capable of doing and allowing them to carry out these tasks but be there to guide them. Hopefully, this will help them become awesome adults and who will, in turn, bring up their own great kids in the future.
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