Just visited the nearby park to watch children play.
I found in-hand EXAMPLES of different parenting styles. While some kids were playing baseball, their parents watched from afar; some of them smiling, cheering them up. Some are afraid, shouting, “are you alright honey?” when the child falls while running.
I saw a father shouting, “ that’s not how you throw a ball.” it was interesting to see a child’s mother almost screaming, “that’s enough baseball for today, come back home this instant.”
For a minute there, I almost time-traveled to my childhood; and remembered a friend whose parents were always around him – not in a warm way – but as if to hover over them, like a helicopter. Ohh, yes, Helicopter parents do exist. Just like my friend’s parents – it is one parenting style that never went out of practice.
Who Are Helicopter Parents?
A helicopter parent is a term first used in a 1969 book called Between Parent & Teenager by Dr. Haim Ginott’. Here, teens said that their parents were always hovering over them. It felt like a helicopter. Different terms followed to define the same kind of parenting and people came up with different names, such as lawnmower parenting, bulldoze parenting, and more.
Now, who are these parents?
A simple answer to that would be – over parenting.
But, in detail – parents who are excessively involved in the lives of their children are helicopter parents. They take too much responsibility to ensure that their children have a successful life and healthy experience (which itself is not a healthy experience.)
They are overprotective and want to be with their children all the time. Yes, they have the best intention to make their children’s lives smoother. But, they end up micromanaging the schedules of their children. This goes from intervening when the child is playing or planning to go and study with their friends.
The teen featured in Dr. Haim Ginott’s book said that his mother was always watching over him like a helicopter. Basically, the teen featured in this book had a helicopter mom.
So, Why Do Parents Become Helicopter Parents?
The urge to micromanage everything in their child’s life comes from a deep love and care. In reality, these parents want to protect their children at all costs and want to make create situations where they have a smooth experience. They have this understandable desire to help their children grow up into capable adults. However, such overprotectiveness makes their children feel annoyed and pressured.
Signs Of A Helicopter Parents
When young, children require their parents’ assistance in life to help them execute certain things. Parents’ guidance and control are very necessary at this age. However, the level and extent the which helicopter parents offer such guidance and take such control to seem inappropriate.
They are constantly monitoring their children’s activities and behaviors. Helicopter parents also willingly impose their help upon their children with problems children can handle by themselves. Here are different signs that signify a parent is a helicopter parent –
1. Parents Fight Their Children’s Fight
When your son comes home crying about the fight he had with his friend, you should intervene. Calling the other child’s parent and asking them to solve it is what you normally do. But, at some level, you need to work like a support system. Instead of solving your child’s quarrel yourself, ask them to talk it out themselves. This will help them regulate their emotions and develop their skill to fight their own fights.
2. Doing Your Children’s Homework
Your child does need your help solving the math or completing the assignment from time to time. But doing that too often will leave them frustrated. Don’t put yourself in your child’s shoes all the time. Although you might feel tempted to swoop in and help your child from the clutch of the problem, it is important to hold yourself back sometimes.
Instead, try praising them for the effort they put into solving their own problems. Encourage them to complete their own homework by themselves.
3. Don’t Coach Your Child’s Coach
I know that you want to show how much you care for your child and you really want to shout advice to them when they are taking part in school sports. But don’t do that. Stop cornering your child’s coach after every single one of their practices. You should really step aside and let them deal with it by themselves. Sports teach children about teamwork, conflict, leadership, and more.
Instead, encourage, and teach them to talk to their coach when they are playing.
4. Do Not Keep Your Kids On A Short Leash
Is there any point in sticking around after you dropped your daughter at her friend’s birthday party? Even though your teenage son can walk to their friend’s house, you still insist on driving them there. What about the daily check-in texts to the grown-up ones who are going to college? Parents insisting on such activities are, without a doubt, helicopter parents.
This way, you are lowering their self-confidence. Instead, try giving them some space and let your children handle the amount of trouble they can. Only you can help them become independent, and it is time.
5. You Do Your Children’s Laundry
No, they do not wear diapers, and they can clean whatever they wear. They are also grown enough to clean their own rooms. But you do it anyway because you are overprotective. It is important for your child to learn to do chores. You can ask them to clean around the house on the weekend, and you will be teaching them a lifelong lesson that they will never forget.
As a parent, set clear expectations about what you want them to do and hand them out small tasks from time to time. This will build up their confidence and develop them as responsible human beings. Nothing good comes from being a helicopter parent, trust me.
Being a protective parent is alright. However, being overprotective will only leave your child frustrated and lower their confidence in themselves. By solving their problems, you are taking their opportunities to learn from life and learn for life. It is ok to fail, be in a difficult situation, and even be unable to solve homework. That is where learning starts. But helicopter parents, with their overprotectiveness, can take that away from children.
I hope that this article was helpful. However, if you have any confusion regarding such parenting, please ask your concerns in the comment section. We will keep in touch.
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