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What is Helicopter Parenting, and is it Bad?

By August 13, 2016 Parenting

You may have heard the term, “helicopter parent”, but aren’t quite sure what it means, and if it applies to you. Simply put, “helicopter parenting” refers to moms and dads who hover over their children in an overprotective way. While most parents want the best for their kids and want to see them succeed, some are so focused on their children that it becomes detrimental to them both.

Is it really such a bad thing?

It may sound like helicopter parents are just very involved in their children’s lives, and they are. The problem is that some parents become too extreme, attempting to control every situation in their child’s lives. This isn’t such a good thing for the kids, because children learn by doing. It’s normal to experience certain levels of discomfort and disappoint in life, and kids of all ages need to be able to handle such experiences in a healthy way.

Certainly, a good parent is one that is engaged in their child’s life. The issue arises when a parent is too fully engaged, not allowing kids to make their own choices. It can leave a child feeling anxious, confused, and fearful. As a child grows up, they won’t have the tools needed to make choices on their own and handle tough situations.

Am I a Helicopter Parent?

If you find yourself focused fully on your children’s lives, attempting to shield them from any and all forms of disappoint, discomfort, and not giving them any space or alone time, you may be a helicopter parent. It’s completely normal for a parent to want their child to be happy, and no parent wants to see their little one hurt or upset. However, it’s important to keep in mind that kids are resilient, and this resiliency is built by learning. Kids have to learn to cope with disappoints, and they must learn to do for themselves.

As with many things in life, there needs to be a balance when it comes to parenting. It’s wonderful to engage with your children and be a support for them, but just make sure that you aren’t hovering too much. Your children will appreciate the space and the opportunities to learn and grow on their own.