This literally means you are hovering around your child and make a noise like a helicopter, swooping in to rescue your child at first sign of trouble. A helicopter parent is an over involved and overprotective mom or dad who believes that loving their child means protecting them from anything negative and making sure they succeed at whatever they think the child should be able to accomplish regardless of what the child wants.
By not allowing the child to deal with the negative, painful or even illegal choices, the helicopter parents robs their children of the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Helicopter parents monitor their children constantly. They control their children’s behavior and insist on helping with tasks their children can do alone. When their children face the slightest obstacle, they dive in to rescue immediately.
What’s especially tragic is that with the best of intentions, helicopter parents end up producing dependent and entitled children who can’t their own decisions or deal with difficult situations. They don’t know how to deal with failure or take responsibility for their mistakes, and they end up blaming everyone else for their problems. Hovering parents cannot let go of their children and are infamous for doing their children’s school projects, calling teachers to complain about bad marks or unfair grades or insisting on sitting in on the child’s admission interview.
4 ways you can avoid becoming a helicopter parent:
- Teach your kids how to take personal responsibility for their choices.
- Let them experience the consequences of their choices.
- Help them understand that failure can be one of their greatest teachers.
- Let them know that they have what it takes to make their own decisions.
Children need to learn that choices have consequences and that they will not always be rescued. Mommy or daddy won’t always be there to pay for their mistakes and bail them out.
To be a helicopter parent can be beneficial if your child experiences it as supportive and not as controlling. But if the child’s experiences are perceived as being controlled being it doesn’t matter whether the parent is supportive because without autonomy, the child won’t flourish in their development.
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