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What is Helicopter parenting?

The term "helicopter parenting" was first used in Dr. Haim Ginott's 1969 book Parents & Teenagers by teens who said that their parents would hover over them like a helicopter. The term became popular enough to become a dictionary entry in 2011. Similar terms include lawnmower parenting, cosseting parent, or bulldoze parenting.

Helicopter parenting resembles to "a style of parents who are too over focused on their children, observing their behavior very closely. “They typically take way too much responsibility for their children's experiences and, specifically, their successes or failures," some people call it over parenting.  "It means being involved in your child's life in a way that is too much over controlling, overprotecting, and over perfecting, in a way that is in excess of responsible parenting.

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Who is a helicopter parent?
Although the term is most commonly applied to parents of high school or college-aged students who do tasks the child is capable of doing themself (for instance, calling up a professor about poor grades, arranging a class schedule, to manage exercising habits), helicopter parenting can apply at any age. "In toddlerhood, a helicopter parent might constantly shadow the child, always playing with and directing their behavior, allowing him zero “me” time.
In elementary school, helicopter parenting can be revealed through a parent ensuring a child has a certain teacher or coach, selecting the child's friends and activities, or providing disproportionate assistance for homework and school projects.

Why do parents hover?

Helicopter parenting can develop for a number of reasons. Here are four common triggers.

  • Fear of dire consequences: Parents think that if their child is not able to accomplish their desired goals they may feel hurt and low. To prevent that feeling they try to get involved and prevent the disaster. Sometime these involvements the child feels uncomfortable and think that the parents is trying to take control over their lives.
  • Feelings of anxiety: What if the economy falls, what if their child is not able to secure a job and the world in general can push parents toward taking more control over their child's life in an attempt to protect them. Worry can drive parents to take control in the belief that they can keep their child from ever being hurt or disappointed.
  • Overcompensation: Adults who felt unloved, neglected, or ignored as children can overcompensate with their own children. Excessive attention and monitoring are attempts to remedy a deficiency the parents felt in their own upbringing.
  • Peer Pressure: When parents see other overinvolved parents, it can trigger a similar response.

 

What are the consequences of helicopter parenting?

·         Many helicopter parents start off with good intentions. "It is a tricky line to find, to be engaged with our children and their lives, but not so enmeshed that we lose perspective on what they need.
Decreased confidence and self-esteem: The main problem with helicopter parenting is that it backfires, "The underlying message [the parent's] over involvement sends to kids, however, is 'my parent doesn't trust me to do this on my own,' [and this leads] to a lack of confidence."

·         Increased anxiety: A study from the University of Mary Washington has shown that over parenting can cause a higher levels of child anxiety and depression which is very bad for health.

  • Sense of entitlement. Children who have always had their social, academic, and athletic lives adjusted by their parents to best fit their needs can become accustomed to always having their way and thus they develop a sense of entitlement.
  • Undeveloped life skills. Parents who always tie their child’s shoes, clear their plates, pack their lunches, wash their clothes, and monitor their school progress, even though their child is mentally and physically capable of doing the task, prevent their children from mastering these skill themselves.

How can you avoid being a helicopter parent?
 Making your 3-year-old's bed isn't hovering. Making your 13-year-old's bed is. Remembering to look for opportunities to take one step back from solving our child's problems will help us build the reliant, self-confident kids we need."

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SchoolConnects Team is a diversified team that researches , curates and writes articles that will help parents gain better access to their child's education

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