Are you a helicopter parent?
Do you hover over your kids? If your interfering is starting to get in the way of your children’s development you may be a helicopter parent.
All parents want to ensure their kids are safe and and perform well in life. But if you shelter them too much you may take away chances for them to face up to any challenges life may throw at your children and make their own decisions.
Signs of helicopter parenting
You may be a helicopter parent if the following describes you:
- Your foremost duty as a parent is to minimise pain in your child’s life.
- You really believe your child will grow up to be happy if they have a smooth passage through life.
- Can’t bear the idea of your child experiencing painful or negative set-backs.
- You are interfering in your children’s social life — listening to their problems and giving guidance is acceptable but constant intervention isn’t.
- You keep calling your children on the phone excessively throughout the day until your anxiety rubs off onto them.
Striking a balance
- Wait before rushing in to save them Some kids will fall off their bikes or get stung by insects. Some will fail a test. Your child may not get into Cambridge or the university of your preference. Life lessons must be learned or kids may not learn about responsibility or accountability.
- Be strong. Helicopter parents often intervene in their kids’ lives to stop them from experiencing negative situations. You need to let children be free to tackle their own problems so they can become strong and capable in future.
- Teach self-reliance Instead of you solving problems all at once by yourself, teach your kids to think for themselves. Allow your child to experience a full range of emotions. Parents often try to shield their child from painful feelings.
The ‘helicopter’ effect
Studies have shown that the children of helicopter parents tend to be overweight because of too many restrictions imposed on their playtime activities. When parents are too overprotective their children tend to stay indoors in front of the TV or computer. In the long term these children may develop into needy, anxious and neurotic adults who lack basic street-smarts and social skills.
Your children should develop a sense of self and confidence that stems from making their own choices. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be involved in your children’s lives but remember you cannot protect them all the time. Talking to your children and being available to guide them will definitely help towards establishing a healthy bond in the future.