Helicopter Parenting: How Does It Impact Kids?

Helicopter Parenting How Does It Impact Kids

Helicopter parenting is a style of raising a child that is often criticized for numerous reasons. It is common in several families. And adversely affects the child’s capability to manage emotions in life. A study proves that this type of parenting largely affects the development of the child’s social skills. Not just this, it also slows down the child’s academic and social development.

Most of us know that over-involved parents pay too much attention to kids. But there’s much more to it other than the readily available helicopter parenting definition over the internet.

As parents, we always wish to safeguard our kids. But at times, our concerns and behavior do more bad to our kids than good. Parenting styles like helicopter, overinvolved or neglectful have several dimensions that we miss out on during our parenting journey. This knowledge and ability to preempt the consequences of our actions can save our kids from devastating and irreversible impacts. In fact, it can also save us from several humiliating instances that lie ahead of our bad choices/decision- making.  

Let’s help you discover a more productive side to your parenting through this information. Read further to explore helicopter parenting pros and cons.

Why Do Parents Become Helicopter Parents?

Several parents take up this style without even knowing the exact helicopter parents meaning. Mostly they are highly concerned about raising their child well. And in some cases, the growing competition in society, the changing structure of families, and the constant need to grow better also make parents go on extreme levels with their kids.

In other words, most parents take up this style as they want their children to be safe all the time. This mindset is also common in families with single parents. As of 2021, there were around 14,000 children under the age of one year in the USA who lived with a single father. This number was 34,000 in the case of the ones living with a divorced mother.

Percentage of children who lived with a  single parent

Other than these common reasons, some experts also believe that being a perfectionist and anxiousness as an individual can also drive one to take up this particular style.

It is interesting to note that many times parents do not know the exact helicopter parent meaning. And they also do not know that they fall into this category. Here’s more about it.

How to Tell If You’re a Helicopter Parent?

The clear signs of raising kids this way are the constant zeal to find a sweet spot for them, making things easy and convenient by micromanaging everything well in advance. Such caregivers also protect their kids from facing failure and humiliation in life.

Research shows that limited hands-on parenting are good for the child. But making it too intense limits their ability to combat and solve problems on their own in life. Even after identifying the signs of a helicopter parent, it is not easy to instantly give up this mindset. This trap of over-parenting can be difficult to crack. And for many parents, this seems to be a good way of showing their concern for their beloved child. It is not that this style is completely full of negative aspects. There can some advantages too, let’s take a look at these critically.

Positives of Helicopter Parenting

Handling Problems-

Such caregivers are good at addressing and resolving any challenges that the child might face in school or elsewhere (like bullying, school violence, etc.). They are active with the child’s needs and identify common problems like bullying in schools etc. easily.

In the U.S.A, 1 in 5 children are bullied in school (12-18 years). These numbers are 1 in 3 in the middle grades. Only 24% of the girls report bullying instances. While 17% of the boys come up with similar complaints. Alternatives like online schools have resolved these challenges to a great extent. However, physical schools still battle to deal with these age-old challenges. And the role of caregivers is crucial in such cases.

Bullying reported as per gender

Timely Action

The support system that they provide is a great help to a nurturing mind. They take timely action for academic backwardness. And work relentlessly to create plans that can improve the child’s situation.

Focused and Concerned

The energy spent by these individuals for the well-being of their children is quite commendable. They go the extra mile to ensure the child’s safety. And this helps in reducing the chances of negative instances/experiences.

Despite these benefits, this style is still criticized for many right reasons. Here’s a look at these now.

Potential Drawbacks of Helicopter Parenting

This level of over-involvement deprives the child of the opportunity to learn enough self-regulation skills. Such children also lack a sense of identity at times. And struggle to manage things on their own. It is proven in studies that the long-term effects of over-involvement from the parent’s side can lead to dangerous behavior in children. This includes episodic drinking as they often feel caught between their parent’s desires and their own thought process. These issues are consistent in nature. And the effects of helicopter parenting on adults are clearly visible in many individuals.  

Another big demerit of this style is that it makes the child incapable to adapt with change. In fact, the lack of autonomy and adaptability in a child can also lead to internalizing problems such as anxiety, depression, and low confidence, etc.

Drawbacks of Helicopter parenting

Now that we know both sides of helicopter parenting meaning, let’s move to the handling part.

How to Stop Helicopter Parenting?

Encourage Independence –

The most important step towards rectifying one’s style of raising kids is to take conscious steps to make the child independent. Simple changes like encouraging the child to dress up, clean the room, indulge in fireless cooking, etc. should be introduced within the family.

Choose to be worry-free-

It is also important to learn how to be detached, and trust the child that he/she is capable of handling the given task well. You can remind yourself about the examples of helicopter parenting. And stay away from baseless fears that can hinder the child’s developmental process.

Stay away from being judgmental-

Never try to label the child even if the child fails in meeting your expectations. In fact, most parents do not know the ill effects of labeling kids even if praise them. Our selection of words is a powerful tool to shape the child’s personality. These mistakes can develop a negative self-image. And the child might not develop desirable traits.

Keep your problems away

The negativity and worries of our own life can also hamper our child’s ability to think positively. Take a conscious move of keeping your child away from your own worries to help him/her reach the highest potential.

Before we wrap up, let’s reiterate the key takeaways once again.

Helicopter parenting pros and cons

Pros of Helicopter parenting:

  • More satisfying for the parents as they feel happy about playing their role well.
  • Children get enough handholding, and there are reduced chances of being neglected.
  • This style also makes the child feel secure most of the time that the adults are involved in his/her life.

Cons of Helicopter parenting:

  • The child can lose his/her confidence.
  • Kids are mostly dependent on adults.
  • Such children often fail to develop essential life skills.
  • These kids do not know how to handle and overcome failure.

Final Thoughts

Most parents try their best to give their child the best in life. But in the process to safeguard them from negative emotions, they often miss out on preparing them for the harsh realities of life. Helicopter parenting is an unconscious choice for many caregivers. But the devastating influence that it has on the child is now proven by eminent researchers. There is no hard-and-fast rule for raising a child with perfection. But thankfully, we have some better parenting styles with authoritative parenting that is widely accepted as the best choice.

It’s always better to gauge our weaknesses and move ahead on the path of improvement. After all, it is possible to raise brilliant and well-rounded kids, only if we know how to select the right parenting style!

Thanks for Reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the meaning of a helicopter mom?
    As the name suggests, this type of mother is highly concerned about the child. And goes to the extent of overprotecting the kid. It is another term for an over-involved mother.
  • What is a simple helicopter parenting definition?
    Similar to the helicopter mom meaning, the definition of helicopter parenting is when parents safeguard and mentor the child too much. And hinder his/her ability to be an independent personality.
  • What are some signs of a helicopter parent?
    Being overprotective, helping the child with all small and big tasks (micromanaging), safeguarding the child from failure and humiliating situations, etc. are some common signs of such parents.
  • What are some helicopter parenting pros and cons?
    Pros – Kids can be sure about their fallback options. They are more secure from threats like school violence etc. Parents feel happy about raising their kids with care.
    Cons – Children lack resilience. They are not capable of handling defeat. Such kids also lack perseverance and self-regulation skills.

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