What is Helicopter Parenting?

The Harmful Effects of Too Much Hovering

Have you ever heard of the term "helicopter parenting"? The label is given to parents who pay extremely close attention to their children in their activities and schoolwork. The term was first coined in the book Between Parent and Teenager by Dr. Haim Ginott in 1969. It describes overprotective parents who hover over their children in efforts to have them succeed and protect them from perceived danger. You may have also heard of the term "lawnmower parenting". This is when parents will severely interfere in their child's life. They are willing to mow down any obstacles, regardless of ethics, and attempt to clear the path for their child.

Helicopter parents feel an intense need to be overly involved in a child's every move. A parent may manage their child's friendships and relationships, force them into activities they're not passionate about in order to diversify their resumes, or overschedule their child.

helicopter parenting
Drawbacks of Helicopter Parenting

Keeping an eye on your child and helping them through struggles is a pillar of parenthood. However, helicopter parenting crosses the line into an unhealthy relationship between parent and child. Becoming too involved in your kids life may feel suffocating for them. Other drawbacks:

  • Prevents development of problem solving skills
  • Leads to dependence on parents
  • Prevents learning to advocate for themselves
  • Prevents kids from natural consequences
  • Affects parent-child relationships

It's important to back off a bit from your children and allow them the space to grow. Allowing your child to be a part of age-appropriate activities can be scary as a parent. Try to remember that it gives them freedom and the ability to experience life and learn from their decisions.

If you're struggling with parenting, Acenda offers family counseling and therapy programs as well as specialized maternal health services. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632 X9500) for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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