Helicopter parenting is a term used to describe a parenting style characterized by overinvolvement in a child’s life. This type of parenting involves constantly hovering over and monitoring a child’s activities, making decisions for the child, and trying to protect the child from any perceived threats or challenges.
The term “helicopter parenting” was first coined in the 1990s and has since become a widely used term to describe a particular style of parenting. This term is often used in a negative way, as helicopter parenting can have negative consequences for both the parent and the child.
Types of Helicopter Parenting
There are two main types of helicopter parenting:
- Authoritative helicopter parenting: This type of helicopter parenting involves being heavily involved in a child’s life, but also giving the child some autonomy and independence. This type of helicopter parent may set rules and expectations for the child, but also allow the child to make some decisions on their own and take on some responsibilities.
- Authoritarian helicopter parenting: This type of helicopter parenting involves being very controlling and not allowing the child to make any decisions on their own. This type of helicopter parent may micromanage the child’s every move and not allow the child to take on any responsibilities or challenges.
Consequences of Helicopter Parenting
While helicopter parenting may seem like a way to protect and support a child, it can actually have negative consequences. Some of the potential consequences of helicopter parenting include:
- Dependence: Children who are constantly monitored and protected by their parents may become overly dependent on their parents and may struggle to make decisions or solve problems on their own.
- Lack of resilience: Children who are not allowed to face challenges or make mistakes may not develop the resilience and problem-solving skills they need to cope with adversity.
- Stress and anxiety: Helicopter parenting can be stressful for both the parent and the child. The constant monitoring and micromanagement can lead to anxiety and other mental health problems for the child.
- Poor social skills: Children who are not allowed to interact with their peers or take on responsibilities may have difficulty developing social skills and forming relationships with others.
Preventing Helicopter Parenting
If you are worried that you may be a helicopter parent, there are steps you can take to prevent this type of parenting:
- Set boundaries: It is important to give your child space to grow and learn on their own. Set limits on your involvement in your child’s life and allow them to make some decisions on their own.
- Encourage independence: Encourage your child to take on responsibilities and challenges, and allow them to make mistakes and learn from them.
- Foster a growth mindset: Instead of focusing on avoiding failure, encourage your child to embrace challenges and see them as opportunities for growth.
- Seek support: If you are struggling with the idea of letting go and allowing your child to take on more independence, seek support from a therapist or a parenting group.
Helicopter parenting is a style of parenting characterized by overinvolvement and constant monitoring. While it may seem like a way to protect and support a child, it can actually have negative consequences such as dependence, lack of resilience, stress and anxiety, and poor social skills. To prevent helicopter parenting, it is important to set boundaries, encourage independence, foster a growth mindset, and seek support if needed.