When I first heard this term, I was a bit confused as what does it imply and why the introduction of “Helicopter”. Research shows that this term surfaced somewhere in 1969 in one of the top selling book Between Parent & Teenager by Dr. Hain Ginott
A helicopter parent is a typical variant who is too focused on his child, likes to place unwanted close attention to a child’s life style, experiences, problems etc. Other synonyms for such parenting is “lawnmower parenting”, “cosseting parenting”. Such parents constantly shadow their child, directing his/her behaviour, basically giving them no space. They always keep their children well blanketed with their proactive behaviour. They feel that by guiding them this way under their torch of experience can never ever make them fall into a pitfall.
Impact of overprotective parents on their children:
1. Poor problem solving skills:
Parents who constantly micromanage their children’s life by themselves going through step by step scrutinizing stages indirectly create a very depressive environment for their children. The aura for such kids is always filled with fear and anxiety. Such kids with time develop confidence in their inability to solve their own issues.
2. Running away from situations and responsibilities:
Since such children have low problem solving skills, they feel that the best solution to any problem is to run away from it as they themselves are incapable to withstand such pressures. This incapability forces them to take aid of others even for minor issues and ultimately they become victim of low self-esteem, depression and such situations may also lead to mental health problems.
3. Such children face hardships even in later stages of life. They feel nervous in handling friends, job, relationship, marriage etc.
Tips to reduce Helicopter Parenting:
The time when a child starts going to preschool, parents need to take a step back and realize that for every weird activity of the child, you can’t blame yourself. Let the child realize the mistake. If any of the important skill is missing in the child, don’t panic or start focusing too much on it. Rather be patient and take this as your own assignment to guide the child to learn that skill and later on sharpen it. But don’t nag about his/her inability to fulfill it. Never ever compare your child to others. Every child is unique in his/her own ways. We just need to figure out their interest and talent and guide them to the right path.
It’s not required to run and fulfill all his/her wish or task. Once the child is back from school, don’t always go and pick his/her bag. Let the child do things on his/her own. Let the child place the shoe, dress, lunchboxes at the appropriate place. It’s OK to prepare bed for 3 or 4 year child but not of a teenage. We as parents need to understand the difference.
Guidance is really appreciative but every time or more than the normal dose is so very disgusting. Sometimes, it’s OK to step behind so that the child can move in the forward direction. This will also develop a sense of independence in him/her. Let the child experience the taste of losing a situation or consequences of certain situations. Sometimes, keep a situation in front of them and ask them to come up with a solution. Listen to their views as well, they would feel important and this would pave way for their own self-control and self-confidence.
Note for the Parents- Don’t prepare the road for your children, instead prepare them for the road.
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