Use of the word “helicopter,” when applied to people is a parenting style of over-involvement in the lives of their children. Helicopter parents typically micromanage their children’s activities, make decisions for them, and try to protect them from any potential discomfort. While helicopter parents may have good intentions, their parenting style can actually handicap their children in a number of ways.
One way that helicopter parenting can handicap children is by preventing them from learning how to be independent. When parents do everything for their children, the child never have the opportunity to learn how to solve problems on their own, make decisions, or take sensible risks. This can lead to children who are not self-sufficient and who have difficulty functioning in the world on their own.
Helicopter parenting can also lead to children having low self-esteem. When parents constantly hover over their children and do everything for them, children may start to believe that they are incapable of doing anything on their own. This can lead to feelings of insecurity and inadequacy.
In addition, helicopter parenting can create anxiety and stress in children. When parents are constantly worried about their children’s safety and well-being, it can create a sense of anxiety and stress in the children themselves – believing that everything and everyone is out to get them. This can make it difficult for children to relax and enjoy their lives.
Helicopter parenting can interfere with children’s social development. When parents are constantly intervening in their children’s friendships and social interactions, it can be difficult for children to learn how to make friends and interact with others on their own. This can lead to children who are socially isolated and who have difficulty forming healthy relationships.
If you are a helicopter parent, there are a few things you can do to start giving your children more independence. Begin by gradually giving them more responsibility for their own lives. This could mean letting them choose their own clothes, make their own snacks and maybe even meals, or walk to school with their classmates. As they prove themselves capable, you can gradually give them more responsibility.
Try to resist the urge to rescue your child from every challenge they face. Let them experience what it feels like to fail or suffer a setback and then help them learn how to avoid having it happen again. They will learn and grow under your supervision instead of having their first experience of failure while away at college.
Focus on building your children’s self-esteem. Encourage them and praise them for their accomplishments. Help them to see that they are capable and competent. By giving your children more independence and teaching them to believe in themselves, you can help them to thrive and succeed in life. Help them understand what responsible adults look like by being a role model. Show your children how to be independent and self-sufficient by modeling these behaviors yourself. They will thank you one day by doing the same for your grandchildren.