Are You a Helicopter Parent?

Believe it or not, there are pros and cons to helicopter parenting

The term “helicopter parent” refers to a parent who resembles a helicopter by hovering closely over his or her children to monitor – and try to “help” with – everything they do.

In interesting research, a comparison was made between super-involved parents and aircrafts by Dr. Haim Ginott in a book published in 1969 entitled Between Parent and Teenager. In the book, Ginot explains that helicopter parents sometimes do their children’s homework and/or choose friends for their children during their youth. He goes on to explain that in adulthood, helicopter parents may contact college professors and employers on behalf of their grown children whether or not they wish them to do so. Ginot cautions that this careful, hyper-involved parenting style is usually done out of a loving desire to shield children from physical harm and emotional pain, but it doesn’t always yield optimistic results in the long run.

Dr. Haim Ginott | 98thPercentile

Helicopter Parenting Pros and Cons Chart:

Pros

Physical Health

  • Helicopter parents know where their children are at all times, which keeps them safe.

Social Health

  • Children with helicopter parents tend to be more involved in school activities and special programs than their classmates who have neglectful parents because the involved families are willing to bring children to events, like sporting games or art shows.
  • Children trust they can go to parents for help, which in turn helps them trust others.

Mental Health

  • Children who are never neglected or ignored by caregivers tend to feel secure about themselves and humanity as a whole.
  • Some helicopter parents are critical of their children and others are complimentary; those with parental figures who shower them with praise feel confident and loved.

Cons

Physical Health

  • When parents have overly concerned reactions to any and every minor injury and illness of their children, then the youths tend to fret over them too, which makes them unable to build resilience.

Social Health

  • Children may be unable to develop healthy, normal relationships with peers and teachers due to their parents being too involved in their social lives.
  • Children lose trust in helicopter parents in adolescence due to lack of privacy.
  • Children are unable to develop independence and remain dependent on the parent.

Mental Health

  • Children develop low self-esteem and a sense of personal inadequacy when parents do not trust them to do tasks independently.
  • Children have low motivation (and may become lazy or entitled) if they are accustomed to parents doing everything for them.
  • Children with parents who worry frequently about things being perfect can become anxious perfectionists themselves.
  • Children feel constant pressure to please helicopter parents rather than focusing on their own personal goals.

Above chart shows there are more drawbacks than benefits for children raised by helicopter parents. To prevent raising a child with the problems described above, parents with hovering tendencies ought to identify the causes of their over-involvement and takes steps to ease up so their children are granted the freedom to achieve independent success.

5 Causes of Helicopter Parenting:

5 Ways to Avoid Helicopter Parenting:

Giving children tools to succeed on their own is one of the best gifts parents can give. If your child is struggling in language arts or math in school, resist doing his homework for him and ask his teacher for help. You can also get your child educational games and a tutor, like the ones at 98thPercentile at https://98thpercentile.azurewebsites.net/.

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