Helicopter parents, you’re stressing your kids out

So-called helicopter parents are being urged to ‘pull back’ and help children solve problems for themselves, after a study found their ‘intrusiveness’ makes youngsters self-critical, anxious and depressed.


Helicopter parenting aka overparenting has long been raising eyebrows when it comes to child rearing styles or methods. In fact, this parenting style has been highly criticized for impeding the development of autonomy and resilience in children that often result to overly sheltered and unprepared young adults.

Helicopter parenting can weaken the self-esteem of a child. Another problem seen in overparenting is the fact that parents often deprive their children to learn coping skills, especially when they feel frustrated, disappointed or stressed. In addition, helicopter parenting also undermines the opportunity of children to become resilient and self-reliant kids. They often lack the freedom to explore, to discover and to pursue new learnings.

In a recent study, scientists at the National University of Singapore tested 253 kids with intrusive parents and determined that Mom and Dad’s constant hovering is driving up their anxiety. The study showed that “60 percent were found to be increasingly self-critical, while 78 percent showed signs of ‘socially-prescribed’ perfectionism, described as a rejection of personal flaws based on the expectations of society.”

Everyone wants their kids to succeed, but success isn’t solely based on getting a passing grade. It’s about learning from your mistakes, and coping with failure, and discovering what works for you. Controlling your kids’ lives to make sure they don’t make a misstep isn’t teaching them to succeed, it’s teaching them they can’t possibly succeed on their own. These kids aren’t learning anything except what it’s like to constantly have someone looking over your shoulder while simultaneously breaking every fall. There’s a difference between offering parental support and always stepping in to save the day.

Instead of training their kids to succeed, these parents are damning them to a lifetime of unhealthy expectations, expectations which can’t possibly be met when Mommy or Daddy isn’t there to enter the right answers for them.

As a result of helicopter parenting, coddled kids usually depend on other people to fix their problems. But how can it be fixed? The answer is simple - parents should stop coddling and making their children feel victims, Belief Net reveals.

Finally, parents should also stop shielding their children from the harsh realities of life and the world because overprotecting them doesn't help them to cope and become resilient. Parents should also allow their kids to experience failures.

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