5 Signs of Being a Helicopter Parent

A helicopter parent is a parent who is overly involved in their child’s life, to the point of micromanagement. While it is important for parents to be involved in their child’s life, it is also important to allow children to learn how to make their own choices and pursue their own natural wants and ambitions. Often, a helicopter parent is heavily involved in their child’s academic studies, and the parents project their own set of expectations as to what the child wants or what their child should be good at. Children of helicopter parents feel as though they are being followed everywhere, and that their parents hover over them like a helicopter. This can cause the child to lash out in sometimes interesting and often dangerous ways.

One symptom of helicopter parenting is that while parents are heavily involved and present in their child’s life, they are characteristically not there for their children psychologically. Helicopter parents often have unreasonable expectations of their children without understanding what the child is naturally gifted at or what the child aspires to achieve in life. This can result in many negative behavioral, psychological and emotional effects. In order for a parent to avoid being a helicopter parent, he or she must first understand the signs of helicopter parenting and listen for clues to evaluate whether or not they are hovering too closely.

Here are 5 signs of a helicopter parent

Over-protection

A helicopter parent has a hard time allowing their children to interact with others. Helicopter parents may see their child in a disagreement on the playground or elsewhere and immediately intervene so that their child is not a victim of another child. Instead, it is important for children to learn how to interact with their peers so that they can learn for themselves how they want to deal with situations as they occur.

Too much gear

Helicopter parents are known for bringing the most baggage at any event. Being too prepared can zap the fun out of entertainment events. A child cannot be expected to carry a backpack everywhere with clothes, towels, food, sunscreen, umbrella, antiseptic, first aid kit, etc. A kid just wants to be a kid. Sure, it is important to be prepared for many situations, but unless parents are travelling hours away from home, it could be just as easy, if not easier to abandon an event and head home than to load each kid up like a pack mule full of survival gear for every trip to the park.

Heavy involvement in a child’s schoolwork

Parents who are too involved in their children’s schoolwork are often referred to as helicopter parents. Parents can provide lots of information and can be great teachers and tutors for their children, but the parents’ time for primary education is over. Parents should not do their children’s schoolwork for them, and should not do their children’s projects. This will result in stifling a child’s creativity and teachers may notice when an assignment is too well done and not give the children credit for the assignment. A helicopter parent calls their child’s school more than once a week to try and understand every detail about their child’s education.

Not allowing a child to make decisions

Some parents see their children as another chance at childhood. A helicopter parent projects their own interests, aspirations and desires onto their children and don’t bother to ask if the child is interested in certain after-school activities before enrolling them into some program that the child finds uninteresting or humiliating.

Treating the child like a business investment

When someone is heavily invested in a corporation, they have a vested interest in how that business is ran. Helicopter parents often act like business executives in charge of their child’s return on investment. Helicopter parents may act like public relations specialists, grooming their children for auditions and demanding success at everything. The micromanagement of their children’s lives is getting worse, as cell phones make it easier for a parent to intervene to direct or intervene in their child’s choices without allowing the child to naturally succeed at what they are good at. This does not allow children to be independent and stifles their ability to mature into responsible adults.

In many ways, it is extremely important for parents to be a part of their children’s lives. Parents should know what their children are up to and understand each of their children’s individual aptitude, attitude and inclinations. Parents can be great teachers for their children and offer the most memorable guidance in their children’s lives. While it is very important to stay involved and know what is going on at all times, it is also important to know when to step back and allow the children to think for themselves.

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