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Helicopter Parenting and How It Impacts Children

Helicopter Parenting

We're all on the parenting journey, and sometimes, our overflowing love might lead us to hover a bit too close. Helicopter parenting, also known as overparenting or care-intensive parenting, is when our care goes into overdrive. However, parenting is about finding that sweet spot between being there for our little ones and letting them spread their wings. In this blog, we will learn about 'helicopter parenting', understand its long-term impact on our children, and try to find the right balance.

What is Helicopter Parenting?

Helicopter Parenting is a type of parenting style where parents, driven by parental overprotection, micromanaging parenting, excessive involvement, and constant supervision, tend to be over-involved in their offspring’s life. Parents do it purely out of love and care, but it may hinder or negatively impact their mental health, self-esteem, coping skills, and cause other developmental issues

5 Long-Term Impact of Helicopter Parenting on Our Little Ones

While the desire to protect and guide our children runs deep, adopting the helicopter parenting approach might accidentally become a detour in their developmental journey. It's crucial to acknowledge that fostering independence and resilience, promoting autonomy, emotional development, coping skills, and instilling a sense of responsibility are integral to a child's healthy growth. Let us look at some not-so-favorable effects it has on our tiny humans.

  • Decreased Confidence & Self-Esteem – We all wish for our tiny tornadoes to radiate confidence and self-esteem. Yet, the mission takes a hit when we limit their exploration, stifle their creativity, and don't allow them to discover things independently. Keep in mind that confidence grows through experience. When they get some sense of accomplishment, it becomes the ultimate confidence booster!   

  • Inability to Cope with Emotions and Failures – Children are like tiny packets filled with loads of emotions to express. However, if parents are constantly swooping in to solve every issue, they miss out on learning how to handle dissatisfaction, loss, or failure. Hence, helicopter parenting might lead to maladaptive behaviours in children. 

  • Increased Anxiety – Overparenting tends to result in heightened stress and anxiety levels among children. This is because, as we discussed earlier, they struggle to cope with their emotions. What's even more shocking is that researchers have found this to be true even for college students. It's a striking example of the long-term effects of helicopter parenting on our little humans. 

  • Sense of Entitlement - Children who've had their social, academic, and athletic adventures closely choreographed by their parents might start expecting things to always go their way. This expectation could pop up in different parts of their lives, making it tricky to build up resilience, problem-solving, and a down-to-earth view of the world. 

  • Non-Existent Life Skills – Our cozy home differs significantly from the outside world. Parents who always cater to their every whim risk leaving their little ones ill-equipped for the challenges that lay ahead. This overprotection can lead to difficulties in problem-solving down the road. That is why helicopter parenting can have devastating effects on the lives of children. 


How to Avoid Helicopter Parenting?

How can we empower our little ones without stifling their growth in essential life skills? As parents or caregivers, it's about keenly observing their challenges, victories, and emotions while staying focused on moulding them into capable individuals. This entails letting them solve their own challenges, dealing with disappointments, and assisting them in overcoming setbacks. It's the art of allowing them to tackle tasks commensurate with their physical and mental capabilities.

In simple terms, allow your child to chart their course to success, by fostering independence, coping skills, and resilience. They'll blossom into the individuals you aspire them to be. After all, whether in childhood or adulthood, life is an ongoing journey of learning! 

Be the Net When They Fall

In a nutshell, you don’t want your offspring to live in a perfect bubble. You want them to explore and experience everything. And that cannot happen with the helicopter parent constantly circling. As caregivers, we can't shield them from every fall, but we can serve as a safety net, offering comfort, and motivating them to persevere. 

With time, your child will develop the resilience to confront their fears—be it taking those first steps, scoring a goal in football, or mastering counting. Patience is key, and before you know it, they'll be prepared to venture beyond the nest, ready to embrace new challenges and opportunities!

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