Having a child teaches you the true meaning of unconditional love. It’s the purest kind of love there is. Almost all parents want what’s best for their children, they want to protect them from everything bad and they love them probably even more than themselves. However, sometimes they may become over-protective and intrusive, halting their child’s personal growth. If that sounds familiar you may be a helicopter parent.
Helicopter parents are people who are too focused on their child’s life. These people are overprotective and over-involved.
They’re known to trust their kids with no responsibility always believing they’re too young or too fragile to do it.
The funny thing is we all have the tendencies to be a helicopter parent at times. It’s therefore important to realize at what times are we overstepping the line and why is it a bad idea to be a helicopter parent.
Signs that show you’re a helicopter parent
1. Their fights become your fights
If your young one comes home after a fight with their friend and confides in you, the first thing you decide to do is call their friend’s mother and try to resolve the situation for them. This is a classic example of helicopter parenting.
In the long run, this behavior is actually harmful to your child.
Your child should be able to resolve their fights themselves. It’s absolutely crucial for a child’s growth to be able to learn how to have healthy relationships and how to maintain them.
2. You’re constantly telling them what to do
They are solely dependent on you throughout the day because you have planned out each and every activity of theirs. You’re often telling them when to study when to sleep when to eat etc.
This isn’t doing them any favors you’re in turn conditioning them to need you all the time and making them mentally handicapped.
They should be able to decide which time suits what activity perfectly and how to maintain a schedule best suited for them.
3. You keep tabs on them
You feel the need to be aware of their whereabouts 24/7. You are compulsively asking their teachers and professors about their progress in their respective institutions.
What you may think of as a sign of love, children may find to be intrusive and embarrassing.
You don’t need to time their every breath and know their whereabouts for every second. They should be allowed to have some time for themselves and you should be able to trust them.
Why is it bad?
The million dollar question, however, is why is helicopter parenting a bad way to raise a child? How can everything that you do purely out of love have a long term negative effect on your kid?
In nature, it is observed that you’re only supposed to be around your young ones for a certain amount of time after that time their life is their own struggle to go through.
You actually prolong your child’s adolescence by being overprotective. It makes them partial to new ideas and ways as they’re so dependent and used to their old ones.
Adults with helicopter parents to be suffering from social anxiety and depression. The reason for mental issues in children is that you’re posing the world to be a dangerous place where they aren’t safe unless accompanied by you.
You can’t protect them from everything. Heartbreak and failure is a part of life which helps you grow way more than success and happiness.
By not letting them face challenges and heartbreak you’re stealing an opportunity from them to learn. And that in the long term isn’t good.
How to stop it?
Parenting isn’t an easy task whatsoever. And you are not going to be executing it with robotic perfection. It’s important to know that we all have moments where we can be weak and end up exhibiting helicopter parenting and that is okay. We can always improve and be better parents.
Now that we’ve established that helicopter parenting isn’t the greatest way to raise your children it’s time to look at a few ways to break your habits of being one.
- Next time they come to you angry or upset over a fight they had with someone, try to be a good listener to them. Encourage them to be independent.
- Let them plan out their day, do their homework themselves. They should be able to tackle small daily troubles and grow from it.
- Support their creativity instead of imposing your own opinions on them. Let them come up with innovative solutions to their problems.
- Do not let them get out of the situation easily. If they have done something wrong let them suffer the consequences unless the consequences are unfair. Do not try to spoon feed them through life.
- Let them be aware of their weaknesses and strengths. It’s important for one to know their weaknesses and strength to navigate through life.
Some of these may be a little hard to swallow for some of you however, it’s important to realize that it is an ongoing process. You don’t wake up one day and become the perfect parents if such a thing even exists. You make efforts and small changes every day to get better at it.
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