Are you trying to be the best parent you could be but are worried you might be smothering your child? Are you worried that you might be overbearing or too involved as a parent? Are you giving your child/ren enough freedom? A helicopter parent is a term used for parents who hover over their children like a helicopter, taking on too much responsibility for what happens in their children’s lives. It means a parent who is trying to have a sense of control over every single thing in their children’s lives in an overprotective and overbearing way. Although the intentions of this parenting style are good, it could ultimately have negative effects on a child long-term. Children need to be given the freedom to learn from their mistakes and have a sense of independence. Are you a helicopter parent? Take this quiz to find out.
1. If your child is a short walking distance from a friend’s house and they are going over to play, what would you do?
A. Drive them or walk them
B. Let them walk, but watch them walk there and insist they call as soon as they get there
C. Let them walk and ask them to check-in at a certain time
2. If your child is going to a drop-off birthday party for a friend, what do you do?
A. Drive them there and stay at the party
B. Drive them there and stay for a little while to make sure they are okay
C. Drop them off and tell them to call if they need anything
3. If your child is out with friends or away at college, how often do you check in with them?
A. Several times a day
B. At least once a day
C. Hopefully once a day, but if they forget to check-in, I know they are just having fun and will call/text the next day
4. Do you do your child’s school work?
5. Does your child have chores around the house?
6. Do you get overly cautious about risky activities that every child engages in, such as climbing a tree, playing sports, or riding their bike?
A. Yes, I always keep a close eye on them and let them know when they are going too far, i.e., riding too fast, climbing too high, being too rough
B. Sometimes I get nervous, but I try to let them have their freedom
C. No, I want them to be safe, but I also want them to be a kid
7. Are you afraid to let your child fail?
8. If your child is doing a task or a project and they aren’t doing it right, do you tend to take it over to make sure they are doing it the right way?
A. Yes, if they are going to do something, they should do it right
B. Sometimes I do. It depends on what it is
C. No, I think it’s important for them to be able to learn from their mistakes
9. As a toddler, were you a parent who didn’t let your child leave your sight and constantly direct their behavior?
10. Would you tell a coach they are doing a bad job for not allowing your child enough playtime, call a teacher about a bad grade, or control your child’s eating and exercise habits?