Helicopter Parenting in the 21st Century
Helicopter parenting was first described by a psychologist in 1969, referring to the habit of closely monitoring or hovering over children and swooping in to their rescue whenever a problem arises. Helicopter parents are also referred to as bulldozer or lawnmower parents and usually take a significant responsibility for everything that happens in their children’s lives. They therefore micromanage the activity and behavior of their young ones (sometimes even teens) and act as a constant shadow in their lives.
Reasons behind Helicopter Parenting
This type of parenting is most often associated with the first child. However, it is often extended to the other children as well. Usually, the first child is most often lavished with parental attention at times bordering on helicopter parenting but then it is extended to all the other children in the family for a number of reasons:
This is one of the most common factors behind this parenting style. If you want to avoid being a helicopter parent it is recommended to not watch the news. Especially in today’s state of the world with all the craziness independent of any political leaning. There seems to be no taboo that will not be discussed in the media or in entertainment. In the past such things would be discussed late at night when children were less apt to be up to watch television. When people are on t.v. for no particular reason than just because of a scandal, that is not a good thing. These are factors that might push helicopter parents to try and take control of their children’s lives in order to shield them from harm.
Individuals who grew up feeling neglected or ignored could subconsciously end up trying to compensate for these
feelings by being involved to excessive levels in the lives of their children. They end up showering them with attention and constantly monitoring them in order to cover the psychological deficiency that they might have felt growing up.
Pressure from your peers is not something that is done among young kids and teenagers. While it may not be as prevalent it can be an important reason why some parents behave certain ways with their kids. Parents normally take a keen interest in the parenting style of other parent around them. They might therefore gradually turn into helicopter parents by merely watching other similar parents at it. What triggers this reaction is that letting nature take its course for your child while others are shielded may make one feel guilty of
being a bad parent.
Preventing Perceived Failure
All parents experience some level of fear for their children as they face various challenges in life. Any parent
would want their child to get the best possible grades in school, to get into a prestigious college, to make their preferred sports team and to land their desired job. When they feel that they can do something to prevent failure in
these and other aspects of life, some go ahead and intervene.
Effects of Helicopter Parenting
The intention behind this kind of parenting is certainly positive as all parents only want the best for their
children of all ages. While there are some positive results experienced from this parenting style, there is need to exercise balance so as to avoid some common negative effects.
Here are some Pros and Cons of Helicopter Parenting:
- Being involved in your children’s lives makes it possible to detect even the slightest behavioral changes that are at times warning signs for serious problems. This makes it possible to prevent disastrous habits that might otherwise wreck their lives.
- It gives parents the opportunity to enjoy every stage of their children’s development.
- Children grow up knowing they have a strong support system backing them up and they can always turn to their parents when times are tough.
- Some children of helicopter parents do not learn to think independently and might therefore become highly dependent on parents even into adulthood.
- The anxiety that at times is the root cause of this kind of parenting is infectious and might make the child grow up afraid, anxious and even depressed.
What brings Parenting Success
Every form of parenting has its good parts as well as its bad parts. To be the best parent that you can be, should be done with an open mind and a major heap of common sense. Like in Chinese culture there is always a Yin to a Yang. Everything must be balanced to achieve true success and happiness.