Have you ever seen a helicopter parent: he or she is one who hovers around their child all the time, is concerned with the slightest issue that the child faces and who want to cosset and protect their child against all possible harm at all times. These are parents who oversee every little detail of their child’s life; especially anything to do with their educational performance. If this sounds at all familiar, you really should read on.
They know what their child is doing at all times, they try to schedule every minute and also want to know and hopefully control whom their child is friends with. They react the instant the child appears hurt, invest in protective gear and protect the child from the slightest hint of danger/germs/infection or anything remotely harmful.
If the child does badly in school it is most likely the fault of the teacher. If the child gets into fights it is always the other kid’s fault. Because their own kid is a paragon of virtue who can do no wrong!
Since the child is always protected, cosseted, monitored and looked after, he or she doesn’t have the chance to grow naturally, to fall, make their own mistakes.
A scraped knee, a fall at the swings, a minor cut, a fever are all grounds for panic and every little problem is a crisis that needs urgent and expert solutions. Such overreaction means a child who grows up with a sense of entitlement and a misguided sense of their own importance.
The parents are around when the child is playing, they help with homework, they ensure that everything that needs doing is done for the child. And there you have a child without any idea about the dignity of labor!
The concerned, worried, ‘helpful’ parent results in children who are unable to function independently, or to learn from their own mistakes. There is such a thing as being too caring.
Yes it’s a dangerous world out there. There are bad people around and kids could get hurt. But protecting kids all the time, refusing to let them be in any situation that is even potentially harmful curbs their development, and hampers their ability to learn life skills, sagacity and the ability to cope with problems.
The parent pretends to lose games, protects the child from any disappointments and never points out faults, because this could negatively impact self esteem. When the child goes out into the real world, there are some nasty shocks in store!
As kids grow they need space, some amount of privacy and the freedom to make at least some of their own decisions; yes even bad decisions, in some cases.
The parent is opening themselves up to a world of pain when the child is not around to fuss around and to make the center of their universe. Helicopter parenting is just not worth it – spare yourself; more importantly spare your child.
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