Are you finding yourself with no time away from your child’s schedule? Does your child want time away from you? You’re probably “helicopter parenting!” Here’s our complete guide on how to break out of it!
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Every parent has a different parenting style. The one that has been getting a lot of flak lately is “helicopter parenting”.
At GoStudent we know that you only want the best for your child. That's why we'll guide you through how you can fall into the trap of helicopter parenting and how to avoid it! 🚁
What is helicopter parenting and what causes it? 🤔
Much like a helicopter, helicopter parents are seen “hovering” around their kids (usually over 10+ years old). So much so, that they become obsessed over every aspect of their children's lives. 🤯
Typical helicopter parents will be running from playing cricket, to painting, to piano class and yet another extra-curricular activity during the week. Helicopter parents are always involved in their kids' lives.
What are the signs of helicopter parenting you shouldn’t ignore? 🤔
👉 #1 Perfectionism
🔥 Expert Tip: “Helicopter parenting comes from a place of trying to be the perfect parent,” says Washington-based Denise DeRosa; founder of digital wellness advisory organisation Cyber Sensible. “All parents want to do is maximise opportunities for their kids. So they try to constantly enrich their kids’ lives.”
👉 #2 An unhappy child
🔥 Expert Tip: “One of the biggest signs is when your kids start to tell you that they are unhappy with how much you're around,” says DeRosa. “That’s when I think parents really have to recognize their kids’ needs and not just their own needs.”
👉 #3 Pushback from kids
Another indicator that DeRosa feels suggests you might be a helicopter parent is when you begin to get a “pushback” from kids. Perhaps in the form of rebellion such as not sticking to their curfew, or refusing to help around the house.
👉 #4 Fear
The worst nightmare for any parent is to feel that their child might be in danger and they could have done something to avoid it. Sometimes, there's little relief at home too, with worries about how to keep kids safe online.
🔥 Expert Tip: “Much of helicopter parenting is a result of this fear being compounded by the media,” says DeRosa. “Parents register all the worst-case scenarios that have hurt other kids and that is why they don't want their own children out of their sight.”
De Rosa feels that as long as children want to be left by themselves or with their friends in a safe environment, parents should be able to oblige.
Is helicopter parenting harmful to kids? 🤔
Helicopter parenting can adversely affect students mental health and social development.
❇️ Students may not know how to take care of themselves as parents always intervene.
❇️ Students can lack confidence when it comes to making their own decisions as parents always do this for them.
❇️ Students will find it difficult to take responsibility for their own happiness and wellbeing.
🔥 Expert Tip: “By helicopter parenting, you can rob your child of preparing to take care of themselves,” says DeRosa. “And when the time comes for them to leave home, they’re going to feel like they are being thrown off a cliff.”
Is helicopter parenting harmful to parents? 🤔
Helicopter parenting can be considered the exact opposite of stress-free parenting. This parenting style is harmful to both parents and their children. It's important to let your child explore and learn from their mistakes. By encouraging independence, you'll decrease your burden and minimise stress knowing that your child is capable of doing things for themselves.
Does helicopter parenting cause anxiety? 🤔
DeRosa feels helicopter parenting induces anxiety for a number of reasons :
- Due to the obsessive nature of helicopter parenting, parents will feel that they’re never doing enough.
- Parents are always taking care of their kids and never themselves.
- Parents find that both they and their children are exhausted due to the lack of space from one another.
- Parents will feel they have no purpose or time for interests beyond their child’s schedule.
- A sense of emptiness will take over when kids leave home and parents don’t know what to do with their time anymore.
How can you fix helicopter parenting? 🤔
DeRosa feels the way to putting an end to helicopter parenting is “to let go.”
This can be the “hardest part” of parenting because it’s sad to know that you aren’t needed as much as your child gets older.
👉 Giving Responsibilities
DeRosa feels parents who want to stop helicopter parenting should start giving their child a few responsibilities around the house. ✊
This way kids will be gradually prepared for independence. While parents will start to have time for themselves.
👉 Finding Purpose
Newfound freedom for kids and parents can be scary! 😟
DeRosa feels that in those moments of what might feel like dread, parents need to resolve to consciously do things that are separate from their child.
Whether that means going back to work, pursuing interests or reconnecting with their social and romantic lives!
🔥 Expert Tip: “If you’re still struggling to let go,” says DeRosa,“ think about the fact that without space to breathe from each other you and most definitely your child won’t be able to grow.”
👉 Allow Boredom
When you take a step back from students’ schedules you might find that in your eyes they’re not always ‘productive.’
DeRosa insists that the way to quit helicopter parenting is also to allow children to get bored – which often leads to great things like self-reflection and creativity. 🎨
🔥 Expert Tip: “With parenting you know you are successful at your job when you get fired from it,” says DeRosa. “That is the paradox of parenting.”
At GoStudent we’d like to give parents full support with students’ academic lives, so they can make time for themselves. Book a trial lesson with us! 🚀