Helicopter Parenting: A Concept That Doesn’t Fly

Parents naturally want to be involved in their child’s life. A parent wants to take whatever measures necessary to protect them and keep them healthy. Helicopter parenting isn’t the answer though.

It’s true that your child needs your guidance and support as they develop and learn how to navigate their way through life. It’s easy to feel like you can never be too involved, but there is such a thing as being over-controlling. The concept of over-controlling or “hovering” over your child is called helicopter parenting. Helicopter parenting can pose many negative impacts on your child.

It has been linked to behavioral and emotion management issues in children as they get older. Parent often doesn’t allow their child to make their own decisions or learn to cope with consequences of their behavior. When the child is on their own, they struggle to self-navigate. This form of parenting essentially fosters a type of dependence that is hard to “outgrow”.

Acknowledge your Hovering Habit

It is easy to be a helicopter parent without knowing. It’s always a good idea to self-reflect and catch yourself before it becomes a bigger issue. Here are some signs that you may fall into the micro-managing category:

  • The first thing you did when your child came home crying because her best friend was mean to her was call her best friend’s mom to sort out the situation yourself.
  • You have found yourself up doing your child’s homework because you know that they could have done a better job.
  • Heart palpitations hit you at the thought of letting your child go on a field trip with their class.
  • You and your child are having a meeting with the teacher and when she asks them a question you answer it for them.

How to stop Hovering

You shouldn’t acknowledge that you are a helicopter parent and stop there. It’s important that you take action and make changes. If you are unsure of where to start here are some tips:

1. Take note. The first thing you should do is analyze what you are doing for your child that they could and should be doing for themselves. Write a list.
2. Learn to nobody is perfect. The bed may not be made perfectly and their grades may not always be A’s. Give feedback when asked, but leave it up to them to make corrections. Effort is all you can ask for.
3. Let them fight their own battles. If someone isn’t sharing that’s too bad. If he has had a falling out with a best friend that’s something for them to work through. You can still be a shoulder to cry on and actively listen to coach through some situations, but (with a few exceptions) it’s up to them to work it out.
4. Allow them to take risks. Let your child fail. This is a part of life’s teachable moments. Teach themselves to pick up and move forward. Do better next time. It’s all part of life. They will gain confidence and learn to cope better when they do not come out on top every time.

Asheville Academy can help

Asheville Academy is a residential treatment program for girls ages 10-14. This program is designed to help young girls who struggle with life’s demands. Asheville Academy provides a warm, home-setting that is conducive for influencing positive change in the lives of the students. Students leave this program feeling more confident and capable of grasping life’s challenges and handling them in a healthy way. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 800-264-8709

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