Parenting is a very difficult and delicate task as well. Every parent takes a lot of effort towards the welfare of the child. Your affection for your ward is undoubtedly endless. But have you ever wondered about the types of parenting that might harm your child’s growth?
Helicopter parenting is one such type which is not good beyond the limits. Many of us wonder about what helicopter parenting actually means.
The term ‘Helicopter parenting’ was first used in a book by Dr. Haim Ginotte named ‘Parents and Teenagers’. This was used by teens while talking about their parents. Parent’s over-focus on child’s activities, constant instructions, and zero time of their own is a part of such parenting. Children and teenagers may find it difficult to make decisions as the parents constantly hover over them like a helicopter. This is the actual meaning of ‘Helicopter parenting’.
One may not realize when and how one switched from normal parenting to helicopter parenting. This happens because of the concern about the child. Helping the child in a difficult situation involves in parent’s role but allowing them to grow as an independent adult is also inevitable. How would you recognize that you are shifting towards helicopter parenting? You can do this through self-analysis. Parents should throw some questions to the self. The questions below may help you to recognize it.
- Do you always stand next to your child?
- Do you instruct the child each and every time, even while playing?
- Does the imagination of sending your child on a picnic with friends scare you?
- Do you not allow the child to choose things and to give an opinion about something?
- Do you interfere in fixing the small fight with the child’s best friend?
- Do you prefer answering on behalf of your ward?
- Do you have your constant eye on your child?
- Do you don’t allow them to learn some skills like skating, swimming, athletics just because of your over concern?
If your answers are ‘Yes’ then you must know the consequences of this. Here are some common results that can be seen.
In Helicopter parenting everything about the child is decided and guided by parents thus the child may lack decision making qualities. The child may seek your help even in small queries. This can hamper overall personality development.
Keeping the note of everything about the teenagers can frown them easily. Independence of thoughts and decisions is the basic right of the growing teen. They crave it with a growth mindset. Helicopter parenting in such situations can lose the grace in parent-teen relationship.
According to the ‘Self Determination Theory’ by Edward Deci and Richard Rayn, three needs which may result in a feeling of satisfaction of human about life are
- The basic need for autonomy
- The basic need to be confident in one’s abilities and accomplishments
- The basic need to feel they are loved and cared for
These needs are not satisfied in helicopter parenting which results in the child’s dissatisfaction. Constant interference in a teenager’s life can make them anxious.
If you are a helicopter parent and you continue this even in the teenage of the child, you may come across. You may find the child’s changed the perception about you. The term may try to keep you away from them and from the things related to them.
Tips to avoid hovering over the child
- Parents should treat the child according to their age group. You may help a toddler in tieing the shoelaces but should allow 8 years old child to do it by self.
- Allow them to choose things for themselves. This can incorporate decision making.
- Let them fix an issue with a friend. Ask them about their opinion and ensure them that discussing things can derive a solution.
- Learn to give the teens their own time and privacy. Firing so many questions may result in irritation for them. Above all, trust your child.
- Don’t pressurize them to be flawless every time. Accept the work in the way they have done. You should guide them for betterment but should never force them for it.
- Let them take risks for their well-being. If the child is willing to learn something new you should encourage it. Tell them that their view matters.
- Allow the children to answer the questions they are being asked by the people around them. This will not only boost their confidence but you will also get to know about your child’s thought process.
- Give them small tasks and allow them to do it by themselves. Don’t try to help the child, just let them explore and learn. You should learn to leave the room.
- Allow your child to play with other children. Don’t interfere with them. The children learn teamwork and socializing with friends gradually.
- You should accept the fact that the child is growing as an independent personality. You can help the child to reinforce the personality by learning various skills.
The key to avoiding helicopter parenting is to trust the child. Believing that the children can manage a few things efficiently and allowing them to do so is the core of good parenting.
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