In the first part of this series, we dove into what a helicopter parent is, what it looks like, and why parents do it. In today’s post, we’ll expand on the topic and address why it can be harmful and how to remedy it.

Community Education Research Group provides the leading early education and childcare services in the DC area with three accommodating locations. Join us in the conclusion on the topic of helicopter parenting!

More On Helicopter Parenting

While we want the best for our kids, it can bring out the worst traits in us. Find out below why it can be damaging and what to do about it.

Why is helicopter parenting bad?

While being involved in your child’s life is very important, becoming a helicopter parent can be harmful to their emotional well-being. While child psychologists all agree that engaged parenting gives a child the sense of love, self-confidence, and support to grow, it is when it is too much that they can’t grow from failure. Failure teaches us so much and we gain new skills and insight into the world around us, and without it, we can’t completely develop into well-adjusted adults. Failure teaches resilience and the internal trust that we can handle it in the future. Children may also experience the following as a result of helicopter parenting:

  • Poor life skills – When the child has a parent there to always tie shoes, write reports, and advocate for them, it prevents them from being able to do these things themselves.
  • Anxiety – It is well-documented that children of helicopter parents are known to have increased depression and anxiety as a result of their parent always controlling and stepping in on their experiences.
  • Entitlement – When everything is a breeze for your children they learn to rely on that and expect that that will always be the case. Instead of learning how to manage money, they’ll depend that you’ll always do it for them!

How do you prevent becoming a helicopter parent?

There is a fine line between involved and helicopter parenting, but the biggest difference is control. At some point, you have to let go and let your child experience life — the successes and failures. Somewhere between the sweetness will be bitterness — empathize along with them but allow them to feel these big feelings. The struggle — for both of you — has to happen.

Communication Trumps Hovering

When you realize you can’t protect your child from every experience life hands them, this is where the conversation can begin. Talk about everything. Ask them questions about their feelings. When you engage your child this way you can be engaged while guiding them in the messy things we call feelings, and being able to navigate feelings is one of the best life skills you can give to them.

The intentions of helicopter parenting are out of love, but they quickly become crushing when your child can no longer experience their own life. Help your child thrive and meet them with empathy and a good conversation.

For an early childhood program that guides children to learn through success and failure, learn more about our programs today!