Are you a helicopter parent? Look for these 4 signs

Helicopter parent

Credits: The Strait Times, Singapore

Tanya and Tanmay have always tried to be better parents to their children. But when COVID pandemic struck, they came too close to their children and connected well with them. They started spending time with their children engaging in different activities to support their development. But eventually, this engagement became overpowering actions on Sophie and Ryan. Tanya and Tanmay would pay very very close attention to every activity. This means that they were slowly turning into what is termed as ‘helicopter parent’.

Both Tanya and Tanmay started observing few changes in their children after a few months into pandemic. They could not understand what was wrong for a very long time. When the online schooling began, some of the changes they observed also became evident to their class teachers. On discussion with the teachers, Tanya and Tanmay realised that they were overpowering and pressurising their children in every activity they did.

Sophie was impacted heavily with the helicopter parenting. So Sophie’s teacher helped Tanya and Tanmay reflect on their behaviour that were actually the symptoms of helicopter parenting. So you can consider these 4 signs and check for your own self whether or not you are a helicopter parent:

Helicopter parents are overprotective

Tanya and Tanmay would be always around their children at home. They wouldn’t let them play on their own or even go in the kitchen to grab a glass of water. As parents they would fear that either Sophie and Ryan would hurt themselves or simply spoil the kitchen platform. Tanya could not think of the idea that children need their own space to learn. She would keep them away from all the difficult tasks. This made the children very much dependent on adult for doing their tasks.

Helicopter parent will fear failure

Failure is always the best teacher – A helicopter parent will always undermine this statement. With spending more and more time within the family, both Tanya and Tanmay wanted their children to only succeed. Be it building blocks of tower or able to write a word, they would just simply push them in the direction of success. This resulted in stress for Sophie and Ryan whenever they failed. Every time they would encounter a failure, they would not know how to deal with it.

Helicopter parent will not allow to help

Tanya would simply not allow children to contribute to the household chores. She would either do all her tasks on her own or invite Tanmay to lend a help. She did not had trust that her children could do laundry or help her in laying the dinner table well. Not allowing children to participate in the household chores at the young age could deprive them of responsibilities and basic skills when they grow up. They may feel helpless. Sophie’s class teacher said she wasn’t showing any peculiar signs of helplessness but this can be a possibility in the future.

Helicopter parents will answer on their behalf

Because the school sessions were virtual, parents were trained to accompany children during these sessions. This was simply to help children with the new technology and support them during activities. But Sophie’s teacher observed that Tanya would always respond to questions on behalf of Sophie. The teacher observed this for quite a longtime before raising a ticket to Tanya and Tanmay. This can lead to lower self-esteem and confidence in young children.

Helicopter parents will defunct negative emotions

As a result of all the above symptoms, Tanya and Tanmay would simply keep their children away from the feeling of sadness and failure. They would feel that it is best for the children to stay away from sufferings or inconvenience. This was making it difficult for Sophie to regulate her emotions whenever she faced anything negative during her online sessions.

Every parent wants best for their children. However, if you relate to the above 4 symptoms then you should be aware that helicopter parenting can leave adverse effects on children’s life. The pressure from a helicopter parent goes long way with the children, sometimes even in their adulthood. It prevents the children from taking decisions, regulate emotions, take up responsibility and become independent. Tanya and Tanmay certainly realised all of this. They made efforts to move back to normal parenting and tried their best not to keep hovering around children all the time.