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What is Helicopter Parenting? It’s Signs & Effects on Kids

In today’s time, distractions are always there for children, so, as parents, it’s vital to keep a check on them. What are my kids doing on mobile? What are they talking to their friends about? Who are they playing with outdoors? What are their food habits? But we need to know how much pressure we need and at the same time fostering their independence. 

What does helicopter parenting mean? 

You need to understand the subtle difference between assisting your kid to draw and holding their hands throughout the drawing process. You need to let go of the hands after a few minutes and let your kid draw their heart out! 

Because if you don’t, the drawing will be yours and not your kids’ don’t forget this. 

Like a helicopter, when parents start hovering all the time over their kid’s activities, watching them minutely, protecting them all the time, following them in the house, and even eavesdropping on their conversation with others, then this style of parenting is known as helicopter parenting. These parents are generally strict and focus on every aspect of children’s lives from academics to personal problems & even social issues, they are everywhere.

Here’s what helicopter parenting look like:

Look out for these signs in your parenting to determine if you are unknowingly being a helicopter parent: 

  • Cling with them: Whether it’s playing with their friends, walking on the terrace, or even going to the washroom, if you are with your children all the time, then this may be a signal for you to give them space & nurture their independence.  
  • Become a shield: Do you overreact when your kid gets hurt? Do you answer questions on behalf of your kids even when your kid is capable enough to answer them? Do you fight with other children on behalf of your children? If the answer is yes, then you need to reevaluate your parenting style. 
  • Take every responsibility: Helicopter parents think that every work related to their kids is their responsibility. Everything which is connected to their children, they prefer doing all by themselves. From cleaning the house to putting their plates in the sink, from doing kitchen work to completing the homework, these parents do not let their children perform a single task.
  • Think about them: Parents who are so armoured towards their children always think about them. If children are in their schools, with friends, playing, studying, sleeping, these types of parents are always thinking about their kids.
  • Allowance: You do not allow your kids to go to their friends’ homes alone? You don’t let them eat anything which you didn’t cook? You do not allow them to do anything in your absence? If you are doing all this, then, sadly, you need to take a step back. 

Effects of helicopter parenting on children:

  • With helicopter parents, children face a lack of confidence well into adulthood. As all their jobs and work have been previously done by their parents. This stops them from doing anything on their own.
  • Parents don’t let their children do anything; this eventually makes their kids lazy because they get used to this. If kids do not get the chance to work, then doing nothing will become their habit.
  • Over-pampered children face difficulties on focusing on tasks without someone being on their head all the time. 
  • If someone asks something from the child and the parent replies then this prevents the child from speaking. And, if this scenario continues, then the child will try to speak as little as possible because he never got any chance to speak.
  • You’re hungry, you should do this, you are sleepy, you shouldn’t do this. When parents make even small decisions related to their children, they are reducing their kids’ decision-making power which is never a good thing.

How to avoid being a helicopter parent:

  • By letting your children do a few things on their own, you can avoid turning into a helicopter parent. These few things can be doing homework, putting plates in the sink, cleaning their study table, tying their shoelaces etc. 
  • If someone asks something to you children, let them answer. Do not interrupt them if they are talking to someone. 
  • Don’t feed them with your hands. Give them a separate plate of food and tell them to eat on their own. 
  • Don’t instruct them on every single thing. Let them make their small decisions. Don’t do those things which your children can do by themselves.

You need to keep the difference between guidance & hovering in mind. If you see some good changes in your children with this style, then it’s good but if your children are getting more aggressive and rebellious, then it’s time for a change. You should try to avoid a few things such as sitting next to your children all the time, doing their school work, giving them whatever they ask for, and pressuring them for good grades. If you avoid these things, then you are encouraging their independence & making them future ready. 


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