The Dangers Of Being A Helicopter Parent: Why You Should Back Off


Parenting Styles: Why Being A Helicopter Parent Is Not Effective
Giving your children all of the answers will prevent them from excelling in the real world.
  • Do you do all of the talking for your child?
  • Do they never talk to teachers, coaches, or other adults on their own?
  • If they are struggling in a class, do you call the teacher instead of letting your child discuss the situation with them? 
  • Do you answer for your child in all circumstances? 
  • Can your child speak to other adults at all?  Are they comfortable asking for what they need?

When parents navigate a situation for their child, they rob the child of that experience of communicating with another person with whom they have an issue. Children don't get to understand what the problem is or how to solve it. They also don't get to learn how to stand up for themselves. It also robs the child of the knowledge that sometimes they can have a reasonable conversation and still things don't go their way. The ability to communicate appropriately, learn from failure and that life isn't always fair are some of the most important life lessons.  

Parents want to feel needed. They want desperately for their children to be happy and successful adults. Many parents have redefined parenting as more than guiding their children but of controlling and manipulating every aspect of their lives. They are more than gentle observers; they have become invasive and over-involved adults who may actually be holding their children back rather than giving them the tools to succeed as adults. If your child is capable of doing something without you, they should be allowed to do so. Even if they don't do it well. That is how strength and tenacity are built. Think about this the next time you hover over your child, helping them with something they can and should probably do on their own. 


Lori Thuente, PhD, RN, is currently the Assistant Director for the DePaul University School of Nursing’s Master’s Entry into Nurse Practice program.  She lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago with her husband and two boys, age 8 and 11.

Lisa Kaplin is a psychologist and life coach at  She is a married mother of three children, age 21, 16, and 14.  You can reach her at

Article contributed by

Dr. Lisa Kaplin

YourTango Expert Partner

Dr. Lisa J. Kaplin is a life coach and psychologist you can reach her at:


Location: Chicago, IL
Credentials: CPC, ELI-MP, MS, PsyD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Lisa Kaplin:

3 Common Parenting Mistakes That Make Your Child's Life HARDER


Parenting is hard work, but sometimes we make it even harder on ourselves. This leads to unhappy parents, stressed out families, and you unable to enjoy your children's great moments. Need a few examples? Here are three ways parents make their lives (and their children's lives) far more stressful than necessary. I've also included ... Read more

No, Your Children Hitting Each Other Is NOT "Normal"


Did you see the recent tragic news story about a girl who shot her brother after repeatedly enduring abuse from him? Now one child is dead and the girl, her sister and both parents are facing charges. As horrible and extreme as this one story may seem, I don't find it that surprising considering the nonchalant attitude our country has about ... Read more

The #1 Way To Make Every Day Your Happiest Day [VIDEO]


So, it's pretty safe to assume that one of the things that we all have in common is the fact that we just want to be happy. Even though getting there can sometimes feel like a huge journey, we've got to ourselves to fight for the happiness that we deserve. But figuring out how to do that when everything seems to be weighing down on us is half the ... Read more

See More

My Videos
Must-see Videos
Most Popular