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Helicopter Parenting How it can impede a childs development

Helicopter Parenting How it can impede a childs development
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Love, Family

All parents want the best for their children

All parents want the best for their children. However, out of good intentions, they might arrive at a less than successful way of parenting. The term “helicopter parenting” refers to the need to control the child in everything he or she does; unfortunately, it seems that the more controlling you are, the higher the risk of the child developing emotional problems. Keep on reading and discover more information on how this parenting style can actually impede the child’s development.

The need to control your child’s every move

You can read as many parenting guidelines as you want, and you will not find the concept of controlling your child’s every move to be promoted. The more you direct your child, the harder it will be for him/her to manage his/her own emotions. The excess control will lead to negative behaviors in the child, with disastrous consequences on a long-term basis.  

It all starts from toddler age

Toddlers are known for their desire to explore, which sometimes can be daunting for parents. As one is looking to obtain peace of mind, the tendency to keep the child under control might arise. The over-controlling parenting type will cause quite the damage; you might feel like you are in control with your toddler but, later on, your child will find it difficult to respond to emotions in an adequate manner. Moreover, the behavioral regulation will be affected as well.

Consequences of helicopter parenting are reflected at school age

You might not be aware of the long-term consequences helicopter parenting has but these are actually present. At school age, a child who has been controlled for the majority of his/her life, will most likely have difficulties. These can be related to social skills and academic productivity but also to emotional expression and overall school performance.

Parents play a significant role in helping children manage their emotions in a healthy manner. When they learn how to regulate their behavior from an early age, the chances of becoming self-reliant adults increase. In parenting teenagers, however, you will have to refrain from returning to this parenting style, otherwise you will only continue to hinder their development.  

A sensitive parent, a resilient child

A sensitive parent will guide the child when he/she is confronted with a difficult situation. He/she will take the time to explain the emotions and provide adequate coping strategies.  However, you need to find proper balance and identify the moment when you should take a step back, letting the child handle the situation all on his/her own.

Children, especially toddlers, feel a great need for independence. At the same time, this newfound independence will lead to a whirlwind of emotions and handling them all at once might be quite the challenge. What you need to do is refrain from exerting too much control. Give the child some time to find a coping strategy and do not protect him/her from challenging situations. Otherwise, you will only end up impeding his/her abilities to respond to difficult moments (self-regulation).  

Cause and effect

Helicopter parenting might help you feel in control but it will have a negative impact on your child’s development. He/she will struggle to regulate his/her emotions, with inadequate behaviors resulting as a consequence. This style of parenting will only increase the risk for emotional problems, which will translate well into adulthood.

On the other hand, by supporting your child and giving him/her some freedom to cope with certain situations, you will ensure an adequate emotional regulation. This will mean that the child will experience fewer emotional problems; he/she will be able to keep his/her impulses under control, develop proper social skills and enjoy an excellent academic performance.

It is up to you to change

The first step is to recognize your need for control. Once you have acknowledged this need, it is time to take a step back. Do not jump right in and wait for your child to respond. Let go a little and you will soon notice the difference.

Try to involve your child in as many independent experiences as possible. Let him/her walk alone to school, do not be afraid to send him/her to camp and set a list of chores, as this will teach him/her to be responsible. And, most importantly, allow room for mistakes. These are moments when your child will learn to regulate, both emotions and behavior. Give your child the autonomy he/she needs and, later on, he/she will be better prepared to handle emotional challenges.

In conclusion, the helicopter parenting style is not a positive way to raise a child. From an early age, children need our guidance, including when it comes to expressing emotions and handling difficult situations. At the same time, it is important to allow room for mistakes and foster independence, as this will prepare the children for the true challenges of adulthood.

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