What is Helicopter Parenting


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Helicopter Parenting got its name from parents hovering to rescue a child from trouble or any potential trouble. The “hovering” act gives it the name “helicopter”, basically, parental over-involvement. A helicopter parent worries excessively about their child’s safety, child’s relationships, restrict their child too much, always trying to protect and give their child a perfect world, free of worries, inconvenience of any form and other Super man like properties. Most parents that act this way don’t even know they are doing this, it is usually unconscious. They also usually act this way with good intentions, but the results mostly lead to a negative outcome.

How do I know I Am A Helicopter Parent?

There are a lot of signs that you are a helicopter parent, you may not know that you are one, but exhibiting or carrying out one of the following characters or actions will definitely put you under the “helicopter parent” umbrella:

– Constant unnecessary worry about a child’s safety
– Restricting a child more than his/her peers
– You try to settle disagreements or quarrels or fights for your child
– You are constantly asking your child’s teacher for updates about school, progress
– Doing their homework
– You do all the house chores and never involve your child
– Getting nervous or anxious over a child’s upcoming exams or project
– Constantly preventing your child from making mistakes
– Not allowing age-appropriate independence
– Following your child’s every step to make sure he/she doesn’t fall
– Preventing every little injury or fall
– Trying to complete school projects so they don’t get disappointed
– Not allowing your child to play alone
– Preventing or blocking any room for mistakes
– Constantly making choices for them and preventing them from making choices their peers can make

These, and so much more, define helicopter parenting, it doesn’t always start during the teenage years, it can start from childhood and grow into adulthood. Helicopter parenting can be caused by different factors. Mostly psychological.

Causes of Helicopter parenting

Anxiety: This can happen to anyone at anytime. You know, after carrying your baby for 9 months, the baby is here now. You want to paint the perfect world for this child, free of worries. You worry that your child may worry. You get nervous when they are disappointed, you don’t want them to be disappointed. This usually comes from a good place but the outcome is not always the same. Exposing your child to disappointments will help him/her grow and learn from their mistakes or disappointment.

How to prevent this: Instead of getting too involved in your child’s life, and worrying so much, keep yourself busy and distracted. Learn a skill, like gardening, this will help you take your mind off and grow your own vegetables or learn to manage your emotions in this emotional intelligence program . When you start doing other things, you will feel less anxious. Go swimming, take time off, it is not the end of the world.


This “Hovering” style of parenting sometimes comes from a place of fear, fear of the future, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of being criticized or judged. There is no need to be scared, it is ok to panic a little bit about certain things but constant fear can lead you into making some wrong decisions in your child’s life. It can also lead your child to feeling scared, unsafe or entitled.

Alternatively: Learn more about parenting. There are so many resources about parenting you can learn from, like this parenting book. Learning more about parenting will teach you how to cope with such situations, how to handle failure or prevent it without hovering, and how to raise kids the right way without hovering. All these you can learn perfectly in this book

“The good parent” ideology: Most helicopter parent believe that their child’s success in different aspects of life, like at school or sports, makes them look like “the good parent” and being “the good parent” gives them a lot of value in life. This makes them increase their parenting skills of being a Helicopter parent. This puts a lot of pressure on the child and can lead to childhood anxiety and low self-confidence.

What you can do: Improve on yourself, read a self-improvement book. Do other things like a life-coach program or a parenting program also, Try out other things with your child (other than what your child is already succeeding at) doing these thing will reduce your sense of “the good parent”. You will find more comfort in improving yourself and you will feel like a better parent when you spend more time with your child doing other things or teaching your child other things like cooking, cookie baking or cake decorating or how to solve Rubik’s cube. Kids will love any of these, they will want to do this more often and you will feel like a good parent here as well. This will lso make your child more rewponsible.

Your wounded inner child is coming up
Most people, while growing lacked a few things, for some people it was material things, some people, it was a form of parental care, for some people it was safety for others, it may have been all or more. When any of these people become a parent, they don’t want their child to go through any of the things they had to go through, now this is ok, it is a very loving idea that comes from a caring parent. Well, till it becomes excessive. This can make a child feel entitled and not want to work hard or earn anything by themselves.
What you can do: Set limitations, thinking about the risks of over-giving and the impact it will have on your child’s future. Learn more about this in this book, Parenting With Love And Logic

How to not be a helicopter parent

– Set the reins free, let your child make mistakes, let them go to the playground by themselves, let them carry out chores

– Permit room for mistakes and failure. Mistakes and failure allow a child to grow, when a child fails or makes mistakes, he/she would learn from the mistakes. He/She will grow knowing not to make the same mistake again

– Teach your child conflict resolution skills. When you do this, your child will be able to resolve any disagreement by themselves and be able to socialize with peer group. No need for you to hover again.

– Teach your child life skills, like cooking for themselves, cleaning, speaking up, extra-curricular activities, even entrepreneurship and so much more. This way you will be able to build confidence in your child (because he/she knows how to do things on their own, they feel more confident. You will also have more free time and peace of mind, because your child can now do things by themselves. Learning other skills will shift your focus from your child’s successes and you wouldn’t have “The good parent” ideology anymore or, it will reduce. There are so many online classes for learning life skills.

Age appropriation: Let your child do things he/she can do by themselves or what his/her peers can do by themselves. Let them make decision his/her peers can make for their age. This will allow independence and more free time for you. This will also boost your child’s confidence.


Think long-term, think about how your child will be able to cope in the future, how easy will it be for your child? Are your parenting skills beneficial to your child? Are your parenting skills affecting your own personal life or free time or your child’s personal life? Is your child too attached to you? Is your child resentful of your actions? Does your child appreciate the efforts you make? Helicopter parenting is almost always a disadvantage for the child, but there are some very, very few advantages which only usually benefit the parent not the child. With all these Parenting talk, you may be wondering where to start from in being a parent? We strongly recommend this book: How To Raise An Adult. And depending on your child’s age, for further learning about parenting, we recommend all these books:

Parenting With Love And Logic by Foster Cline & Jim Fay

The Gift Of Failure by Jessica Lahey

The Coddling of the American Mind

How To Raise An Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims

These guides will help you raise good, independent children that respect and honour their parents.

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