Helicopter-Parents’- Concerns

Dr. Rich Patterson

Helicopter Parents’ Concerns

Helicopter parents are very protective or have an obsessive interest in their child’s life.  As a retired high school administrator, I could recognize these parents quickly when I asked the child a question.  Right away, the parent would answer very quickly for them before they could say anything.  If I were able to stop the parent from doing that and say something like, “Let the child speak and answer the question.”  The child was hesitant and afraid to speak their mind because they knew it might not align with what the parent would say.  Several college officials, USA Today, CBS News, and many other sources say that this over-attention to the child hurts them, not helps them.

How so?  Kids who helicopter parents raise are lacking in resilience.  Resilience is an essential trait that allows people who are knocked down in life to rise again and again.  The Search Institute (www.search-institute.org) speaks to resilience over and over in their research of now thousands of kids.  Helicopter kids struggle in school and often have parents that say don’t do this and don’t do that.  My intention with this writing today is not to put down helicopter parents but to help them find more information and be more aware of allowing their kids to make choices.

When kids learn to keep their emotions under control, they are less likely to have emotional problems in the future.  I encourage you as a parent to allow your kids to handle their emotional challenges themselves with little to no advice or “checking” from the parent.  I am not saying you don’t take an interest, but allow them to make choices and experience the result of those choices.  Unless the option involves significant risk, help them understand their preferences and process them after they have played out.

On the other side of the spectrum, be sure that you enforce what you say.  Read this post, Setting Rules & Enforcing Them – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)

Very Well Family has a post on What Is Helicopter Parenting?  Click here to read this, What Is Helicopter Parenting? (verywellfamily.com)


I encourage you to read more about helicopter parenting and increase awareness of this often overused parenting technique.

Yours for Better Parenting,