A helicopter parent is really a great parent. But this type of parenting style discourages, rather than encourages, a child’s independence. Helicopter parents mean well and feel that they are doing what is best for their child, but in reality, it is harmful. So, what exactly do helicopter parents do? They do things a little bit differently.
1. Hover over their child
Hovering over the child and then swooping in to save them if anything goes wrong is what helicopter parents do. The parent feels that they are helping their child and protecting them from any harm they might encounter. Helicopter parents will go to any length to keep their child safe from life’s challenges.
2. Make decisions for them
No matter how old the child is, parents want their child to do what they feel is best. Again, the parent feels they are helping their child by taking the stress out of decision making and taking control. They do not want their child to feel the negativity of stress or discomfort due to trying to make a decision.
3. Keep a tight chain
They keep a tight chain or tight reign with a kid leash when in public. They do not want their child out of their sight for one second, so they attach them to a leash. They might also have their child wear lifejackets or floaties at the swimming pool even though they are right there with them.
4. Shout direct commands
Rather than explaining their reasoning behind their behavioral expectations, helicopter parents often shout direct commands and expect their child to do as they are told without questioning. While I agree that children should obey their parents, I also feel that children grow and learn when parents explain why they expect that behavior.
Rather than shouting, “Don’t do that,” parents could explain what would happen if they do that. Children are not pets who sit for treats. They learn from their parents’ modeling and not their commandments.
5. Do things for their child that they can do on their own
These are the parents who are doing their kid’s homework for them or having their child drink from a sippy cup at the age of 5. They are the ones carrying their kid’s backpack, cutting up food for them, tying shoes when the child is capable of doing these things on their own.
Again, this does not allow the child to learn or grow. It only teaches them that they are incapable of being independent of their parent no matter how old they are.
As I mentioned before, helicopter parents only want what is best for their child, but they want it on their terms, so they do things differently. They try to protect their child from any type of discomfort when in reality, they are the ones causing harm by not allowing their child to learn and grow.