It's natural for parents to wish the best for their children; to provide them with the finest of amenities, values, education and nurturing they possibly can. It's amazing what wonders a wholesome upbringing can do towards the empowerment, development and success of a child. When parents' love, concern and ambition for their kids, however, becomes obsessive, the consequences are far unfavorable than they are positive.
Helicopter parenting is one such style of parenting in which parents are overly involved in every aspect of their child's life. Such parents control who their child is friends with, what hobbies he engages in, what his academic and career choices should be, etc. They closely monitor all activities that their child involves himself in. Many a time this behavior in parents manifests as a result of pressure from other parents, their own deficient childhood and the fear of uncertainties. What these parents often fail to realize is that their overprotective and overbearing nature, instead of helping their child can adversely impact him on many levels. Here are five of the greatest truths about helicopter parenting you should know:
- It Can Give Rise To Psychological Problems In Your Child - Research suggests that helicopter parenting has a glaring impact on the psychological health of children. A study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies reports that over-controlling parenting causes lower levels of psychological well-being in college-going students. Such children report increased incidence of anxiety, depression and less satisfaction with life. Another study spearheaded by Neil Montgomery, a psychologist at the Keene State College, New Hampshire, found that the students who received helicopter parenting were more resistant to new ideas and were more self-conscious as compared to their other peers.
- It Contributes To Overindulgence In Risky Behavior - Parents may feel that the more control they have in their child's life, the higher are the chances of him staying clear of bad habits. The reality, however, is far from this. As per a press release by Birmingham Young University, helicopter parenting contributes to high-risk behaviors such as binge drinking in children. This behavior is more pronounced in those children who enjoy a lack of parental warmth. However, parental love does not eliminate these behaviors completely.
- It Increases Dependence - Another problem that arises due to parents being over-interfering is their child's excessive dependence on them. Helicopter parenting hampers a child's ability to make his individual decisions and cope with problems that arise in his life. If you assume the primary role of making all the life choices that your child should be making for himself, he will never be able to develop the skills required to handle conflicts and make independent decisions. This may even make him yearn for a partner who is controlling and excessively caring like his parents, thereby ruining the chances of healthy relationships.
- It Hinders Professional Success - Low self-esteem is one of greatest consequences of helicopter parenting, and it can also adversely impact your child's future earnings, a study published in Social Science Network reports. Since earnings are one of the biggest barometers of professional success, being an overbearing parent can have a backfiring effect on your will to see your child go high up on the professional rung.
- It Adversely Impacts The Attitude Towards Marriage - As strange as it may seem helicopter parenting can even impact your child's marital attitude. A Birmingham Young University study conducted on a group of 779 unmarried college students found that higher levels of helicopter parenting lead to less positive attitudes towards marriage in kids. This study, therefore, goes to prove that helicopter parenting can inhibit your child's chances of creating a happy family for himself in future.
These hard-hitting facts underline the importance of adopting a balanced parenting style. Though you want to shield your child from the harsh realities of the world and want him to succeed in all his endeavors, it is also important that you give him that opportunity to learn and grow on his own. Your aim should be to act as the guiding light for your child while also letting him do things by trusting his capabilities and potential.
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.