Do you remember having a school friend whose parents were overly involved in everything? They went to every extracurricular activity, attended every Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meeting, “helped” them complete every single homework assignment, and constantly argued with teachers regarding grades.
They were essentially trying to control every aspect of their child’s school life.
While, at first glance, this seemed like your friend had parents who simply liked to be involved and wanted to guide their children towards success, at what point did this become too much to bear?
These are all signs of helicopter parenting, a parenting style that can be best characterized by being overly involved in a child’s life.
A helicopter parent is overprotective and controlling, fueled by their desire to see their child achieve in their academic life and other extracurricular activities.
This excessive need to dictate and monitor every aspect of their child’s life can ultimately be harmful to your children.
Not giving your child the right tools and resources to garner their problem-solving skills will eventually affect their self-esteem. This is mainly because they need your approval in everything and don’t feel confident in their abilities.
By hovering over every moment of their lives, they will need you to approve of everything and essentially ask for permission in every step of their lives, which will create a co-dependence that will only be detrimental in their adolescence and adulthood.
It is essential to develop a trusting relationship with your children that will help prepare them for the real world.
Fosters Poor Decision-Making
Similar to causing low self-esteem, your children’s inability to problem-solve due to their low self-esteem will inevitably enable poor decision-making. What will happen when they are older, and you are not around to guide them?
Your children will become overwhelmed and most likely make the wrong decision because they have not fully developed these skills due to being overprotected.
Can Cause Depression and Anxiety
Unfortunately, while parents may mean well by being involved, helicopter parenting can negatively impact a child’s mental health.
According to a study, children with helicopter parents reported “lower psychological well-being” and were more likely to have depression and anxiety.
This is no surprise, as being unable to make decisions without your guidance and feeling the need to receive your approval will expose them to a fear of failure and of making decisions solely to avoid disappointment.
Therefore, their self-image will become affected and can lead them down a road of various mental health problems.
Parents, while interacting with your children is key to their development, it is also vital to provide your children with the right tools for their success.