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We’ve written about how It Takes a Village – about how us moms need a support system. Often that support system comes in the form of our children’s grandparents. However, there is a line between helping and hovering.

There’s a name for grandparents that hover – Helicopter Grandparents. It can be hard to navigate this type of relationship.

Helicopter Grandparents


  • they call or check in multiple times a day, or week
  • they are unaware of healthy boundaries and invade your personal space
  • they lack a job or hobbies
  • they are emotionally needy


EVALUATE THE RELATIONSHIP. Start by taking an in-depth look at your relationship. Do any of the above 4 traits fit? It may be hard for you to be objective in evaluating if it is a helicopter situation. Ask your partner or close friend to help you evaluate.

SET STRONG BOUNDARIES. While it might be tough at the beginning, setting strong boundaries will help strengthen the relationship between you and the helicopter grandparent. Let them know which behaviors you don’t appreciate and what a better response would be.

STICK TOGETHER. Whether it is your parents or your in-laws who have the helicopter grandparent tendencies, it is important that you as a couple are united in your requests.

GIVE A LITTLE. While you have set rules for your children at home, be conscious of the fact that when they are at Grandma’s, the rules might be slightly different. As long as the grandparents are aware and abide by allergies and safety rules, allow the grandparents to spoil and treat the children.

Dealing with helicopter grandparents can be tricky.

You were raised by your parents, who did their job and sent you out into the “real world”.  At this point, you are ready to take on life on your own and raise your own family. But who would know that parents could turn into helicopter grandparents causing trials, pain, and even separation between grandparents and their children and grandchildren?

Have you had to deal with helicopter grandparents?

You may also like this post on THE RISE OF THE HELICOPTER GRANDPARENT:


grandmother image via Shutterstock

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Wednesday 13th of May 2020

The Grandma is still hovering over her 40 year old boys. She doesnt even care if they have kids and wives. She has flat out said that you never stop being a mother. How does on deal with a mil who depends on her kids to fill her cup. Honestly we arent asking for it! We live very independently and she wants to do everything for everyone


Tuesday 27th of June 2017

I used this article to basically find out why my mother in law is crazy. Fits it to a T. My own mother is very hands off with my kids unless I ask for help which is the nice route to go. My MIL is constantly bombarding me with requests and demands. I do wish the responses on how to deal with the helicopter grandparent gave examples and maybe more delicate advice (since the last example of a helicopter grandparent is emotional insecurity....we are dealing with emotional people here!!) on how to provide boundaries and dialogue.

Jody @ Mommy Moment

Monday 10th of July 2017

Raquel, We have written a post with some examples. You can find it here:

Sab Edwards

Tuesday 20th of June 2017

I actually relied heavily on my mother helping me out with my kids. I have to work for a living and she was wonderful enough to take them during every holiday they had. She even took my daughter on a trip to Germany for a month. I have to admire people who don't need any family advice or help. I guess I was needy when I was young and an inexperienced parent. Our family was different though, because I often took my sisters on trips and didnt really think anything of it.

Jody @ Mommy Moment

Tuesday 20th of June 2017

Wonderful! I'm so glad you left a comment Sab. Actively involved grandparents are great, in fact, I hope to be a very involved grandma one day. This post was for our readers who emailed us about parents who consistently overstep and who try to parent their grandchildren without respect for how their adult children desire to parent.