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A helicopter parent is born out of the fears and uncertainty that come with being first-time parents. While it is great to be invested in our child’s lives, the line can be easily crossed between being supportive and hovering.

warning signs of helicopter parenting


1. YOU FIGHT YOUR CHILD’S BATTLES –  When your child has a small falling out at school with a close friend, you jump in right away and call the other child’s parent. Naturally, your child couldn’t be the cause of the incident and you demand that the other parent enforce their child to make an apology. Or if your child has a job, you call up the boss and make excuses for your child or demand that they give your child the better shifts.

2. YOU SET UP A “NANNY CAM” – While nanny cams are a great way to keep an eye on things in the house while you are away, using one while you are at work, to check in and make sure that Tommy or Suzie are safe and following your instructions to a “T” crosses the line towards hovering.  Set rules for your children and a set time when you will check in.

3. YOU REWRITE (OR DO) SCHOOL WORK – Spelling mistakes are one of my pet peeves and when I find one that I’ve written it drives me crazy. A warning sign of helicopter parenting is staying up and rewriting your child’s English paper so that they will receive a better grade.  Some children need help with school work, yes, and guiding them through the process but allowing them to do the work themselves will help them to learn.

4. YOU MAKE DECISIONS FOR YOUR CHILD – Allowing our children to navigate problem-solving methods is one of the ways that they grow into internally motivated children. By making decisions for your child, you are taking away this very important life skill from them.

5. YOU KEEP YOUR KIDS CLOSE – That means you stay during drop-off birthday parties, or walk/drive your teenager to a destination that is only a couple blocks away.  To start, allow short times away from you and your spouse.  Let them stay at a friend’s house for a couple of hours so that both you and your child can get used to the idea.

Did you relate to any of these scenarios? If so, that’s okay! There is time to tweak your parenting style and allow your children some breathing room. They may not choose the same choices as you and that’s okay!

Let them make their own mistakes, give them opportunities to show some independence, be their support system. Be prepared to help them if they get into serious trouble or come to you with a problem or solution.



grandmother image via Shutterstock

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CalviN F.

Friday 3rd of November 2017

lol I know a lot of helicopter parents in my city.

Ali P

Monday 18th of September 2017

Not me at all. I offer guidance, but let them make their own decisions, regardless of the outcome.