Helicopter Hovering

Overbearing parents negatively affect their children’s future, capabilities

Jacqueline Grubb

Mayzha Wilson, Reporter

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Helicopter parents, while trying their best, are affecting the future behavior of their children in a negative way. While they help their child succeed in high school, the jump into college makes the child realize they’re unprepared for the road ahead. Putting in place a sense of constant dependence inhibits skills that would later be beneficial.
The topic brings controversy and has a history dating back to the early 2000s. Universities such as Berkeley started taking steps in the right direction by separating parents and students during first day walk at the university and sending parents to a separate room which in turn began dissolving the emotional, mental and psychological latch the child acquired.
Children with helicopter parents are more prone to psychological issues, such as high anxiety and depression. Indiana University psychologist Chris Meno reported that children don’t learn well when they aren’t given the space to learn on their own and struggle more to solve problems as adults.
Helicopter parents want safety for their kids from the horrors of the world, but the world is the safest it’s ever been. Jennifer Senior of New York Magazine collected statistics stating that sexual abuse fell by 64 percent, and abductions by strangers fell by 51 percent from 1997 to 2012. Parents shouldn’t hold onto expectations reminiscent of the 1990s.
Arguments have been made that overbearing parents are only trying to be “careful” or “affectionate.” However, Brigham Young University, after conducting research on 438 undergraduates from 4 different colleges, found that children with helicopter parents were prone to having significantly lower self-worth and higher levels of risky and dangerous behavior. Hovering parents aren’t always the best parents.
Parents can change their overbearing behavior. First, they must accept that they stunted their child’s growth. From there, parents can get in contact with a therapist or someone to help remind them of good behaviors and warn them of hovering actions. In addition, they should explain to their child what they did, why they were wrong and what they’re doing to try to change it. Students should support the change and become independent, and teachers can get involved by recognizing what might be helicopter behavior and inform the student or parents, or the student’s counselor. Helicopter parenting, while it seems like a good thing, does more harm than good.

Jacqueline Grubb
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