A helicopter parent is essentially an over protective parent. Our children are our lives. It is our instinct to guide, help and protect them through life. But there is a fine line of protecting too much and allowing your child to learn and experience things for themselves. Helicopter parents will protect their children from any and all potential sources of harm, risk and/or disappointment. It’s where one of the best of intentions can lead to the worst of results.
If a child is not allowed to explore and make mistakes, adequate learning cannot happen. A parent that does all the thinking for a child will produce an adult that will always need the approval of his or her “primary brain” (the parent) and won’t be able to make their own choices and decisions. Helicopter parents believe they are protecting their innocent children from the harshness of the real world. But in reality they are preventing their kids from learning important life lessons and skills and setting them up for future failure and unhappiness.
Self-esteem is one of the most important things a parent can help a child foster. Self-esteem helps determine a child’s future success and ability. Achieving success and happiness is made much easier with good self-esteem.
Helicopter parenting can affect a child’s ability to learn decision making, that there are consequences to their actions and how to deal with rejection.
- Decision Making – This is probably one of the most important life skills a person develops. It is something that needs to be developed, learned and perfected. Children who can make their own decisions and are empowered to do so are given the chance to build their self-confidence and esteem.
- Consequences – Connected to decision making is learning that there are consequences to our decisions and actions. It is a crucial life lesson. It is during childhood that these crucial life skills are to be learned and developed so that they happen in a nurturing, loving and safe environment. It is better to learn these lessons at a young age where in general the consequences don’t have life-time ramifications.
- Dealing with Rejection – Rejection or failure is a part of life. Learning to deal with it and overcoming it are crucial life skills. The sooner a child is able to learn how to deal with rejection, the better they will be able to cope and persevere in life.
As well-intentioned a parent may be, if they are too over protective and hovering, rescuing, and excusing, they are only having a negative impact on their kids. They may find their children will have a deflated self-esteem, difficulty problem-solving, dependency issues, irresponsible behavior, a sense of self entitlement, become self-centered, needy and have a lack of resiliency and persistence. Protect your children, but let them learn for themselves. You’re only helping them become the best person they can be.
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