Helicopter parenting needs to end

Alexandra Erickson

“I have a friend who had the ultimate helicopter parents. When she went to college she completely freaked out having to be on her own and because of that she dropped out,” said sophomore Whitney Johnson.

The idea of hovering over your child may seem endearing and loving. Instead, it is creating lasting problems for children. Helicopter parents constantly make an effort to nurture and protect their children, and although parents may believe they are doing the right thing, they could be slowly leading their children into a life of  unemployment and an inability to take care of themselves.

“I think it is horrible when parents try to control every aspect of a child’s life. If kids have parents who hover too much, then they will never survive on their own,” Johnson said.

Johnson feels that the helicopter parenting method is extremely flawed and an overall bad approach for parenting. When it comes to this parenting method, it is inevitable that negative aspects will ultimately outweigh the positive. 

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Adolescents aren’t the only people who can speak on this issue. Former Stanford Dean Julie Lythcott-Haims said students are progressively becoming less self sufficient, which she associates with helicopter parenting in a statement she made in the fall of 2011. Incoming students seemed brilliant and intelligent at the beginning of their freshman year, but as the years went on they became increasingly incapable of taking care of themselves, Lythcott-Haims explained. This proves that helicopter parents are only creating more issues in their children’s lives and ultimately hurting them instead of helping them.

Lythcott-Haims feels that helicopter parenting can be avoided with just a few attitude and parenting adjustments. According to Lythcott-Haims, a way for parents to progressively let go of their aggressive parenting ways are to have them stop saying “we” when speaking about their own children. They need to let their children be their own people and learn to separate themselves from their children’s lives. Another way to avoid the negative effects of helicopter parenting is to stop arguing with the adults in your child’s life. Children need to learn to self advocate and stand up for themselves. Having a parent stand there and do it for their kid will not make the situation any better and in the long run a child will never learn to stick up for themselves which is harmful is numerous ways.

Not only is helicopter parenting contributing to children not being able to take care of themselves, it is also affecting their future in finding an occupation. According to Forbes Magazine roughly 33 percent of Millennials today are able to say that their parents are very involved in their job hunt process.

One in 10 say their parents have accompanied them to job interviews and 3 percent of recent college graduates report that their parents have actually sat in on the interview, Forbes states. Studies have shown that self-esteem is a large indicator in achieving a bright future. Parents need to allow their children to make their own decisions in order to experience different outcomes. Parents cannot always be there to cushion their children when they fall. Experiencing failure and disappointment in life is a huge part in growing up and discovering oneself as an individual. If helicopter parenting continues to spread children will never learn how to deal with misadventures of life, therefore making themselves a lesser candidate when it comes to the job hunt process. Parents that give their children leeway to make mistakes and learn from them are creating better and more employable children who will ultimately be ready for whatever life has to throw at them.

Although parents may feel that in the long run they are helping their kids by shielding them from the world, reality will always catch up to them and it will be difficult for the kids to deal with. This overly nurturing method of parenting is only going to create lasting problems in a child’s life that may never be able to be repaired. Parents need to back down and put more faith in their child in order to let them experience life and be able to let them fall without putting a bed of protection underneath them. Through doing this children will learn what it means to fail and to succeed and overall becoming more emotionally and financially stable human beings.