Keeping children healthy and safe is part of their instincts, and everyone has their own way of doing it. Some parents even protect their children too much, not only from big problems, but also from small things and responsibilities that they can handle themselves. This is known as parenting helicopter parenting and this term has become more popular in the past decade.
What is a parenting helicopter?
Parenting Helicopter is a term that refers to the way parents care for children who are too focused on their lives. As a result, people always interfere with various problems faced by their children. In contrast to parenting that follows various children's desires, parenting helicopter parenting tends to determine how children should act, and more to protect children from difficulties or failures.
Basically, this is based on good intentions, but parents who do parenting helicopters tend to solve various problems faced by children, even though the child can actually solve it himself. Psychology expert Michael Ungar said (as reported by Psychology Today), "This (parenting helicopter) is certainly not in accordance with the main purpose of parenting to make it capable of completing various adult tasks."
He also believes that training children to make their own decisions is far more important than letting them depend on parents to solve the problems they face.
Parenting helicopters can take the form of various parental behaviors that monitor school life, social life, and even child labor, for example:
- Determine the education department taken by the child even though the child doesn't like it.
- Monitor eating and exercise schedules.
- Parents ask children to always give news of where they are and with whom.
- When the value of a child is bad, parents contact the teacher or lecturer to protest.
- Intervene if there are problems with friends or work.
Why do parents interfere in children's lives?
There are many reasons for parents to interfere too much in a child's life. But basically this is caused by excessive anxiety parents about how children live their lives. As a result, parent helicopters do various things to help overcome life problems, even take over things that should be done by children.
Although it is impressed this is only done by parents with children who have grown up, but the behavior of parenting helicopters can also occur at every stage of child development. Parents who are always anxious and have become accustomed to helping their children in various ways since he was a child are likely to continue to do so until adulthood. Unwittingly, when they are teenagers or adults, children tend to be easily anxious and always rely on parents when facing difficulties.
Why is too much interference in a child's life is poor parenting?
Here are some reasons to overprotect a child that can have an adverse effect:
Don't let the child grow
Children who are cared for by parents who oversee and interfere tend to have difficulty solving problems, because they have low self-confidence and are more afraid of failure. The further the parent interferes in the child's responsibilities, the less their confidence in their child's abilities. Along with its growth, this not only makes it difficult for children to adapt to problems, but also can have an impact on social life, education, and even a career after he grows up.
Children do not have coping skills
Coping skill is someone's skill in dealing with problems and feeling of disappointment or failure well. Always helping children so that they are never wrong or experience failure is something that can inhibit the development of coping skills. As a result, children are not used to dealing with problems or facing failure, and they never learn how to solve the problem.
Decreasing child's confidence
The attitude of parents who interfere too much when a child enters adolescence will cause children to become less confident to get along with their age. This will also make it more difficult for him to get along and close himself even when he is an adult. Parents need to be understood, that self-confidence is something that can only be obtained when the child depends on his own abilities, both in making decisions and accepting the consequences.
Parents help children only because of excessive anxiety
Most parenting helicopter behaviors are based on excessive anxiety, rather than the intention to help children. Some parental anxiety is even caused by fear of feeling guilty when children experience failure, or fear of what others think of their child, not because of anxiety due to the child's ability or problems being faced by the child. When you as parents experience anxiety, you should discuss how children deal with these problems. Providing direction and motivation without directly interfering will be better for children to solve problems.
What parents can do to not interfere too
Too much worry and interference in a child's life is not a wise way to get close to the child. Here are some things you can do to avoid parenting helicopter patterns:
Let the child try according to his ability
Along with its growth, children experience gradual development in doing various things. Therefore, allowing children to learn to handle their own things and responsibilities is the best thing to make them more independent and develop their abilities in living life. In addition, it's a good idea for parents to let their children make decisions and accept the consequences themselves, as long as they don't endanger the health and safety of children.
When a child is in trouble, don't worry about it
Avoid being too anxious and making things seem worse than they really are. This will only make the child confused and easily anxious because of the negative response parents give to a problem. Face difficulties with children, by presenting more positive responses and without making children more anxious.
Don't make children the center of your life
This is the main reason some parents are anxious about what choices their children make. The best way to overcome this is to realize that children have life, and have the right to make their own choices. And remember, high or low achievement of children is not an indicator that is in accordance with the quality of parenting you do.
Appreciate children's opinion
Imposing opinions on children can cause children not to have their own opinions. Therefore, understand it as something positive if your child has a different opinion than you. If this is not less appropriate for the child's goodness, try to invite him to speak and understand why your child thinks so.
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