Helicopter parents chop away at independence

[Editor’s Note: This piece was written with a satirical slant to highlight the protective measures that stereotype helicopter parents.]

The to-do list of a helicopter parent:
● Check Home Access Center.
● Check Life 360.
● Clean your child’s room.
● Schedule playdates.
● Do their laundry
● Email your kid’s teachers about upcoming assignments.
● Help Do their homework.
● Take your child to the doctor if they clear their throat.
● Check under the box spring, inside the closet and below the nightstand.
● Clean out their backpack.
● Make lunch – (absolutely no foods your child dislikes.)
● Prevent any possible discomforts.
● Repost an article about the dangers of vaping to your Facebook wall.
● Create a no-dating policy.
● Attach a tracker to the car.
● Establish unreasonable curfew.
● Breathalyze your child when they come home; conduct weekly drug testing.
● Conduct random phone searches.
● Check odometer daily for any suspicious activity.
● Accuse child of misbehavior.
● Sing “rise and shine” to wake them up, (an alarm is too harsh that early.)
● Install a security system.
● Stress about how hard it is to be a parent.
Helicopter parents are coddling their children, resulting in what is beginning to become a generation of unresilient adults. The helicopter parent is a parent or guardian who pays extremely close attention to their child’s behavior and problems.
The helicopter parent hovers above everything their child does, overlooking and overprotecting. With parents protecting their children from mistakes and adversity, children will not grow.
Problem solving, resilience and self-regulation are all traits that grow in importance when children leave youth and enter adulthood. These traits are not developed when parents eliminate the need for them by solving all of their child’s problems, diminishing adversity and over regulating behavior.
As children grow older it is natural and that they should take more initiative in solving their own problems, facing hardships and knowing what they need to do.
Like the struggle of a butterfly to emerge from the chrysalis is necessary to build strength, important traits for adulthood are not taught, but learned the hard way, through navigating adult experiences. Seemingly protective measures by parents can be detrimental in the long term for children.
Not only is developmental growth impacted, but a relationship of trust and respect is harder to achieve when the opportunity for children to earn the trust and respect of their parents is not presented.
In granting children room to develop on their own, they will develop a self respect in accomplishing, discovering, and facing adversity on their own.
Parents do want the best for their children, but what is best for children is to let them experience life on their own. The best learning comes from making mistakes, trial and error and self discovery.
Parents can not achieve self discovery for their children; it must be an independent process.