Helicopter parenting refers to parents who are constantly micromanaging their child’s life, never leaving him or her alone. It is like a helicopter hovering over a child, and hence, the term. Normal parenting, which is passionate in the beginning, turns into helicopter parenting when the passion becomes overbearing.
This behavior can seriously prevent children from maturing appropriately, learning skills independently, taking decisions on their own, developing problem-solving skills and even, believing in themselves. Therefore, it is important that parents refrain from getting hysterical about everything and focus on being positively involved in their child’s life. They should try and avoid exerting a stifling control on each and every activity of their child’s. Here are some tips that can help parents alleviate anxiety and remain calm:
Focusing on positives: Instead of always imagining about negative things that could happen to the child while he or she is in the school or a playground, one should start focusing on the positive things that could happen. This will help in shaking off the anxiety tremendously.
Avoiding labels: Many parents justify their overbearing nature by labeling their children as “overly shy,” or “excessively fearful.”Instead of assuming what one’s child is fearful or lacks confidence, one should keenly observe the child’s behavior and help him or her get over the insecurities.
Getting physically detached: When taking children out to parks or any social event, it is important to give them space so that they start exploring and learning at their own pace. An excessive involvement of a parent into what needs to done or what need not be done will take away the innocence of the child. It is best to be physically distant and watch the child. One should provide attention and guidance when children actually demand the same or when the parent feels a genuine need to step in.
Letting the child manage certain chores: Helicopter parents have the compulsive habit of doing every single thing for their child, regardless of his or her age. This can seriously stunt a child’s growth and in the later years when he or she has to live independently, the child might face a lot of problems for not being able to manage even the basic chores. Therefore, one must allow a child to manage some things independently and pitch in, only when required.
Avoiding overdramatization: In case a child meets with a local accident, such as a fall or an insect bite, and wails uncontrollably, the parent must maintain composure and not start hyperventilating with the child. When a child watches that the parent is also getting hysterical, he or she might also get unnecessarily scared of the situation, which can lead to the hysteria.
Road to recovery
Parenting is a difficult task. For parents, it is natural to protect their children from every conceivable difficult person or a situation. However, many times, this may lead to overprotection, excessive worrying, shouting, crying and so on. Over a period of time, this behavior might cause acute anxiety in a parent, so much so, that it may start affecting all areas of their life.
Mental disorders are curable if treated at the right time. If you or your loved one is battling some form of mental disorder, including stress or anxiety, connect the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline to learn about the best mental health programs in the U.S. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online with one of our mental health experts for information on mental health counseling programs in the U.S.